The 2007 Victorian Model Solar Vehicle Challenge

Paul Wellington, Chair VMSVC

The 18th Victorian Model Solar Vehicle Challenge. was held at Scienceworks on the weekend of Saturday October 20th and 21st, 2007.

However, the advanced boat event was run in conjunction with SEES (Social, Environmental, Economic, Sustainability) at Albert Park on September 15th. Sees has run manned and radio controlled solar boat competitions in Sydney for several years and decided to hold a similar event in Victoria, with our “wire guided” event as an option for year 7 to 9 students. Thirty two boats competed with multiple round robin heats in the morning providing information to be used in the seeding for the afternoon knockout event. Benalla Secondary College’s The Lance and SS Smurf finished first and second ahead of Billanook SC’s The Bomber and Wesley College’s Hydro Bullet. A lovely sunny day and the delightful venue made for a most enjoyable event. Benalla, Billanook and Wesley were joined by newcomer, Blackburn SC in sharing the discretionary prizes.

In 2006, the junior boat race for primary school students, had attracted 163 boats and almost exceeded the capacity of the 2 pools erected at Scienceworks, so it was decided to hold junior event over 2 days – the 83 entries from metropolitan schools competed on the Saturday and 43 rural and regional boats raced on Sunday the 21st. The top 4 Metropolitan schools returned on Sunday afternoon to race the top regional schools for the state titles and the chance to travel to Adelaide for the national finals. Clover, Ruskin Devil, Misile and YW1 from Birmingham, Ruskin Park, Birmingham and Yarraville West Primary Schools respectively were the top placed boats in the metropolitan event with Bannockburn’s Storm and Bad Boys first and second regional boats with Boorhaman’s Phoenix third and Geelong College’s EET fourth. The state finals saw the metropolitan boats perform brilliantly despite cloudy weather to take out the first 4 places, but under the different solar intensity, Misile was the winner from Ruskin Devil, followed by YW1 and Clover. Discretionary prizes went to Ruskin Park, Spensley St PS, Springview PS, Bell PS, New Gisborne PS, Romsey PS, Meeniyan PS, Ballarat Christian Coll. and Tarwin Valley PS. Special commendations were also awarded to Syndal South PS, Leongatha PS, Spensley St. PS, Bannockburn PS, Tarwin Valley PS, Trinity College, Flemington PS, Croydon Hills PS, Bannockburn PS.

The Mars rover demonstration event was held at the lunch break on Sunday 21st with 11 cars competing. This is the one event not confined to school students but has attracted interest from teachers, university students, most notably the University of the Third Age and committee members. The track involves sand, pebbles, “cattle grids” and a pool, so reliability, stability and low speed torque are needed rather than speed.

The Sheridan kit car competition has continued to grow over recent years from 12 in 2005 to 31 cars in 2007. The modestly priced kits can be constructed in one day but the good teams then spend a number of free periods trialling their cars to get the best possible performance from them. Thunderbolt from the Maroondah Cluster was the winner, with Black Bullet from Camberwell PS second, Cheeta from Canterbury PS third and Backlash from Benalla SC fourth. Well over 100 kits went to schools throughout Victoria and to Queensland, Tasmania and the UK and even more are likely to be in demand in 2008.

The main car event saw 55 entries, a couple more than in 2006. Stitch Face from Box Hill HS’s all girls team was just too good for Velox from the Evil Chicken Racing team (a student formerly from Syndal South PS) with Blue Torp (Box Hill) third and Gyrone from Mentone Grammar fourth. The discretionary prizes were won by Glen Eira SC, Gennazano FCJ Convent, Box Hill HS, Syndal South PS, Collingwood College and Trinity College. The student enthusiasm continues unabated and it is likely that even more students will have the chance to participate at the 19th VMSVC at Scienceworks on October 18th and 19th 2008. 

 The results from the event are as follows:

Student Designed Cars

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Box Hill HS Stitch Face 
2nd place Evil CHicken Racing Team  Velox 
3rd place Box Hill HS Blue Torp 
4th place Gyrone  Mentone Grammar 
Best Poster Glen Eira  Hot Rod Monkey 
Best Styled Gennazano  The Dragon Fly 
Best Engineered Box Hill HS Rising Sun 
Best Team Syndal South PS Viper 
Best Entry from a New School Collingwood College   
Winner of Plate Comp Trinity College Frogulator 


Sheridan Kit Cars

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Maroondah Cluster Thunderbolt
2nd place Camberwell PS Black Bullet
3rd place Canterbury PS Cheeta
Best Poster Benalla SC Backlash
Best Team Effort Camberwell PS  


Advanced Boats

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Benalla College The Lance
2nd place Benalla College SS Smurf
3rd place Billanook SC The Bomber
4th place Wesley College Hydro Bullet 
Best Poster Benalla College High Wind 
Best Use of Materials Benalla College Fantastic J 
Best Design Golden Square SC Hunter 
Best First Entry Blackburn SC  
Best Uniform Wesley College Le Soleil 


Junior Boats

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Birmingham PS  Misile
2nd place Ruskin Park PS Ruskin Devil
3rd place Yarraville West PS YW1 
4th place Birmingham PS  Clover 
Best Poster Ruskin Park PS Prestissimo
Best Use of Materials Springview PS  Purple Flame
Best Team Uniform Spensley St.   
Most Innovative Design Bell PS Challenger 1 


Junior Boats (Metropolitan)

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Birmingham PS  Clover
2nd place Ruskin Park PS Ruskin Devil 
3rd place Birmingham PS Misile 
4th place   YW1 
Best Poster Ruskin Park PS Prestissimo 
Best Use of Materials Springview PS Purple Flame 
Best Team Uniform Spensley St.  
Most Innovative Design Bell PS Challenger 1


Junior Boats (Regional)

 Prize School  Team Name 
1st place Bannockburn PS Storm 
2nd place Bannockburn PS Bad Boys 
3rd place Boorhaman PS Phoenix
4th place Gellong College EET
Best Poster New Gisborne Yellow Jacket
Best Team Uniform Romsey PS Pink Covers
Best Use of Materials Meeniyan Black Pearl
Most Innovative Design Ballart Christian College M & M
Best New School Tarwin Valley PS  


Junior Boats (Special Commendation)

 Prize School  Team Name 
Best Team Uniform Syndal South PS The Bones
Best Team Uniform Leongatha PS Spupa Nova 
Best Use of Materials Spensley St. PS Speedy Gonzales
Best Use of Materials Bannockburn PS Booty Knickers
Best Use of Materials Tarwin Valley Orka 5 
Most Innovative Design Trinity College Cookie Monster 
Most Innovative Design Flemington PS Typhoon
Most Innovative Design Spensley St. PS The Duck's Foot
Most Innovative Design Croydon Hills PS J & R Boat 
Most Innovative Design Tarwin Valley Hubble Bubble
Most Innovative Design Bannockburn PS Bad Boys