Four local teams are featured tonight in the Science Channel's second annual "Punkin Chunkin" special, a competition which celebrates elaborate and outrageous pumpkin launching devices.
The local teams competing are: The General, a catapult from Wake County (Tommy Abbott); The Imperial Pride (Galen Kirkpatric) and First in Fright (Trey Greer), both trebuchets from Chapel Hill; Onager, a torsion machine from Clayton (Bob Carbo, pictured here); and the Pumpkin Slayer, built and operated by Marc and Tony Banka of Durham. Roman Revenge, a torsion machine from Gastonia (Kim J. Moore) is also featured.
The Onager from Clayton is among the teams featured in the one-hour special "Road to Punkin Chunkin" at 8pm. That special follows various teams as they design, build, and test their machines. Then at 9pm is the main "Punkin Chunkin" event, the Delaware-based world championship of gourd hurling. All of the NC-based teams are shown competing.
The Holy Grail of pumpkin pitching is to set the thing flying for one mile. The world record so far is 4,483.51 feet.
You can see video and get more information on the special as well as the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association at the Science Channel's Punkin Chunkin website. Be sure to check out Bob Carbo of Clayton explaining how his Onager machine works in the video from the 2008 contest.
The Science Channel is channel 111 locally on Time Warner Cable.