TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow

This event was held in order to raise money for the 1st Goring Scouts to go to the World Jamboree. It was organised by Gary and Simon from the Grim Reaper team, and held in the Worthing leisure centre. The event was compered as ever by Mike and Brian from the Plunderbird team...

Robots present included Demolition Doris, Barbaric Response, King Humphrey, Mulsanne Monster, Toecutter 2, Steel Sandwich, Comengetorix, Bulldog Breed III, Wolverine, Dantomkia, Grim Reaper, Bigger Brother (driven by Joe Watts as Ian was at the Mechanoids filming), Big Pants, Hells Teeth (at their first ever combat event), M2, Axe Awe, Killer Carrot 2, Igor, Roobarb, L@zerus, Gooroo, Spirit of Scorpion, TX-108, and of course Tornado - although it was only Andrew present from the team, as Dave and Bryan had other things to do.

I arrived at Worthing in the evening a bit late after a long journey down from Huntingdon - but just in time for food to be served at the Scout Hut! Everyone went to the leisure centre after eating to help set up the arena - but we couldn't get into the sports hall until 10.30pm... Simon and Gary had built a substantial arena from MDF and 2x4 wood, which fitted together as a giant jigsaw puzzle. It took until 1.30am to finish building it... We retired to the Scout Hut to sleep.

Everyone at the Scout hut was woken fairly early by Gary and Simon ready for breakfast, and then to go over to the leisure centre and prepare for the event. The majority of the robots and teams turned up now, and the pits became very full - the event was very well attended, considering a lot of teams were off at the Mechnoids filming. The fights were not supposed to be full on combat, mainly because of the damage taken and concerns about the strength otf the arena - but Gary and Simon had done a sterling job, and the arena proved to be very solid.

Our first run was against Big Pants, Comengetorix and King Humphrey - three axe robots! But it took a while to get started as both Big Pants and Comengetorix were having problems - it turned out that Big Pants had connected their batteries in parallel rather than series and were trying to run on 12V, while Comengetorix had forgotten to charge theirs at all... So we were up against Humphrey, with a nice new piece of armour after the mess they had made of what was our best piece at Debenham... Of course Humphrey got lots of hits in, but didn't completely destroy the armour this time around - and Tornado was able to perform two burnouts on the very slippery MDF floor surface! However the motor that had given up at Debenham clearly was more badly damaged than we thought, and it shorted to chassis about halfway through the fight, causing our failsafe to cut in repeatedly. The fight was given to Humphrey on a crowd "Plundervote" - well done Mick Kerfoot and Humphrey, you've been wanting to beat us for a while now!

Our second run of the morning session was to be the "final" - but not before I'd done what repair work I could to stop the failsafe problem. About all I could do was disconnect the receiver ground from the chassis, but this only had a limited effect. We were thrown in with 7 other robots - everyone who was running! Tornado was against Steel Sandwich, M2, Dantomkia, Igor, Wolverine, Grim Reaper and Barbaric Response. The fight deservedly went to Dantomkia on an audience vote, and Mike Lambert was awarded a nice trophy made by the Grim Reaper guys.

Our next run was in the afternoon session - alledgedly a proper heat - with Demolition Doris, Wolverine and Spirit of Scorpion. We were able to push the 6 kart wheeled, 4 wheel drive, Lynch motor powered Demolition Doris about without any big problems - it shows that power is not everything! - while they also found Kevlar is not all it's cracked up to be, stoving in a side panel. We won the fight on a crowd vote...

The afternoon final was another "everybody in" affair - Axe Awe, Gooroo, Dantomkia, Bulldog Breed 3, Bigger Brother, Wolverine, King Humphrey, Killer Carrot 2, Comengetorix and Barbaric Response were involved along with Tornado. The crowd vote was split between Tornado and Bulldog Breed 3 at the end - but it deservedly went to Bulldog Breed, as Tornado's failsafe had been cutting in for most of the fight, and a lot of the time it just sat there doing nothing! Bulldog were awarded a trophy for their achievement.

Everyone pitched in to help dismantle the arena and pack the robots as the event ended, and dismantling and tidying took a lot less time than assembly had the night before. The majority of the robots and roboteers then retired to The Mulberry pub (near the scout hut) where a static display had been arranged - in return for this the roboteers got a free barbecue! By the time the display and BBQ were over, it was too late to return home, so I stayed with the remaining roboteers in the Scout Hut, chatting about life and robots until the early hours...

Not that Sunday was officially part of the event, but I was still here anyway... The helpers at the Scout hut again provided breakfast for us - many thanks to them for the wonderful food throughout the weekend, it made a real difference and helped make the event one of the best I've been to recently. After (the fairly relaxed) breakfast was over, I headed back home to Sawtry.

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