[11/03/09 - 10:51 AM]
Launch IT. Fling IT. Hurl IT. Chunk IT. Science Channel's Punkin Chunkin Returns for More High-Flying Action on Thanksgiving Day
Zach Selwyn and Mike Senese host the event, now in its 24th year.

[via press release from Science Channel]


-- All New PUNKIN CHUNKIN Special Hosted by Zach Selwyn and Mike Senese World Premieres Thursday, November 26 at 8 PM (ET/PT) --

(Silver Spring, MD) � Along with the traditional possibilities, from carving and decorating to delicious pie making, pumpkins take on an alternative fall identity as high-flying projectiles in Science Channel's second annual Thanksgiving Day PUNKIN CHUNKIN. Fresh off last year's explosive premiere, Science Channel is expanding its high-definition coverage of the Delaware-based World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) competition to two thrilling, fun-filled hours on Thursday, November 26, 2009, with the all-new THE ROAD TO PUNKIN CHUNKIN at 8 PM (ET/PT) and PUNKIN CHUNKIN 2009 at 9 PM (ET/PT).

The 24th consecutive year of competition is sure to be as intense as ever as teams across the country descend upon Delaware in hopes of capturing championship glory and possibly achieving the holy grail of Punkin Chunkin: launching a pumpkin one mile. Intense drama has been building since last year, when Young Glory III set a new world record with a 4,483.51 foot chunk. Can the team modify their machine to blast a pumpkin the extra 800 feet? Will Chunk-N-Ology, Emancipator, Ozone Blaster or another rival air cannon emerge to take the world record and possibly the one mile mark?

As teams prepared for this year's WCPCA event, Science Channel sent hosts Zach Selwyn and Mike Senese � of CATCH IT, KEEP IT fame � to the center of the action as teams engineered bigger and stronger air cannons, trebuchets, torsion machines, catapults or centrifuge machines. THE ROAD TO PUNKIN CHUNKIN brings viewers an "inside chunkin" look at what it really takes to compete in the world championships in Delaware. The all-new one hour special captures the high pressure blowups, breakdowns and sparks throughout the journey for chunkin glory. Selwyn and Senese explored the headquarters of select teams from Denver, Colo. to Greenfield, N.H. and Cary, N.C. to reveal the secrets of how they triumphed in past competitions, as well as what they have planned for the 2009 competition. With the coveted mile-mark and famed chunkin trophy on the line, teams will stop at nothing to go higher, farther, and faster than ever before.

PUNKIN CHUNKIN 2009, also hosted by Selwyn and Senese, takes viewers behind the firing lines of the 2009 WCPCA event. From the mechanics of trebuchets and air cannons to determining the perfect pumpkin's mass, Science Channel examines every scientific angle of the competition including how teams factor in wind speed, pitch and launch elevation to get the best chunk possible. Selwyn and Senese scour the three-day event, providing chunk-by-chunk perspective and tracking the results of the 110 competitors from 20 states in this year's competition. The duo also lends their engineering knowledge to break down teams' efforts, as well as interview team members and several boisterous fans.

"Science Channel's PUNKIN CHUNKIN celebrates (one of the few pieces of) Americana that is truly steeped in engineering and science," said Clark Bunting, president and general manager, Discovery's Emerging Networks. "We're excited to again spotlight the incredible talents and mechanical ingenuity of the competitors who build these astonishing machines."

Visitors to sciencechannel.com/punkinchunkin will find exclusive video tours of some of the best machines with commentary from team members, as well as a unique look at the other events � chili cook-off, beauty contest, concerts, etc. � happening throughout the Punkin Chunkin weekend. The website also will feature exclusive interviews with select contestants, judges and spectators; quizzes and puzzles; photos and biographical information about some of the top teams; information on the rules and history of Punkin Chunkin; and exclusive, behind-the-scenes video from all three days of the competition.

PUNKIN CHUNKIN is produced by Sharp Entertainment. Matt Sharp is executive producer for Sharp Entertainment. For Science Channel, Michael Sorensen is executive producer, Debbie Myers is general manager and Clark Bunting is president, Discovery Emerging Networks.

About The WCPCA

WCPCA is a non-profit association started in 1986 that benefits the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Childhelp� organizations. Since 1986, Sussex County, Delaware has been home to the annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships�a three-day festival where hardcore engineers and backyard tinkerers trailer their gigantic, homebuilt contraptions with one common goal: to launch eight to ten pound pumpkins as far as mechanically possible. The competition is divided into seven categories defined by the type of machine used�motorized, centrifugal spinners, and the mighty air cannons. Bringing the sport of pumpkin hurling to ever greater distances of chunkin, the heated competitions have created a current world record of 4,483 feet, approximately 800 feet short of a mile. Could this be the year that one team hits the coveted one-mile mark and is crowned the greatest chunker ever?

About Zach Selwyn

Zach Selwyn is a television host, actor, writer and singer-songwriter. Selwyn entered the hosting arena in 2004 after besting over 20,000 contestants to become a finalist on ESPN's SportsCenter competition show "Dream Job." He has worked on many hit cable series including ESPN's Around the Horn, GSN's Extreme Dodgeball and G4's Attack of the Show and has appeared on HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival, That �70s Show and Stargate: Atlantis. Zach also has a strong musical background, including playing with his band Zachariah and the Los Lobos Riders, which has collaborated with artists like Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas. His web video "White People Problems" became the highest rated and most viewed video on Atom.com to date in April 2009.

About Mike Senese

Ever since his dad taught him how to use a power drill at age three, Mike Senese has never met a piece of machinery he wasn't dying to take apart. Graduating from remote control vehicles to robotics to reviving a 39-foot, 26-ton 1963 caboose, he immersed himself into the dynamic worlds of physics, electronics and mechanical engineering. At 16, he spent his first summer abroad, promoting public health by constructing latrines in the Ecuadorian Andes. A few years later, he rebuilt his 1973 Land Rover bumper to bumper so he could use it to explore the Arizona desert. As the science co-host of Fuse TV's "Rock and Roll Acid Test," Mike applied technical know-how to challenge the most extreme urban legends of rock music. Prior to that, he was based in San Francisco working at Wired and ReadyMade magazines. An accomplished guitarist and fair-to-midlin' drummer, Mike is also the co-founder of the record label Sneakmove.com.

About Science Channel

Science Channel, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is broadcast 24 hours a day and seven days a week to more than 57 million U.S. homes and simulcast on Science Channel HD. We immerse viewers in the incredible possibilities of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions. We take things apart, peer inside and put things together in new and unexpected ways. We celebrate the trials, errors and brinking moments that change our lives forever. To find out more go to sciencechannel.com.

  [november 2009]  

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