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The Challenges, the Changes, the Competitors
April 11, 2011
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New York Times Blogger, Jim
As they look back on the challenges of last year's HPV
Competition, like the high winds in Connecticut, defending
champions Rose-Hulman Human Powered Vehicle designers Ethan Rockett
and Petras Swissler assess the team's chances this year.
Improvements from last year's car, Ragnarok, to this year's Helios
include the addition of a U-joint and the ability to backpedal.
The latest video, shot in mid-April, catches a candid look at
the Helios in progress. You can also glimpse the humor and
ingenuity behind Rose-Hulman's #1 champion Human Powered
Discussing the rollovers and slides of last year's
races, Rockett and Swissler assess the competition among a
record number of teams.
Their assessment? Toronto, though relatively new to the
competition ("they did very well" last year, their first year), is
a team to watch out for; Missouri S & T typically takes the
speed competition ("they build black, fish-like things"); Cal Poly
("they went weird last year; their top riders took a couple of
months to learn how to ride it") is a consistently strong
contender; Olin has "good geometry" despite some spectacular design
foibles in the past. And there are always surprises.