|Notre Dame Physics Balsa Bridge Building 2003-2004|
|Team #||Members||Mass Supported (kg)|
|120411||Lee **||Top third break||**|
|120412||Abeysekera/Sloan||Middle third break||41.6|
The 24th annual contest was held on a typical Vancouver partly cloudy May afternoon and evening. New to the contest this year was a large-screen display of the bridges as they underwent weight testing. Also new was an improved webcam feed featuring a 2-second smooth refresh. As matters turned out, the webcam feed provided a key clue to a failed server fan when the images turned intermittent around 7: 45 pm.
Although the winning entry came in a little lower than in recent contest years, there was much applause when Sonia Perrizolo's structure withstood a little over 110 kg to capture top spot, just ahead of Peter Fugiel's bridge. Surprising both himself and the crowd was Robert Tan, whose early afternoon entry came in with just over 100 kg.
As in years past, student volunteers, more than twenty of them, kept the contest on track. Luke Paone did a superb job leading his team of testers. The judging team of Nicola Liang, Trevor Tsang, Michelle Iorio and Tim Wan ensured that all entries met the contest requirements. When all was said and done just one entry was disqualified. Two other structures were on the verge of a DQ status but massive cutting and last minute gluing saved the day for their builders.
There was some agreement that this year's balsa supply was not of high quality. Perhaps after this many contests we are able to make some conclusions as to a possible "balsa cycle."
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