Diary: Day 3 – Changing Weather
Finally, the sun is shining again! The third day began with a clear sky for us and we were finally able to recharge our battery while driving. Due to our position of surrounding clouds and the clear sky above us we had up to 1100 watts of power coming from our solar cells. The atmosphere in the team was high! And all this despite the starting difficulties due to a loose cable in the morning. From the outside, everyone is always enthusiastic about how quickly and coordinated the technical team identifies a fault accurately and solves it in the shortest possible time.
From noon on, the weather was not at all playing along. The whole sky was cloudy and the sun couldn’t reach us. The forecasts for the next day are no better. We drive at minimum speed to conserve our batterie charge. The other teams in our field are similar: Principia, Stanford and Jusolarcar, all driving at minimum speed, the weather is bad for everyone. At this speed, it will be very hard to reach the next control stop in Alice Springs on time. That would be the end for us in Challenger Class.
The camp dismantling by the support team went much better the second time around. As the team was only able to leave the camp with a delay of 2.5 hours at the secondday and had to do some errands, it arrived at the camp site in the evening after 5 pm. The waiting time was bridged with a round of volleyball in the outback. Of course, there was a tasty meal, a Portuguese pea stew with chorizo and a lot of garlic. Unfortunately, the camp had to be set up in the dark or in the spotlight. Therefore, some announcements were made on the 2nd evening to make it easier for us to pack. It has worked! Just 20 minutes after the start of the Huawei Sonnenwagen, the rest of the convoy was able to set off this morning.
In the meantime, 15 teams have left the official competition and have to continue in the Adventure Class. We are now the only newcomer team that is still in the race. A great achievement! Tomorrow we have a critical day ahead of us. We are in a tight field with Principia Solar Car, Stanford and JUsolarteam, all of which are just camping a few kilometers away from us. However, our low battery charge level still worries us, as we have to continue driving at minimum speed and in the current cloud cover as we cannot drive solely from the sun’s energy. So it’s going tob e a close race reaching Alice Springs tomorrow. The atmosphere in the evening was correspondingly tense.
It remains exciting as always!