Welland pumping competition

At Welland this year, as well as the main lunchtime demonstration, we have the opportunity to run a pumping competition, with 5-minute arena slots morning and afternoon on each of the three days of the event. That means we can have 4 team entries, where each team will take part each day, and over the three days will compete against every other team.

The aim of the competition is to bring a Goddess into the arena, and on the starting signal, drive to the dam, set up suction from the dam, run out two delivery hoses (end-to-end) and use a jet of water to knock down a foot-square wooden target 180 feet from the goddess (150 feet of hose and 30 feet of jet). The hose and suction all needs to be made up, and the goddess driven to the centre of the arena. The first goddess back wins the heat. The target time for this in the war, but using trailer pumps, was 1 minute 19 seconds! I hope with practice, we can get this down to under 5 minutes.

The rules are as follows:
A team will consist of a Goddess, and 5 people. At least the team leader must be in the team all three heats, although other team members may swap to allow others a turn. Potential team leaders must apply to David Moore by 1 May.

The team must wear protective uniform, which must include boots, trousers, jacket or tunic, and a helmet. Teams will suffer a 5-second penalty for each additional uniform style used (to encourage a consistent uniform for the whole team). Teams wearing wartime or 50s steel helmets will get a 5-second advantage for each helmet worn (as they are difficult and cumbersome). Teams will suffer a 10-second penalty for each team member who is a professional firefighter, or a regular part-time or volunteer firefighter (this includes Dublin CD).

The two vehicles must be at the arena gate ready to enter as soon as the previous event is finished. The two Goddesses will follow the command vehicle (containing comentator and adjudicator), and take up position on the start line. The adjudicator will start the goddesses of by dropping a flag, but is one team has more handicap than the other, then each one will be started individually. (For example, one team has three firemen (30 seconds penalty) but are all wearing consistent uniform and steel helmets (25 seconds advantage, making a total of 5 seconds penalty) and the other team have a motley selection of three different uniforms and one fireman (10 + 10 seconds penalty), then the first team will be flagged away from the start 15 seconds before the second team.

The Goddesses will drive away from the start line towards the dam, one heading clockwise round the arena, the other anticlockwise, with both passing the dam to their right, and stopping with their pump just over a suction length from the dam.

Teams must use two lengths of 6″ suction with a metal strainer (to protect the dam), but no wicker basket. The strainer should be fixed to one length of hose before entering the arena. No rope should be used, and the use of 4″ to 6″ adapter and 4″ suction is not allowed. The suction must be supported by a wooden X-frame to avoid damage to the dam.

Two lengths of hose must be run out. It is the team’s choice as to which hose is used: 45mm or 70mm duraline, or 70mm canvas. First aid hose should not be used. 45mm hose is possibly quicker to run out, but may be slower to make up. The teams may choose which branch they use, but it must not have a nozzle greater then 5/8″. 1/2″ is recomended.

The pump operator should start priming as soon as the suction hose is in the dam, and can start delivering as soon as the delivery hose is connected. Note however, that delivery hose must be run out, not allowed to unroll using water pressure (for safety – 60 seconds penalty will be incurred for each offence!) Ideally, water will be filling the hose as soon as the first length is run out, and will reach the join a few seconds after the second length is connected. Ideally it will reach the branch a few seconds after the second length is run out and the branch fitted.

The jet of water should be used to knock down the target, which will be propped up on top of an upturned bucket. As soon as the pump operator sees his team’s target fall, he knocks off the pump and closed the delivery. The team make up as fast as possible. Both lengths of suction must be stowed correctly with no hose protruding beyond the rear edge of the goddess. Both delivery hoses must be placed in a locker, and the door must be shut, although the branch may be carried into the cab.

All five team members must be in the cab, and the goddess drive back to the start-finish line, stopping with the front and rear wheels astride the line. The team will be deemed to finish when the goddess is astride the line and the bell or twos are sounded.

The championship is won by the team winning the most heats.

The finishing times will be recorded, and aggregate time will be used as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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