Two Competitions, Two Weeks

Just wow. My brother is going to the same college as I am so my parents decided we can send the car out too. I agreed to drive it up, and on top of that I bargained to also go to US Nationals in Columbus, OH; and then the Canadian Open in Toronto, Canada.

The Journey

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I never realized how long it was until I talked to Weston Mizumoto on the end of the second day of driving. OVER 2500 miles!? Well whatever, went forward with it. They say “it’s the journey not the destination that matters.” Whoever said that probably didn’t road trip much, everyday was a zen struggle to remain calm, comfortable, and clear minded. I held that mindset until the final leg of the journey driving back from Toronto. Where, after nearly running out of gas (in Canada), I sustained myself through the entire drive on nothing but a box of Triscuits and a RedBull. Needless to say when I finally got out of the car at school, home away from home, I was pretty jittery. A quick run to the still open cafeteria fixed that.

The Competitions

They were AMAZING. US Nationals has never been so organized and smooth, they also were able to announce next year’s Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada! I do not yet know if I will be going or not, it seems like it will be pretty cheap though (and as some one brought up, if I need some money I can probably get by with cubing on the street with a hat out).  I did ok in the competition, I got a 25.77 OH average, and beat my former 5×5 single and 3×3 single! I got to meet two former world champions, Yu Nakajima and Breandon Vallance, two amazing cubers, Breandon even took the 3×3 event! I was witness to an interview with Nakajima, never encountered a more soft spoken and wise cuber, he had a lot to say, (albeit in Japanese). The competition finished well.

The Canadian Open was simply a new experience, I haven’t been out of the country in years and not to Canada in more than a decade.  Cultural differences aside the competition was very similar to US competitions. Only two days long I have never felt happier nor more sad in a competition. I finally got my official sub-15 3×3 average and on the other hand I didn’t make 4×4 cutoff. Didn’t make Square-1 cutoff either, but luckily registration fee was flat rate, not pay per event which racks up quickly if you’ve ever registered for Nationals. I don’t know when I’ll go back to Canada for a competition, perhaps if there are anymore 2 day competitions up there I could justify going.  Still, met my cubing goals of the summer with these two competitions and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The End (for now)

I have never cubed so much in preparation for competitions. I found out I can do averages of 50 OH and that I am certainly capable of sub-15/14. But right now I am worn out, I’ve been cubing straight since 2006 my longest break I can remember was about seven days. I am now taking more of a break, I’m not going to do any serious cubing until October. In that time you might see videos from other things I do, you might not. I’m not quitting, I already plan to be at the Indiana 2011,  just need to do some other things for awhile, that’s not cubing.

A Weekend in Speedcubing

There have been three competitions in the last two days one three different continents, included are several new records pushing the competition even further in the world of speedcubing. We’ll go in reverse order.

Chattahoochee Spring: Chris Hardwick (my cubing hero) is back setting the world records for solving big cubes blindfolded again. Now that Mayas Kuti is out of competition for a few years the Blindfolded events are going to see some major competition. Already the contest for the first official (and legal) sub-minute solve is under way, the closest person to it seeming to be Rowe Hessler, claiming an astounding 54.77 Blindfolded average of 12 last week. But until he gets to a competition, the record still stands at 1:00.62 set by Alexander Yu at Princeton last week.

Danish Open: There were no world records set at this competition, again now that Kuti is out, European competitions are going to be a little more saturated, as in a lot more National Records, less World Records. The only other thing which I find more funny about this competition is that former world record holder Erik Akkersdijk won everything except three events. Made me laugh anyway.

Osaka Open: This competition was filled with World Records, most significant being the World Record 3×3 average World Champion Yu Nakajima set at 11.33! His times (16.69) , 12.56, (10.46), 10.72, 10.71 are proof that he is capable of a sub-11 or possibly even a sub-10 average in a competition. Giving the best solvers on all continents a run for their money. Other World Records include Takayuki Ookusa‘s World Record single solve of 1:27.43 and his average of 1:35.04, which coincidently equals my personal best for the 4×4!

So that’s it for this weekend, until next time keep cubing!