October 31, 2002
PUMPKIN CHUCK:Pumpkin cannon crew ready to go distance: Howell team warms up for world championship (Steve Pardo, 10/31/02, The Detroit News)
The prizes are puny and the effort and expense great, but the chance to best his contemporaries and destroy perfectly good pumpkins keeps Bruce Bradford going.
Bradford, the owner of S&G Erectors of Howell, will be among about 80 competitors competing this weekend in the 17th Annual Punkin Chunkin in Sussex County, Del. It is the fourth year in a row that Bradford, 55, and his team will compete in the event.
Armed with the nine-ton, 100-plus-foot long air cannon dubbed the Second Amendment, Bradford's contraption has finished third in the competition -- the world championship of pumpkin tossing -- the past two years and fifth in 1999. [...]
Bradford says he'll keep entering the competition until he wins. But the real goal is to be the first team to shoot a pumpkin one mile -- a feat no one has been able to do in the competition. [...]
The competition started in 1986 with a couple of Delaware men jawing about, of all things, who could come up with a contraption that could hurl a pumpkin the farthest. That year, a pumpkin was shot 200 feet. The competition grew and now involves a host of categories including trebuchets, catapults and centrifugal force machines that spin a pumpkin before release. The machines sport names such as the Spooky Bazooky, the Jack-O-Splatter, the Gourd Thrasher and Chunkin Up. [...]
"The adage is, come rain, snow, wind or blow, the pumpkins are going to go," Shade said.
These guys are better armed than about 95% of the world's nations. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2002 10:28 AM