TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow

This was the first time we had attended an event in Brigton, this one organised by Ian Watts of the Bigger Brother team, at St. John's primary school. Given the distance we were driving, we camped over in the school field for both the nights before and after the event. This also meant that we were able to take up Ian's hospitality - Joe Watts plays a mean game of Asteroids!

We woke fairly early, and started to cook our breakfast on Bryans camping stove, until Joe turned up saying we could go for breakfast at his house! After breakfast we helped set up the PA and prepare for the event, putting up the remaining crowd control barriers and helping Ian where we could. Robots started to arrive through the morning, and the turnout was excellent, with lots of well known names as well as plenty of newcomers.

The competing heavyweights were Comengetorix, Weird Alice, Tiberius 2, Bigger Brother, Tornado, KingB, Wheely Big Cheese, Arnold Arnold Terminegger, Grim Reaper, Dominator 2, SMIDSY, Dorkus, Chaos 2, M2, Panic Attack 3, Killer Carrot 2, St Agro, Mulsanne Monster, Toecutter 2, Behemoth, Roobarb, Onslaught, Wolverine, Terrorhurtz and Barbaric Response. Also present were Killertron, Miss Struts, Rita Rocks, Scuttle, Dantomkia 2, and Storm. Judging was aided by Rob Knight from the Mortis team, Cath Watts ran transmitter control, Mike Lambert from Dantomkia acted as event secretary and organised all the fights, while Brian and Mike from Plunderbird provided an often slightly blue and always very funny commentary. The fights were drawn from a hat, and made for some interesting contests...

The event kicked off at 11am, with a fight between Chaos 2 and Dorkus. It was a tough draw for newcomers Dorkus, and Chaos were declared the winners after flipping Dorkus a few times.

Comengetorix then dispatched Weird Alice...
Tiberius 2 put up a good fight against Dominator 2 - none of Dominators many axe blows caused any important damage. Unfortunately Tiberius only got hold of Dominator right at the very end, and had to let go when cease was called, so it was given to Dominator.
Arnold, Arnold Terminegger took on Grim Reaper, and won.

King Buxton then fought Wheely Big Cheese in an excellent and spectacular fight. KingB got thrown high into the air many times, and eventually out of the sleepers surrounding the arena. But Si was able to drive KingB back in, and the fight continued until KingB's lifter jammed, and both KingB and Wheely Big Cheese ended up outside of the arena. Wheely Big Cheese was declared the winner.

Bottom right picture above courtesy of Jackie and Paul Cooper/M2

We were up next against the hosts of the event, Bigger Brother. Despite Ian's earlier claims that he would not have enough time to drive and he would have to hand the controls to Joe, he wanted to fight us and so drove Bigger Brother. The fight did not last very long; I kept the scoup towards Bigger Brother and they had no chance to flip us. A couple of pushes and an awkward landing later, and Bigger Brother had lost a chain - not surprising given their chassis was still twisted after Series 5. So Tornado went through.
Roobarb took on Wolverine - Roobarb won the fight as Wolverine died in the arena.
M2 fought and beat St Agro, throwing them out of the arena.
Onslaught battled with Barbaric Response - they both demonstrated their lifters and self righters in what was a close fight, but Onslaught eventually flipped Barbaric Response out of the arena and won.

Behemoth took on the Mulsanne Monster, flipping them a couple of times and then out of the arena. Mulsanne Monster pulled off a very lucky move, self righting themselves back into the arena, but it was too late, and Behemoth won the fight.

The quarter finals were upon us, and our fight was against Roobarb. We pushed them around quite a bit and put a big dent in their side - but their worst damage was partly self inflicted - they broke the bottom bracket off their pneumatic ram, and Roobarb's flipper bounced around in a comedy fashion after that... It was a fun fight and the judges gave it to us at the end.

Above picture courtesy of Jackie and Paul Cooper/M2

In the other fights, Chaos 2 dispatched Comengetorix, Behemoth beat Onslaught and Dominator 2 beat Arnold Arnold Terminegger but barely damaging Arnold at all, AAT's axe and framework doing a very good job of keeping Dominators axe at bay. In a shock result M2 beat Wheely Big Cheese, despite being thrown very high in the air! Wheely Big Cheese broke their flipper, and broke a gearbox too, ending up outside the arena. It was an excellent fight, and well done to Jackie Cooper from M2 for taking the brilliant photo above.

A break from the combat gave those still in the competition a chance to recharge, and those that had been knocked out a go at some robotic football. Toecutter 2, Killer Carrot 2, Mulsanne Monster, Bigger Brother, St Agro, Panic Attack, and Grim Reaper all piled into the arena. In theory they were after the ball, but as always, mayhem ensued and everybody went for everybody else. Bigger Brother burnt out a Vantec (that was a bad smell!), but I'm told that Ian has managed to fix it... St Agro even suffered the indignity of loosing a wheel!

Late arrivals Terrorhurtz and SMIDSY were given a by into the quarter finals, and a very violent fight ensued - SMIDSY of course could not use their disc, and so were rather powerless against the axe of Terrorhurtz! SMIDSY took a real pounding, their chassis was forced onto the wheel sprockets and it's not surprising they were immobilised. Martin from Anthrax/Draven was in control of Terrorhurtz's axe during this fight...

Picture above left courtesy of Jackie and Paul Cooper/M2

It was now time for the semi finals (of which there were three) - Dominator 2 took on Chaos 2, but the fight did not last long, as Dominator got an axe blow straight through the front of Chaos 2 which broke their centre battery link, and they were out.

Our semi final was against M2. We pushed them around in our usual style, managing to get underneath them and prop them on their back end! Paul had removed M2's spinning disc, but forgetting that it acted as a counterweight to stop M2 balancing like that...

We pushed them back down for the fight to continue, and turned them over once, from which they self righted. We then hit them fairly hard in a head on collision - this broke all the pivots on their ram and self righting arm, and Paul graciously accepted defeat.

The last semi final involved Behemoth, and they fought and beat Terrorhurtz.

Before the final, Storm and Terrorhurtz came out to play. Terrorhurtz smashed up some old power supplies with its axe, while Storm demonstrated the power of their lifting ram by lifting up the corner of the arena. Terrorhurtz also smashed lots of holes in the school playground, whoops...

The final was a three way melee between Behemoth, Dominator 2 and Tornado. This was the last fight of the day and we did not have to be so careful with the arena sides. We were expecting a very tough fight and a lot of damage from Dominators powerful axe, as this was to be our first ever fight against them. What happened was rather different though...

The very first thing I did was to charge Behemoth, and I'm still not quite sure how I managed it, but I drove underneath them and then dumped them outside the arena! It's a shame it was over so quickly for them, the fight could have been a lot closer if it hadn't happened...

So it was down to just Dominator 2 and ourselves. I tried to stay out of the way of their axe at all costs, but I soon found that the delay in between Tornado being in target range and the axe actually coming down was well over a second, and Tornado was almost always long gone by then! Dominator missed us a total of 8 times through the fight, and managed to connect only twice, once hitting a front tyre (when the axe bounced back violently) and once when it jammed in the rear wheelarch, hitting nothing important.

Making use of the arena walls, I managed to get Dominator on top of Tornado also, where they promply lost traction. It was a simple matter to juggle the throttle so they slid off the top of us again, over the sleepers and out of the arena. Dominator fired their axe again in disgust, but it made no difference - we had won, and in some style!

We won a trophy and also John Reid won best Robot at the event with Terrorhurtz.

The evening was spent having a meal with everyone, although Ian managed to loose Bryan, myself and the Storm guys on the way (he's getting a bit too good at that...), and then at a party at Ian's house which went on way into the night - I won't go into details about Cath's desire for Ian to buy her a Lynch motor...

Have a look at the Bigger Brother Live Events page.

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