Dark Horses’ team preparation for 2017 RACV Energy Breakthrough

I participate in a sport called HPV, which stands for Human Powered Vehicles. HPV is a sport similar to cycling where we race recumbent tricycles.

We are a team of seven secondary school students, and one of the few all-girls teams that compete. My team is called Dark Horses, and we race under the banner of E.D.E.C. (Emerald and District Educational Community).

Right now, we are in preparation for the 2017 RACV Energy Breakthrough race at Maryborough, which will be held from the 23rd of November until the 25th of November. We will be participating in three races: the obstacle course, a time-trail sprint and an 8-hour endurance race. Alongside these physical events, we will also be participating in a display and presentation and a design and construction section. At the RACV Energy Breakthrough event, we gain and show awareness of environmental sustainability issues.

Each team member seeks sponsorship to enable our team to enter this event. This year Emerald Community House have agreed to support my team at Maryborough and we are very thankful for their contribution again.

As part of our preparation, my team has competed in several races as part of the Victorian series, as well as some members travelling interstate for races. To prepare for the Design & Construction and the Scrutineering aspect of the event, each week our team gets together to practice our speeches for each of the different components, as well as test our knowledge of all the areas required. These include; the environment, nutrition, safety, cart maintenance, sponsorship, history, training and race rules. This makes sure every member of the team is able to talk to the judges about the ins and outs of the cart’s features, the safety features, how we’ve trained for the race events, and discuss our knowledge of the race rules and the environment.

For the three racing events, our team has spent the last month in preparation for the sprint and obstacle, and the past year building up our fitness for the endurance race. Every week, we practice racing around a short circuit in Pakenham, where we practice tight turns, overtaking and quick rider changeovers. Alongside our weekly training sessions at Casey Fields, some of us also take spin classes at our local gym to prepare for the endurance race.

This will be the fourth consecutive year we have competed at Maryborough as an all-girls’ team, and the very first year there will be an all-girls category. We hope to take home the title this year and continue to compete at other races.

Wish us luck!