The first of the qualifying competitions in NZ was held today at Massey University, with 33 teams competing from across the North Island including teams from Masterton, Palmerston North, and Katikati – one team even travelled all the way from California in the US just to compete in our regional competition. AURA had several members attend today, including mentors for K-Force (Andrew) and Lynfield (Vincent) teams as well as spectators (ex-Avondale crew) picking up fresh ideas for our own robots, to be constructed in January/February next year.
With 65 qualifying matches, the competition was intense and SPs played a large factor in determining the final positions of teams. Team tactics also played a massive role for many teams, with nerves running high for alliance selections. Many teams who hadn’t expected to be chosen were surprised to find that they were third teams chosen for elimination alliances. Lots of low and high hangers today earned heaps of points, as well as some high-scoring autonomous periods impressing the spectators. Semi-final match 1-1 ended with almost all of the goals under the ladder, out of reach of both alliances.
The finals saw a showdown between some of the best teams in the Auckland Region – Onehunga B, Free Range C, and Onehunga A were the first ranked alliance against second ranked Lynfield A, Free Range B, and Lynfield C in a battle that really could have gone either way. At the end of the day, the Lynfield-Home School Alliance broke through with a 2-1 victory, earning them qualification to the World Champs in Orlando, Florida next year. Additionally, Free Range C took out both driver and programming skills challenges, giving them a total of three qualified robots to defend their World Champion title. Finally, Onehunga A was awarded the Excellence award, which also secures them a position at the World Champs.
Congrats to all qualifying teams, and hard luck to those that didn’t quite make it. Hopefully we’ll see all of you again (with our robots too) at the National Champs in March!