Day 4: When our camp and car almost blew away

16 - 10 - 2019

It is day 4 of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and part 2 of our 1200 kilometer stage. Our destination of today was Coober Pedy, where we are allowed to charge externally.

The day we gave it our all

Today consisted of 2 stints. The first one was the 150 kilometers towards control stop Kulgera. From there it was only 400 km to Coober Pedy. Due to predicted bad weather (wind gusts up to 60 km/h) we drove our first stint with 1 person. After we had reached the control stop in Kulgera, we calculated that we had driven more efficiently than we thought and therefore we drove the last few hundred kilometers with 2 persons. Even though the strategy was determined last night, we were still very anxious to make it to Coober Pedy because it was not clear if we would run out of battery beforehand.

Fun fact: we have driven the whole day in the lead position and we have never been overtaken since Tennant Creek!

Withering weather conditions

Yesterday night during our team meeting, we suddenly got caught in a sandstorm. We all got up on our feet to protect Stella Era and secure our tents. We have never cleaned up our camp that quickly. Since the storm got very bad, we decided to put up an emergency night watch to make sure the camp was well protected.

Unfortunately, the strong winds caused the solar cars from Solar Team Twente and Sonnenwagen Aachen to be blown off the road. We feel devastated for these teams and we hope they may recover.

Current status

Of the 13 solar cars that started in the Cruiser Class, we are in top position. There’s two days to go in which we will drive the last 800 kilometers to Adelaide. We feel well prepared and tonight we will be charging our battery for the last ride home. Let’s get that Cruiser Cup and become fourth time World Champion!