Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

Note that links in blog entries are not maintained, so while a link may be verified to work on the day of publishing, this is not guaranteed beyond that day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Student Blog 30th and 31st October

30th of October – Student Blog

Today didn't start off too well. Our bus is being uncooperative in the morning by deciding not to start, and we suspect the batteries to be the problem. They're working pretty hard to keep three Engel fridges running so our food doesn't spoil, and we had the feeling that it'd only be a matter of time before they petered out. Not much had to be done to get the bus moving though. Once the trailer was unhooked it was just a matter of pushing the bus out of the parking lot, and it started working again. Strange really, but at least we don't have to push it for the rest of the race!

More problems arose after solaring for about an hour and a half. The solar cars motor cut out, and at the time we thought it may have been due to the failsafe in the motor that makes it cut out in a certain temperature. Overheating seems to be a persistent problem for us. Our usual solution of pulling over to give it a rest and a spray of demineralised water seemed to do the trick, and we registered 142 solar kilometres for our final day of Solar Racing.

The rest of the day is just trailering to get to Port Augusta before nightfall. We make it with about an hour to spare, and decide to go on to Port Pirie for the night, but not before Mr. Sheppard almost forgets to pay for the fuel for the bus. Tomorrow, we drive into Adelaide, and over the finish line.

- The Team

31st of October – Student Blog

After our final stopover in Port Pirie last night, it was only a 200 km drive to Adelaide, and the finish line. The last week of camping has made the team adept at packing up the tents and the trailers each sunrise, and Mr. Sheppard complimented us on this as we left. Just a couple of hours later we're in a parade ground in front of an RSL club in Adelaide where all the teams that have finished the race are lined up, ready to solar the final 500 metres to the finish line. One place ahead of us is the University of Malaya with what has become known at the "Mecanno Car." One place behind us is the Swiss Heliox team, and behind them, Cambridge University.

They appear to be rolling up to Victoria Square in 15 minute intervals. A solar electric powered bus shuttles us to the finish line and we get there just in the nick of time to snap some pictures. The car got put on display in a tent on one side of Victoria Square, and we went to see how all the other teams finished the race, and talk to the public and some parents that have come out to greet us. Only a few paces from us was the thoroughly wrecked Umicore car. It's lucky that their driver survived a crash like that.

Later in the evening, we were off to the closing ceremony. Officially, we're there for the awards, but everyone knows that it's really about swapping shirts with the other teams. In the awards ceremony, there appears to be a competition between the Bochum University and Nuon teams to see who can cheer the loudest, and both are beaten out by Istanbul Technical University. We pick up our trophies and then try to score all the cool shirts we can. David even managed to negotiate a pair of driver's overalls out of Tokai!

And so, the race is now over. We made it across the country and we're all alive, with a grand total of 950 solar kilometres! Yay! Tonight and tomorrow night, we're staying at the Blue Galah Backpackers. Tomorrow morning, all we need to do is give the support vehicles and the bus a clean out, and put the solar car into it's trailer, then we can all have a nice lazy Sunday.

- The Team

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