The coveted, larger-than-life World Championship Punkin Chunkin trophy has come back home to the Cape Region.
Young Glory, a Milton team captained by Jake Burton, won the close air cannon competition with a winning chunk of 3,887 feet followed by Spit Fire in nearby Preston, Md., 3,826 feet, and American Chunker of Merrimak, N.H., 3,794 feet. Young Glory holds the world records in adult air cannon of 4,483 feet set in 2008 and youth air cannon of 3,945 feet set in 2003.
Hurricane Sandy delivered a strong punch that hurt attendance at the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin.
Competition was reduced from three days to two days because of muddy field conditions at the Wheatley Farm near Bridgeville from the storm that battered the Mid-Atlantic just a few days before the Nov. 3-4 event. Frank Shade, director of public relations, said the crowd was nowhere near the average of more than 100,000 people who attend the popular event. “Missing one day hurt, but it also hurt that a large portion of our attendance comes from New Jersey and New York and other areas directly impacted by the hurricane,” Shade said. “We'll put it behind us and move onto the 28th annual chunk.”
The event will be the subject of a Discovery Channel Thanksgiving Day special starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22.
Following a year with multiple world records, only three new marks were set during the 2012 event. Long shots were a challenge with a strong north wind blowing into the face of the air-cannon firing line.
One record, in the adult human-powered centrifugal division, was above the rest. Smokin Lamas, a team from Parkesburg, Pa., topped the record by more than 1,200 feet with a toss of 1,586 feet.
Athena from Mohnton, Pa., competing in the youth human-powered division, set a new record with a chunk of 983 feet, and another youth team, Whomping Willow from Chapel Hill, N.C., set a new record in youth trebuchet with a toss of 1,526 feet, topping the old record by nearly 400 feet.
Other local top finishers in the air cannon competition included Please Release Me of Milton, 3,624 feet, in sixth place and Skybuster of Lewes, 3,601 feet, in seventh place.
Hormone Blaster, a Georgetown team captained by Dawn Thompson, won the female air cannon competition with a best chunk of 3,500 feet. The team won the 2010 event with the best overall chunk.
Female air cannon: 1. Hormone Blaster, Georgetown, 3,500 feet; 2. Bad Hair Day, Milton, 3,345 feet; 3. Dragon Lady, Federalsburg, Md., 2,870 feet.
Adult catapult: 1. Chuck Norris, Manchester, N.H., 2,051 feet. Local teams: 6. Feats Don't Fail Me Now, Milton, 1,161 feet; 9. Bust-O-Matic, Georgetown, 782 feet.
Adult centrifugal: 1. Inertia II, Thornton, Colo., 2,688 feet. Local teams: Bad to the Bone, Milton, 2,272 feet; United Flingdom II, Georgetown, 1,543 feet.
Adult torsion catapult: 1. Chucky 3, 3,485 feet.
Adult trebuchet: 1. NASAW, Rochester, N.Y., 2,123 feet. Local teams: 7. Shenanigans, Georgetown, 1,567 feet; 9. The Great Gourd Experiment, Ellendale, 1,179 feet.
Adult human-powered catapult: 1. Gene's Machine, Newark, 1,652 feet.
Adult human-powered centrifugal: 1. Smokin Lamas, Parkesburg, Pa., 1,586 feet.
Youth air cannon: 1. Snot Rocket, Preston, Md., 3,313 feet; 2. Bad Habit, Milton, 2,926 feet; 3. Punkin Reaper, Milton, 2,823 feet.
Youth 11-17 human powered: 1. Athena, Mohnton, Pa., 983 feet.
Youth 11-17 catapult: 1. Little Liberty, Milford, 1,170 feet.
Youth 11-17 trebuchet: 1. Whomping Willow, Chapel Hill, N.J., 1,526 feet.
Youth 10-and-under catapult: 1. Punkin Seeds I, Georgetown, 822 feet.
Youth 10-and-under trebuchet: 1. Pumkin Pirates, Danville, Va., 250 feet. Local teams: 2. Pop Pop's Machine, Milton, 245 feet; 3. Punkin Seeds II, Georgetown, 198 feet; 4. Fudd's Flinger, Milton, 48 feet.