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Energy Breakthrough

10 Years of Torque’n

Catholic College Bendigo celebrated a milestone at the RACV Energy Breakthrough in 2016, competing for the 10th consecutive year.

Three teams were entered in the event, with students from Years 7-12 representing our College. Four terms worth of hard work was on show from Friday 18 November, with our teams presenting to judging panels and discussing our program. Keep Torque’n, our Years 7 & 8 team captained by Emily Cook, played host to their judges in a mock restaurant while Stop Torque’n, our VCE team, straightened their seats and lifted their tray tables playing a mock cabin crew. Fast Torque, our Open team named in recognition of our first vehicle from 2007 and captained by Kane Shelton, took the judges on a stroll down memory lane, reviewing our program’s developments and growth.

The Design and Construction element of the event allowed our students to showcase something that many schools cannot; 100% student built vehicles. VCE Team captain, Gary Egan, had his VCE Design & Technology folio as a talking point, with the final product being a race chassis. Student engineered fairings were also a highlight, with our teams discussing the finer points of composite materials and how to use them to create durable, safe and aerodynamic vehicles. Our junior team spoke very well on the design, construction and modification process, winning this section for their category. With the teams through the two most important elements of the day, the teams prepped for the night qualifying session. Unfortunately, this session was cut short, but allowed our teams a final tune up before the big race.

Squad captain, Meg Patterson, called the teams in prior to the start for some final motivation and urged the team to ride clean and fast. When the clock hit 1pm Saturday, it was all systems go for the 24-Hour race, with Fast Torque getting away to a sneaky flying start. As per tradition, the opening rider position is given to a team member in recognition for their contribution throughout the year. Max Heizer had the privilege of the first ride in Fast Torque, having been gifted the position from team vice-captain, Mason Clarke. William Rodda and Gary Egan had the starts for Keep Torque’n and Stop Torque’n respectively. The teams soon locked into their rider rotations while the support crew hit overdrive, maintaining the vehicles and keeping the riders hydrated and fed. As the sun set, all three teams were lapping well and moving toward the top end of their categories. Sometimes things can go wrong, but the few mechanical issues overnight were dealt with quickly. Fatigue was setting in as the race was approaching the end, but some heroic riding and personal sacrifices ensured that all three teams were in a great position as they crossed the line. As per the selection for the opening ride, being on the pedals at the conclusion is also a massive team honor. Emily Patterson held strong for Stop Torque’n, Emily Cook kept it rolling in Keep Torque’n and Kane Shelton flexed some muscle at the wheel of Fast Torque. The teams finished well in each aspect of the event and all members of the squad can hold their heads high, with pride and satisfaction in knowing that they gave it their all.

As always, we were overwhelmed with the support from former squad members, with 11 past CCB participants returning to offer advice, support and assistance to the team. We even saw one of the original 2007 team shirts! Our parent community must also be acknowledged for their hours of work and support, prior to and at the event. Without the assistance of so many, our weekend would not run as smoothly as it does.

There is no event quite like this one, when it comes to engaging so many elements of our school community. Participation would also not be possible without the extra support received from Grill’d Bendigo, The Y Foundation and Bunnings Epsom. Through interaction and association with these partners, our team was able to innovate and develop vehicles that we would not have been able to otherwise. There are not enough thank-you cards at the newsagent to do justice to how appreciative our students are of the time and gifts shared by the staff who support the program. Throughout the year, our staff team has been instrumental in organizing training, the upkeep of vehicles, construction of new parts, logistical arrangements and motivating the teams. Their skills and talents are an enormous asset to our squad. Over the race weekend, we had the assistance and support of some amazing staff, all who willingly gave up their time and went into overdrive to keep the team running smoothly. So a huge thank you goes to Mr Tim Bailey, Mr Rohan Bowles, Mrs Amanda Leonard-Shannon, Miss Jessica O’Brien, Ms Kate Verbeek, Mrs Louise Richardson, Mrs Maree Pearce, Miss Kylie Henriksen and Mr Colin Hogan.

With 10 years of racing now behind us, 2017 is shaping up to be huge. But before we get too far into that, we might just let our legs relax for a little while.


Keep Torque'n (7/8): Design & Construction: 1st, Presentation: 9th, 24hr race: 6th, Category result: 6th  

Stop Torque'n (VCE): Design & Construction: 3rd, Presentation: 10th, 24hr race: 2nd, Category result: 3rd  

Fast Torque (Open): Design & Construction: 11th, Presentation: 5th, 24hr race: 5th, Category result: 3rd