The College fielded its first entry in the WA Human Powered Vehicles Series on the 29th of August, entering two teams in the second round of the Series.
The competition is a series of endurance races for recumbent trikes, three-wheeled vehicles powered solely by pedalling, with competitors aiming to complete the greatest number of laps in the time allocated.
The WA series is the state's spin-off from the international competition at different venues around Australia, intended to compensate for the cancellation of the Busselton round in the last two years due to Covid.
The Bunbury event, the College's first entry since the 2019 City of Busselton event, was held at the Bunbury City Kart Club and ran for six hours.
A total of forty-one entries from across the state turned out for the race, with Our Lady of Mercy College fielding vehicles in the middle school and senior school categories.
The race was run in mixed and rapidly changing conditions, with several bursts of heavy rain making the track very slippery and causing several incidents in quick succession.
The Junior Team fell victim to these conditions, with low visibility and low traction hampering their efforts. They persevered to finish seventeenth in their class and thirty-fifth overall, completing 235 laps with a best time of 1:03.936. The team also beat two senior school entries.
The Senior Team benefited from a new vehicle, importing the first G-Trikes Matrix in WA, which arrived only three days before it was to be checked for compliance at scrutineering. The trike was prepared in time to make the start, and the team took second place in the Senior School Class behind Hale School before the first hour was out. Much of the following four hours were spent in a tight battle with Perth Modern, with the team entering the last hour with a three-lap lead.
Unfortunately, second place was not to be, and with only an hour to go, the team was struck with a series of misfortunes. A seatbelt mount came loose and necessitated a slightly longer pit stop, reducing the advantage over Perth Modern to only two laps. Only minutes later, the chain slipped, stopping the vehicle on track and requiring another long pit stop, at which points the team re-entered the race three laps down on their closest competitor.
Fortunately, the team's efforts earlier in the race came to fruition, with a comfortable twenty lap margin over fourth place, allowing the team to come home in third place in the class and ninth place overall, also recording the sixth fastest lap time of the day.
Next year, the College hopes to again field two teams in the Series. Further details about next year's events will be announced soon.
The Senior Team consisted of:
· Ryley Wastell (Captain)
· Zane Basso
· Jack Cross
· Daniel Godwin
· Aiden Meango
· William Pierce
The Senior Team also extends thanks to Tom Zappia, who helped with passing electrical compliance and Ben McAtee for supporting the Junior Team.
The Junior Team consisted of:
· Rhys McAtee (Captain)
· George Pierce
· Ethan Scott
· Madden Smith
· Billy Wardle
· Jack Brown
Thank you to fellow students Xavier Noonan and Lochlan Hatton who have helped and participated at afterschool activities but were unable to participate in the race.
The Junior Team also extend their thanks to Michael Yates, who helped prepare their vehicle last year.
The teams would like to thank Ms Stone and Mrs Johnstone for attending the race to help with operations, and Mr Crothers and Mrs Godwin for their support on race day.
They would like to thank Mr Cross, Mr Basso and Mrs Brown who volunteered as marshalls and Mr Wastell, Mrs Brown and Mrs Smith who assisted with the movement of equipment and trikes.
Thank you to all the parents who came along to support the teams and above all Ms Wansbrough for her tireless efforts in organising the teams and running the HPV program.
By Ryley Wastell