Rayce Day 7: In to Canada!

We started out this morning about 40 miles south of Grand Forks, ND. The morning was cloudy, so we got very little power going in to the pack. However, due to a conservative strategy yesterday and a great evening charge last night, we were able to run fairly quickly. In the late morning, we managed to pass FH Bochum and Waterloo, the two teams directly ahead of us in the overall standings!

The passage in to Canada was a breeze, partly in thanks to our scout vehicle, who went ahead and ensured that everything was in order before the solar car got there. In under 5 minutes, the entire caravan was through customs and in to Canada. The drive through Manitoba was uneventful, and we ran through at a constant speed the entire way. Fortunately, our navigator had a conversion table for speeds handy, so the solar car driver (who's speedometer is only in MPH) had little trouble interpreting the speed limits.


We arrived in Winnipeg at about 3:00PM, 2.5 hours behind Michigan, 1.5 hours behind Principia, 10 minutes ahead of Waterloo, and about 1 hour ahead of FH Bochum. Surprisingly (partially due to bad weather), these teams are the only ones that arrived in Winnipeg under their own power; the rest of the field was forced to trailer to avoid large penalties for being late to a stage stop. As things stand now, the top 5 positions are unchanged, but the time intervals have moved around a bit. It should be interesting to see how the teams (all of whom have very different design approaches) fare in the next leg of the race, which is the longest yet. The trick from here to Medicine Hat will be to simply keep going; a team must average 25MPH for the next 18 hours of driving in order to complete the stage on time, so reliability (which our car has plenty of) will be key.

As a member of the team, it's difficult to think that we only have three more days of racing before the season is all over. It seems like we've been doing this (raycing, that is) forever, and each day seems more and more like a routine running of the solar car on a weekend back home. I suppose this is a testament to how much testing we have done before the race. It's odd to think that we will only have to wake up heinously early three more times to charge the solar car before it's time to go back to the drawing boards and start this amazing adventure all over again.

--David Towey
Crew Chief

July 19, 2008



It was great to read this latest report of the steady pace you were able to maintain to Winnipeg. Keep up the great work and we look forward to your next report of the travels through Canada, Eh?

Posted by: Roger C. | July 20, 2008 6:43 AM

Thanks so much for such a wonderful update of the race! Those of us following the race from a distance really appreciate you taking the time to write these updates.

Posted by: Doug Carroll | July 20, 2008 7:18 AM

Way to go Minnesota!! Good luck in the next leg and remainder of the race!! We check the updates daily and love to hear all that's going on and check out the pics. As always, keep safe & stay healthy!!

Posted by: Buck & Dede | July 20, 2008 10:46 AM

Great news! Good for you on the efficient border crossing. Don't think ahead to the solar car withdrawal you'll soon be experiencing. Focus on enjoying these moments in the sun! Wish we could be in Calgary, cheering you across the finish line. Be well!

Posted by: Jeanne LaMoore | July 20, 2008 2:10 PM

This comment is really from Hanna and Sydney, who have not been able to get a comment to post. We saw your car in Omaha! Go Gophers!

Posted by: Jan | July 20, 2008 6:58 PM

Hey Gopher Friends and Family -
Has anyone heard from the team? 
I'm guessing that they were without internet access last night, since there is no posting from them. Did any of them phone home, or are they all, like my son, without cell phone coverage? Thanks for any news!

Posted by: Jan Coffey | July 21, 2008 6:42 AM