Blog 4: More preparations and errands

Another busy day at the office albeit not your usual office stuff going on. All tech boxes had to be carefully packed so that anything needed during the challenge is for grabs. Bit like Marie Kondo-ing all the technical stuff.

The truck is starting to get packed as well with all the camping gear, loads of water, safety gear and what have you. Tomorrow another huge food delivery will be packed into the fridge so Master Chef Marnix can feed 40 people every day. Breakfast means lots of bread, cheese (of course!), jam and maybe some Nutella as well? Lunch is the same and has to be prepared during breakfast.

Over the past few weeks various recipes have been put to the test and the menu for during the challenge was voted on. Everything has to be prepared on 4 cooking stoves in huge pans and 2 frying pans. Will keep you posted on the menu!

Today the last car of the Solar Team Eindhoven convoy had to be picked up; the camper! A huge camper with luckily also a huge fridge will be our communication command center for the next few days. The tech guys quickly installed the required CB radio so we can communicate with the other cars, of course all according to the communication protocol.

Each team has its own channel that has be clearly marked on each car that is part of its convoy. This way teams can talk to each other when for example overtaking them so this can occur in a safe and controlled way. Hopefully we will be doing the overtaking or even better, hopefully we are in lead!
The camper also received some nice stickers that tells everybody how proud we are of our solar team so we spent some time putting those stickers on all sides of the camper. Luckily they will be easier to remove than put on.

Today professor Ton Backx also arrived in Darwin and went almost immediately to the team to greet them. Ton has been a loyal supporter of all 3 previous editions as well, travelling along with the team, working on the car as well when needed.

We also went to do some shopping, like getting parasols for the freshies/salties and one for Bart van Overbeeke, our photographer to provide them with some shade during the stops. Temperatures are expected to soar to a whopping 41 degrees in Katherine, one of our control stops.
Another necessary item was a headlight, when camping in the outback it obviously gets very dark (can’t wait to see to see the stars!) very early (at 18.42) so it is nice to be able to walk around and see where you are going although I am told there are not many snakes or other animals due to the noise we make (fingers crossed).

A few days ago two Australian film makers joined the team to shoot footage for a documentary of Stella Era’s road to the World Solar Challenge. They have been posting short video’s already which can be viewed at the STE YouTube channel. Simo and Mark are good fun too and fully enjoy being part of this team, are present at every event and test day and even enjoy the home cooked dinners.
Together with Bart they form the media team and are often racing past in order to climb hills or sit in ditches to get the best possible shots of Stella Era and the team. Bart’s beautiful pictures can be found on the STE Flickr page.

Tomorrow is another big day before the challenge starts, the time trials which will determine your starting position, STE is on last which is nice as we can see what the competition has done.

There is one more pre-challenge blog, might as well read them all!
Blog 5