The Punkin Chunkin contest is divided into air cannons like American Chunker; trebuchets; catapults, which uses torsional force, often from twisted rope, as energy; and a "human powered" category that often have operators using bicycle drivetrains. Most categories also have a section for youths.
The contest ended with a bang when last year's champion and previous record holder, Delaware based Young Glory III, blew off a 30 foot section of its barrel. The pumpkin they were firing got stuck as it was rocketing out the barrel at several hundred miles an hour.
As for what's next, Labrie said that the long term goal is to reach a mile at sea level which won't be easy at all, he said.
Among the companies that help out is Bingham Lumber in Brookline, where the Chunker is stored when not being taken to various events such as its recent display at Trombley Farm as part of Milford's Pumpkin Festival.
"They're for safety, to look over (the cannon) with this equipment, making sure no hoses are ready to explode," Labrie said.
The team had its record breaking shot Friday, the first day of the weekend long contest.
Engineering improvements and a bit of meteorological luck gave Nashua pumpkin shooting kings American Chunker a big win over the weekend, as their massive air cannon fired a pumpkin 4,694 feet, beating the old record by more than 200 feet at a national event.
FLIR Systems of Nashua, which makes thermal imaging systems, also has helped, Labrie said. The team uses FLIR detectors to spot invisible problems before a shot.
Air cannons have become the poster children of the Punkin Chunkin contest because they have the longest range one cannon, firing in the thin air of Utah, once sent a gourd 5,545 feet. They're also the most expensive of the various pumpkin tossing devices.
"This is not something you can do Ghd Amazon with one or two guys," he said. The cannons use a special breed of pumpkin that has especially thick skin, to withstand the pressure.
Crosswinds were blowing that day. The rest of the contest saw gusty headwinds that held down results.
"It got hung up in the last section of barrel. Instead of pie ing, it just ended up blowing out the barrel," he said. "It's too bad."
And he fears that the group may have to cut back on public events for financial reasons.
Labrie, a Nashua native and 1992 Bishop Guertin graduate who owns Labrie Landscaping, said the team added a second stage to the cannon's 100 foot long barrel after coming in third last year.
devices use counterweights as the energy source to throw pumpkins from a sling. They are the Launch Ness Monster, of Merrimack, an unusual design that uses a rolling throwing arm and a curved weight track, and the Yankee Siege from Greenfield, a 56 foot tall behemoth with a 10,000 pound counterweight that can heave pumpkins as heavy as 300 pounds.
new record at world 'punkin chunkin' event
"It's something that we've wanted to add but it costs a lot of money, takes a lot of time," he said.
"There's not a lot of money in these events. They're nice to go to local ones are the best but I don't know that that's going to happen as much," he said.
"It's not that obvious when you watch it from behind," Labrie said. "We have to wait until the survey crew calls (the distance) in."
"The pumpkin gets going with one stage Ghd Paddle Brush
Both are in the trebuchet contest, in which massive Beats Rose Gold
"It feels a little bit surreal," said Brian Labrie, captain of the American Chunker team, in a cellphone interview Monday as the crew returned from the 28th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin in a cornfield near Bridgeville, Del.
of air, then gets kicked in the pants by the second stage. There's less 'pumpkin pie' and more opportunity for distance," he said, using a slang term for accidents in which a pumpkin explodes under the huge pressure of the air cannons usually more than 300 pounds per square inch.
Labrie estimates that the American Chunker has cost $175,000 over its three year life, half in actual expenses and half in labor. About 15 people are on the "core team," and as many more help out regularly, he said.
Nashua's American Chunker sets Beats By Dre For Kids
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