Lily Eiseman, Team Manager Wombat Warriors
I can tell you right now that the Wombat Warriors are currently still over the moon after the competition.
The whole trip has been a wonderful experience. The following is a summary of our experience.
It was a great day on Monday after visiting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and St Mary’s Cathedral. These were both fantastic insights into the rich culture of Coventry. But after this lovely visit, it all began.
This started with a very intense two hour set up of the pit display and it became even more intense because the walls for the Wombat Warriors needed to be flat for the display to look its best but we had a pipe sticking out and then there was a wall jutting out (OH NO!), but to put your minds at ease, the guys at the competition were apologetic and even awarded the team an extra 25 minutes to set up the display. Guess what, we finished with three minutes to spare! (Phew!)
After this, we had a delicious dinner which also involved getting to know the teams. A whole 21 teams is a lot of people to meet but each and every person I met was lovely. To cap off the night we spent a few hours (of which Mr Ferdinand’s, one of our supporting teachers/schools deputy, fell asleep) polishing off the finishing touches to our judging elements.
And then, it begun. We awoke the next day and were ready to kick some serious butt (no one was hurt during the duration of the competition, we promise). To start off the day, we saw the insanely amazing three part track. This consisted of the two new Evoke Range Rovers that we had to drive over, across and between, (holy flippin’ whaaaat! I know, that’s how I felt too).
Next was the pit display judging where we could show off all the amazing hard work Taj put into the layout and artwork. (another huge thank you to Pauline for her incredible effort in mentoring Taj in graphic design).
Engineering was knocked out of the park, the three engineering boys (Grayson, Kienan and Marcus), ended up going over time because the judges were so impressed with the amount of time, effort and innovative thinking that had gone into the design of the vehicle.
After the engineering judging was the track and trailer tow. This was especially nerve wracking for Grayson and the previous members of the 2015 World Final Wombat Warriors team because we hadn’t had a working vehicle previously. But we smashed the first two parts of the track with no faults, including being the first team of the day to make it across the 3 metre wire bridge connecting the two Range Rovers.
During the third course, we had a steering arm breakage but that didn’t stop Grayson from finishing the track and you will never believe what he did. Instead of giving up, he began to drive the vehicle backwards over the final two obstacles with no time to spare!! (WHAT THE HECK!) I know, it’s pretty dang crazy and the video of the track is on our facebook page.)
Because of the breakage, we did have to use the competition vehicle but Grayson still smashed it out, managing to not touch a single line. This left our team on a complete high and ready for the verbal presentation.
And it was a hit with the judges! They even commented that they were so impressed with our achievements and also that they were refreshed with something new to see. (score!!) And that was it, we had finished the final judging element for the Wombat Warriors, all that was left was the awards dinner which was the final judgement of the winner for the 2016 World Finals.
And there we were, chocking down dinner into nervous stomachs, wondering who had taken out the competition for 2016. The first awards were given out and we one the “Best Verbal Presentation”. Then came dessert, and although it looked delicious, I know I couldn’t touch it because I was freaking out.
And then the time had come. It was time to announce the top three of the competition for 2016. In third place, Rover K from Portugal! In second place, from Australia, Zircon! Finally, the winners of the 2016 World Finals for the 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge, supported by Jaguar Land Rover and many other business, all the way from a country across the sea, they have traveled far and wide to be here today and it has paid off, from Australia, the Wombat Warriors!
And wow it was worth it, to call ourselves the World Champions even if its only for one year, we won one of the biggest competitions in our school. Thank you to each and every one of our supporters as you have all helped us out in a special way. We capped off the journey at Ricoh Arena with a JLR Solihull visit and a Wasps tour which were both very insightful.
Thursday morning, we packed up our gear still feeling the highs of Tuesday and we were rewarded with a visit to Silverstone where we toured some of their facilities, thank you so much to the F1 in Schools organisers for this opportunity!
We finished off the night in Bath and travelled back the next day to Warwick Castle where we have learnt to sword fight. The Castle Dungeon Tour and walking around the top of the castle was amazing.
And now it is Saturday morning and I have just shoved my face with some off the fine delicacies in the all you can eat buffet! And very soon we shall be off into the heart of London! Wish us luck on the two hour journey back!
But if you wish to see some of the awesome photos we’ve taken in super amazing places, check out our facebook page –
Thank you to all those who helped us get here and become world Champions.