Hungarian reclaims Spaghetti Bridge title

It was a third try that proved to be lucky for Peter Sandor – or was it purely strategic pasta domination? Either way, the engineering student from Hungary’s College of Nyiregyhaza smiled from ear to ear as he hoisted the $1,500 cheque over his head.

Sandor was crowned the 2012 Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge Heavyweight champion on Friday afternoon in Kelowna. His bridge, which weighed in at 967 grams, held 384.06 kg before shattering in front of an auditorium packed with elementary, middle and secondary students, each with big pasta engineering dreams.

“The first year I came here my bridge was disqualified,” said a nervous Sandor, speaking just minutes before the bridge was put to the test by Engineering Technology instructors from Okanagan College. “Then last year my bridge came third. This year I am hoping to win.”

As the weight on the testing machine’s display surpassed milestones of 100 then 200 and then 300 kilograms, Sandor quieted the crowd, nervous that somehow their cheers could cause the bridge to falter.

It wasn’t a new world record for the competition -- that was set in 2006 by Sandor’s countrymen Norbert Pozsonyi and Aliz Totivan from Szechenyi Istvan University of Gyor, whose bridge held a staggering 443.58 kilograms before shattering – but it was enough to claim first prize and reclaim international bragging rights (last year’s contest was won by Jonathan Halbgwachs from Charles Bloom Secondary.)

Second place in the Heavyweight division was captured by Okanagan College’s team of Jordan Hipkiss and Joel Peters, students in the College’s Civil Engineering Technology program. Their bridge was 32 grams heavier than Sandor’s and held 129.13 kilograms.

Third place went to Cherryville’s Clayton Mazu – the youngest in the Heavyweight division and only competitor not in college. Mazu’s bridge held 127.41 kilograms.

In the secondary competition, where students are challenged to build a bridge that will hold one kilogram of weight for five minutes without failing, the lightest bridge to meet the challenge wins.

Top Secondary placings went to:

1st - Christien Issler from Charles Bloom Secondary (bridge weighed 173.45 grams)
2nd - Isaac Lengacher-Bergeron from KSS (bridge weighed 241.28 grams)
3rd - Kenedi Hurlburt from KSS (bridge weighed 254.88 grams)
4th - Mitchel Martell KSS (bridge weighed 266.73 grams)
5th - Christine Batke and Jason Kepler from Revelstoke Secondary School (bridge weighed 296.07 grams)

In the Secondary Team competition, winners were:

1st – Ty Walker, Colin Baker, Devon Hood, and Carson Mintram from OKM
2nd – Jonathan Halbgwachs from Charles Bloom Secondary
3rd - Julia Hudson, Lauren Ek, and Pascale D’Aoust from Skaha Lake Middle School