NZ Nationals Final Day!

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Today was the 3rd and final day of the 2012 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship, and the Kiwi teams definitely raised the bar! Teams battled hard in the remaining qualification rounds during the morning session, with 24 highly competitive robots moving through to the elimination rounds.

The final was eventually played between the 1st and 3rd ranked alliances. The red alliance, made up of 720P (aMAX), 2921 (Free Range Robotics) and 2911A (Binary Blitz), faced off with the blue alliance made up entirely of Lynfield College Robotics teams – 2915A, 2915B and 2915S.

The final proved to be an extremely intense affair, with the first match resulting in a 26-all tie, surprising many who had thought that the red alliance had locked in the win. The second match turned that expectation on its head, with the blue alliance winning by a substantial margin, with 2915S playing who was at his first NZ Nationals ever. The intensity continued in the third match, but the Lynfield blue alliance was able to carry through the momentum gained in their previous match. They were crowned the 2012 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Champions. Lynfield College’s 2915A also set a highly impressive Robot Skills score of 41 and they were awarded the Robot Skills Champions, as well as 2915C scoring 26 in Programming Skills. Finally, 2915A was also awarded the Excellence Award, rounding off a very successful 2011-2012 campaign. Congratulations to Lynfield College for a very successful performance at nationals, with all four teams qualified for worlds!

We would like to extend our congratulations to the high school teams that AURA mentor. 2908B (Mount Albert Grammar School) reached the elimination rounds with rookie members who started this season with no experience. Avondale College contested the finals, and while they were unlucky not to come away with the win, they were awarded the Programming Skills Championship posting a skills score of 28. Baradene College (2944) were given the Energy Award, and kept up the energy by shouting and screaming all the way through the elimination rounds, never tiring.

Commiserations to (some of) our friends from 2941 (Oats Vexmen) who had a tough draw through the qualification rounds and just got unlucky in the semi-finals, 2919 (K-Force) who gave it their all but just couldn’t quite overcome the other elite teams in the competition, 2900 (SymbiOHSis) who got quite far in the elimination rounds, 2931 (Prime Robotics) for giving it a good shot (but still came away with the Middle School Excellence Award!) and of course 2921, 2921B and 720p who were bested in the elimination rounds and finals (although they still hold worlds qualifications from the Robot World Cup and 2921’s Design Award so we are excited to see them joining us!).

While it has been a busy 3 days, AURA has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering and seeing the best New Zealand VEX robotics teams battle it out. A big thank you to our fellow volunteers from Massey University (MESS) and Manukau Institute of Technology (MITE). And a very big thank you to Johan Potgieter, Maurice Tipene and Chris Hamling, who have worked tirelessly to organise a well-run event.

Photos will be up on our flickr soon (some time this week), and we’re also working on getting video ready-to-watch on our youtube channel (but will get some sleep first).

It’s around 6 weeks till the World Championship and we cannot wait to see our New Zealand teams in action against the best that the international VEX community has to offer! Congratulations again to the winning teams who have qualified for Worlds, and to all the New Zealand teams, we look forward to seeing you and working with you in the 2012/2013 season. All the very best!