slingfest 20152
Matthew Weyandt and Karl Weis

Imagine, if you will, driving down Spring Creek Parkway between Oak Point Nature Preserve and Collin College, rounding a corner between the winding hills, and coming face to face with a line of medieval war machines launching pumpkins as fast and as far as they could into an empty field…

For many Plano residents, there’s no need to imagine, as they brought front row seats to see the action up close. This past Sunday, DFW Trebuchet Society teamed up with to celebrate the 5th annual Slingfest, a “pumpkin chunkin” with formidable contenders who’ve spent days, weeks, and months preparing for an all-out showdown of champion-status physics and carpentry skills.

Eight machines total, with names like Frankenchet (last year’s “Best in Show”), Motherchunker, Not So Little Monster, and The Kracken displayed their diverse capabilities in five separate rounds: Distance, Accuracy, The Funky Fling, Crowd Favorite, and Builder’s Choice. One of the most popular rounds, The Funky Fling, allowed each of the teams to launch unusual items such as piggy banks, a full-size super hero mannequin, and a pumpkin with squid nailed to it (let it be noted that The Kracken was asked to launch this fragrant projectile first while builders and bystanders scrambled to move upwind).

A lively event from beginning to end, it didn’t seem to matter who won each round so long as the pumpkins launched and exploded on impact. With a VEX Robotics tent set up to pique the interests of both the young and old participants, a taco truck, and kid’s mini trebuchet competition, the family-oriented event drew a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Their biggest year yet, DFW Trebuchet Society and hope Slingfest will only continue to grow and expand in years to come. That, and Frankenchet is keen to reclaim the “Best in Show” title back from this year’s winner, Not So Little Monster.