Sarina State High School students Ray Penola, Wyatt Neil, Ryan Pietzner and Cody Sanewski with Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson.
Sarina State High School students Ray Penola, Wyatt Neil, Ryan Pietzner and Cody Sanewski with Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson.

Sarina State High secures national bragging rights

SARINA State High School has secured the top podium finish and bragging rights as their human powered vehicles won the junior boys race against schools from Bundaberg.

Sarina State High School guidance officer David Sanewski said the Human Powered Vehicle racing provided an excellent technology project and was fun for the students.

The event earlier this month focused on real world challenges around energy and transport.

He said the event "offers students opportunities to explore and address vehicle design, driving skills and vehicle and passenger safety issues."

Mr Sanewski said the race was an opportunity for schools and communities to work together and provided "an opportunity for women and girls to participate in what has traditionally been a male dominated area".

The impact of COVID-19 cancelled all other races in Australia and left Mackay as the only one.

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"The format of the race had to change as well with each student given 30 minutes to do as many laps as they could before the time was up," Mr Sanewski said.

"The HPVs then needed to be disinfected before a new driver could use the HPV."

The race's main challenge was the safety of the vehicles and whether they performed as expected.

"Another challenge is the health and fitness of the riders," Mr Sanewski said.

Some of the vehicles in the race.
Some of the vehicles in the race.

"It is a very physical event and the HPVs can get extremely hot and humid inside, especially on sunny days like the weekend's event.

"So dehydration can be an issue if it isn't monitored."

The race meant students had to overcome issues together such as vehicle breakdowns.

"Students need to work together in this type of event, especially when things happen like accidents or breakdowns to problem solve what they need to do to get racing again," Mr Sanewski said.

"They learn not to give up because even when they are losing, things can happen that change the outcomes of races very quickly.

"I thought the format this year was better than last year, and was more exciting for the students.

"There could be changes around timing or calculating positions but I thought the format this year was very successful."

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