Both Year 9 and 7 teams can be very proud of their performances in the recent National Championships held at UNSW.
Our Year 9 team qualified for the event by placing second in the State Championships while our Year 7 team scored a ‘wildcard’ entry due to a late withdrawal by a couple of overseas teams from Spain and Portugal.
From Day 1 of the Championships it was clear that our Year 9 car ‘Bullet’ was slightly off the pace of the top cars. The team worked overtime to try and work out how to get a little more from their car but ultimately qualified 16th out of 32 cars for the Day 2 racing.
The boys were quite disappointed as they had worked so hard to come up with a car that was unique in both design and construction. The process of constructing their carbon fibre car from scratch was a great learning experience and that is what is most important about this event. It is not just about the racing.
Our Year 7 team had only two days notice to get their car together. Both Year 7 and 8 cars had been stripped down for parts and only the chassis remained of each. On top of that only two of the four team members were available for the two day event which meant the boys were starting behind the eight ball.
Despite this Peter and Jermaine worked tirelessly to get their car ready for the Day 1 Time Trials. It was a credit to both of them that they were ranked 24th after the conclusion of Day 1.
Day 2 was all about the racing. Both teams worked hard overnight to make last minute changes to their cars in order to compete with the top cars. The scrutineering process ensured all competitors met with the required criteria for racing and then we were on our way. There was time for a group photo before the knockout rounds began.
Our Year 7 team was eliminated quickly in Round 1 having to face a much faster car due to their Day 1 ranking. The Year 9 team had a scare losing their first race before winning the next two to win their Round 1 event 2-1. They had successfully adjusted their gearing to maximise their speed and were hopeful of progressing further.
Unfortunately Round 2 saw them come up against the team that won last year’s event. This team also eliminated us in the same round last year. While competitive the team was unable to get Bullet up to the speed of ‘Turbo 2’ and had to bow out of the competition.
There was a time for reflection as the other cars progressed through the rounds until the boys from South Strathfield took out the final.
The boys talked about their design, the electrics, gearing, motor testing and on and on it went with many ideas thrown around about 2015. I know all teams will be back in 2015 to once again challenge for the title of Sunsprint Champions.
It was great to see the team from Taiwan competing once again. Hopefully the other overseas teams will be able to attend next year and give the event a true international flavour. The Taiwan guys were keen to spend some time with our boys and learn more about the carbon fibre process.
The weekend was once again a wonderful occasion and a tribute to the many volunteers who work so hard to provide an avenue for some of our smartest young minds to flourish. Special thanks to Mike from Coogee Kite Magic who gives so much of his time to make both the National and State events happen.