My hopes of providing a smooth and trouble-free contest were very quickly brought down to earth, when ead discovered a bug in the contest level that made it impossible to get past the boat stage! However, this was quickly fixed (phew!) and the bridge building could begin in earnest.
This time around we had 18 clean entries, 6 dirty entries and 9 artistic, making a grand total of 33 legal entries. Also there were 13 additional entries, two of which were disqualifications.
I think the rise in entries was largely due to the new and improved prize distribution scheme, for which Guilderoy deserves the credit for his original suggestion. Many of the submitted bridges were from new contestants, and I sincerely hope they all had so much fun that they'll participate in future contests too!
The 'clean' and 'dirty' rules seemed to work out pretty well, and I feel I should point out that the idea for flat deck + hydraulics vs arched deck and no hydraulics was not my own - credit for this belongs to ead for a suggestion he made in the forums.
When I made the rules page, I forgot to disallow supporting clean bridges at places other than the anchors as I had intended. When this point was raised, I amended the rules - and got quite correctly told off by Zoltan in the forums! Of course once the rules have been published they should never be changed - at the time I thought I was doing the right thing, but I realise now this was a mistake, for which I apologise sincerely. Future contest hosts take note!
As always, any feedback on the contest is welcome. Please post your thoughts in this forum thread.
Each of the winners will get an eternal place in the Hall Of Fame.
The bridge cost discussion forum is no longer password-protected until the next contest starts.
For your reference, the rules/prizes page and the contest level file can still be found here.
But that's quite enough from me - Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present some of the greatest bridges the world has ever seen! :-)