Central Ontario VRC Qualifying Event Champions

On Wednesday, the team made the trip from Hamilton to Barrie for the Central Ontario VRC Qualifier, with hopes of qualifying for the Provincial Tournament on February 25th. To do that we would have to either win the Excellence Award, awarded to the top overall team at the tournament, or win the elimination rounds.

Our day started off early as we arrived at 8:00 sharp, giving us lots of time to prepare for our eight qualification matches that would later start at 9:20. Our matches started well apart from an unfortunate loss early on after misjudging our opponents capabilities and not accounting for their high hang. Our performance only improved until poor luck landed us scheduled against the future finalists of the tournament, the sister teams 211W and 211Z, Team Winston from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. It was a close back and forth match until our motors overheated near the end, unfortunately ending our chances of victory. Immediately after though, the team demonstrated their quick thinking skills and due to the modular motor system in place on the drive train, we were able to replace all the motors with ones set to a higher torque (which would be less likely to overheat) before our next match. We finished smoothly, winning every match after and finishing 6-2, and seeded 4th overall.

After discovering that 211W and 211Z, the two teams we narrowly lost to earlier were planning on joining forces for the elimination rounds, we teamed up with 1241K, Theory 6 from Rick Hansen Secondary School and one of Team Winston’s own teams, 211S.

As one of the two teams in the tournament that could high hang, and the fastest by far, we easily swept the quarter finals 2-0, even without our high hang advantage. The semi-finals proved to be much more challenging. We faced the only other team that could hang in the tournament but due to their design they took almost fifteen times as long as us to elevate themselves fully. As such, near the end of the match when they left to go hang for bonus points, we were able to easily create a large lead with the help of our alliance partner and then elevate ourselves, winning us the match by a large margin. During the second match however, our robot tipped right after the end of the autonomous period, leaving our alliance partner to fight by themselves, and forcing a deciding third match. In the third match we kept a large lead until the last 40 seconds or so, where due to some unfortunate positioning we tipped again! We thought this was going to be the end of our Barrie elimination run, but our alliance partner managed to throw a cube from our high zone to our opponents to win us the match and the semi-finals 2-1!

We advanced to the finals with the hope of beating the only remaining alliance, our old opponents 211W and 211Z, to win the tournament. Luckily for us, we had solved our technical difficulties and won the finals with relative ease 2-0, winning us the tournament and qualifying us for the Provincial Championships on February 25th!

The team also competed in the skills competition in Barrie, with the intent of winning the Skills award, which is awarded to the team with the highest combined score of Driver and Programming Skills. All of the hard work the team put into the robot paid off, as we had a combined skills score of 70, winning us the Skills Award by a margin of almost 30 points! This score ranked us 58th in the world, and the top 50 teams at the beginning of March qualify for the World Championship!