Typically within the lifting and rigging industry, you don’t hear too often businesses participating in pumpkin throwing contests; however, wire rope manufacturer Loos and Company along with U.S. Air Force engineers from Wright-Patterson AFB comprised a team, “Chunk Works,” to participate in the annual World Championship Punkin’ Chunkin’ competition, November 1-3. For 25 years, the Punkin’ Chunkin’ competition has drawn thousands of spectators and pumpkin throwing connoisseurs to Bridgeview, Delaware to see who can throw an 8 to 10 pound pumpkin the farthest.
John Ellsworth, one of the four founding fathers of the event explains how the event all started over a simple challenge. “We were playing around one day and somebody started talking about throwing pumpkins. There had been an article in a newspaper or on television about some people throwing pumpkins at Salisbury State. A physics class or something. One of us said that they could throw further than someone else and I threw my hat on the ground.”
Throwing pumpkins may sound easy but Punkin’ Chunkin’ covers every angle of the intense competition from growing special, aerodynamic pumpkins and determining the perfect pumpkin’s mass to the mechanics of the air cannon and the physics of catapults. The three day competition is divided into seven categories defined by the type of machine used — trebuchets, catapults, air cannons and more.
This years event drew more than 20,000 people and grossed more than $100,000 in ticket sales and associated revenues. A total of 72 teams competed. Stay tuned to see Chunk Works Trebuchet in action, the Science Channel will broadcast the Punkin’ Chunkin’ event November 28th, Thanksgiving Evening.