The biggest reason was that they changed the rules without notifying us until the last minute. Our plan was to show the batch box with some enhancements in a masonry heater type installation, similar to our castle builds. This setup weighted over 3000 lbs. but we could put it together in a day.
They told us less than a month away that we would not be allowed to do any on-site construction. The unit needed to arrive on a pallet ready to go. In order to transport this 7 ft, 2 ton monsters we tried and considered everything. We purchased special vibration pads, built a custom pallet, and even assembled the unit without mortar.. In the end we ran out of time to solve the problem. We most bitterly were forced to withdraw.
The organizers did acknowledge that they had made a mistake. They informed the other 4 masonry stove people but did not send out the rules to all contestants and thus we were never informed, because they assumed we were not doing a masonry style heater.
We did have a fair amount of difficulty with the batch box. It is a sensitive thing. Changing something can send the box into a nose dive, so trying to get the exact box parameters along with the crazy requirement to show up 3000 miles away with our masonry stove all prebuilt was a bridge too far. In retrospect I wish I would have argued my case to bring the castle build, the other entry we submitted, since they messed up on the notice. But we were so bummed and exhausted about it all, we were not thinking clear enough. The j-tube castle was smaller and easier to deal with.
We worked 12/14 hour days for weeks on it, so, disappointment doesn't begin to cover it.