Punkin ‘Chunkin’ is back, attracting new competitors


CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) – The task is simple. Build a trebuchet, load a pumpkin, and let it fly into the St. Lawrence River.

Punkin ‘Chunkin’ has been a grand event for almost a decade in Clayton.

It is back this year after being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020.

For Nelson Spratt, a STEM professor and his students at Morristown Central, this was their first visit.

They took first place in the youth division.

“In two weeks we were able to get it to a launch phase, and we tested it once and it was Wednesday and it was supposed to be on the dock Thursday night,” Spratt said.

“I didn’t think it would go in the water to be honest, I didn’t think it would go very far,” said coed Hayleigh St. Germain.

Many participants have been involved for years, such as Larry Cupernall. His team’s catapult, the Incredible Chunk, sounds like the pumpkin is coming out of a cannon.

Cupernall says that last year he failed to put the thrill on the show.

“I’m pretty much like everyone in this country, we had to go out. You know, being locked up for a year is difficult, ”said Cupernall.

The Incredible Chunk has competition from its wharf neighbor, Rusted Redemption.

Creator Michael Hazlewood says his team love to stand out, but it’s more about ‘oh’ and ‘ah’.

” That’s what it’s about. It’s not about how far the pumpkin goes, it’s how much the crowd appreciates it, ”said Hazlewood.

A chance to bring home that go-big-or-gourd mentality.

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