We had an incredibly early start this morning, as we lugged every single piece of our booth down lifts and stairs with every other team. There was a quick F1 breakfast, and then we all boarded the coaches to head off to Ferrari World.
We arrived at the basement entrance to the massive park, and headed up through a labyrinth of tunnels ‘behind the scenes’ of Ferrari World. We emerged in the middle of the park, and the sight was spectacular! The scene was so peaceful, with a ceiling towering over 50 metres above us, and, as the park was not yet open to the public, there was an immense amount of space and freedom. For the next 3 hours, the park was ours, and ours only!
Once all the teams arrived, we commenced the booth setup at 8:30am. The competition is very strict on the setup of our booths. Only the 6 team members are permitted to do anything to the booth, and they are given 2 hours to do so. The team pushed, but made it with time to spare, and the booth looked amazing!
We then managed to have several hours of free time. We were able to use the entire park without the public present until 11 am. The team took advantage of this and rode the Go-Karts and explored the park in it’s awe-inspiring ’emptiness’. Following this, we proceeded to the opening ceremony at 1pm. This event was beautifully set up in the Ferrari World Red Theatre, and several Emirati VIP’s, UK VIP’s and other national VIP’s were in attendance. Steve Nevvy, a Sky News commentator, presented the ceremony. We were also given the opportunity of meeting Mr Pablo Kang (the Australian Ambassador to the UAE and Qatar) with the other two Australian teams. It was great to make a connection with an Australian figure-head when representing the nation overseas.
In the afternoon, the team was scheduled to carry out our engineering interview. This is an interview between all of the team members and two judges, who ask them technical questions about the car designs. The team presents their statements and information, and the judges intervene and ask respective questions throughout. This could include details on computer design, manufacturing, testing and other technical elements. The night before, and on that morning, the team spent time talking together to ensure that everyone in the team would be able to contribute and answer the judges’ questions.
We kicked off racing in the early evening. The automatic races were carried out for all teams, whereby both cars start running at precisely the same moment. This is in contrast to the reaction racing, which was scheduled for later. Colossus F1, a team from England, surprised every one of us, as they broke the F1 in Schools World Record, racing the track in 1.003 seconds. However, there was later some controversy over this win, as the team had used part of a plastic bottle to alter the starting mechanism and direct the flow of the releasing air. Several teams complained that this was a breach of the rules. As of the 18th November, the team has been allowed to keep the win, however, there are ongoing discussions.
The late evening was very busy, as the whole team gathered in a hotel room to practice and discuss the verbal presentation for the next day. There were tears, screams and hugs, but in the end we pushed out a presentation to be proud of.
We will update you shortly on the second day of the competition!
If you wish to watch a live stream of the event, please click here.
We shall leave you with a few images from the first day: