It’s been a wild ryde to Maryborough for many of our teams this year, but maybe none more so than that of a school that hails from the North West suburbs of Sydney; Holy Cross College.

With storms, fire and cancelled flights, nothing appeared to go right for the seemingly ill-fated team as they ventured to central Victoria for their very first Energy Breakthrough.

But the team persisted; and with a little improvisation, dedication and team-work, they were kitted up and gridded up for the start of the 24-hour trial today.

The team kitted up and ready to go.

We spoke with team manager Ryan and student Luke to find out about the journey that led them 900 kilometres from a school in outer Sydney to a Human Powered Vehicle event in the small town of Maryborough, Victoria.

It started off with a challenge, a challenge to build a fully recycled, battery powered Energy Efficient Vehicle that would keep up with the seasoned teams and Breakthrough veterans of years gone by.

It seems the Energy Breakthrough is one bug you can’t recover from, with an ex-Victorian teacher with close ties to the event laying down this challenge.

If you’ve seen them around the track today, you’d know that they have met that challenge head on and then some. With a corflute exterior recycled from local political campaigns and wheels thrifted from a junk-pile on the side of the road, innovation was the name of the game.

Having scored a late entry, the team had little over three months to design, build and learn how to operate their new vehicle. Much of this time was spent on the design and construction of their vehicle, with training happening on two wheels and in gyms. As they geared up for their Friday night practice, the team finally got their first taste of experiencing the thrill that is the Energy Breakthrough.

There ought to be two Holy Cross College vehicles on the track this year, but a second vehicle’s journey to Maryborough was thwarted by flight delays and cancellations caused by the devastating fires in NSW that meant that only half their team has been able to make the journey.

This may have deterred others, but Ryde persisted, and at the time of publishing, were coming 11th overall and 6th in their category. Minor setbacks including a rolled vehicle have hampered their hopes of a top finish, but with over 12 hours of the race still left to go, there’s plenty of opportunity to make up for lost time.

Despite the setbacks, Ryde are enjoying every aspect of the incredible weekend we call the Energy Breakthrough and have no plans for this to be a one-time appearance.

We look forward to watching an incredible finish from Holy Cross College and all teams, and can’t wait to have you back next year, though perhaps without all the misadventure.