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Students stay cool and breezy for race meet

HIGH School Students put their pedalling powers to the test on the weekend where they competed in the biggest Human Powered Vehicle event in Australia. 

For another year running, Warracknabeal Secondary College students participated in “Energy Breakthrough”; an event attracting over 5,000 students across the country. 

This was the 11th year the college have taken part in the event and was first time competing with an Electric Assisted bike/Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV). 

The students chose a Hawaiian theme this year and have not only given the bike a fantastic beach design but have also chosen to have Hawaiian shirts as the uniform making sure to squeeze as much fun as possible out of the weekend. 

Students decided to name their EEV “Wiki”, which means “Quick” in Hawaiian. 

Mr Loy said the students had been training with their HPVs twice a week for over a year for this event. 

“The students trained for one year and a half, twice a week. Not so much for their fitness but mainly for understanding the bike and being able to control it,” Mr Loy said. 

He said the event teaches students about cooperation and how to maintain the bikes. 

“It’s an incredible experience, having thousands of other students there. They get to see lots of different schools. The students really enjoy this event,” he said. 

“The skills are mainly coorperation, working together to maintain the bike, working together as the pit crew. It’s a social experience as well as a technical one.” 

Mr Loy said the students use second hand corflute plastic to build the body of the bikes; teaching the students about sustainable practices. 

The event attracts schools from across the country as far as Alice Springs and from Maryborough Queensland, which also runs a yearly technology challenge. 

There are many different classes and events that schools can enter and compete in but the 24 hour race is the event highlight that starts on Saturday at 1 pm and goes through the night and into Sunday finishing at 1pm. 

WSC competed in the Energy Efficient Vehicle class that allows for the bike to be fitted with an electric motor to provide assistance to the rider.

EEVs give the students a boost up to 50 percent power when the students are riding. They must remain peddling to keep the battery assist engaged.

This year there was a dedicated team of 13 students and two staff. Teachers Peter Loy and Linley Arnold-Wardle prepared for this event. Mrs Wardle provided enough food for the teenagers while Mr Loy assisted the team of riders and pit crew for the race.

The focus for WSC was to enjoy a weekend of presentations, physical activity, friendship, science, education and camping fun. With a fun looking bike and uniform, they are off to a good start.

This is a major event for Maryborough, where they prepare for thousands of visitors. Hundreds of volunteers prepare months in advance to make it a fantastic event. Businesses remain open to provide extra food and supplies.