The Sun Path Products NSL News now provides a comprehensive review of the 11-round competition between the two teams, which was actually a 3-team battle for a while. Gavroches from France was in 2nd place behind NMP-PCH Hayabusa through Round 6 and then fell behind. The graphic shows the intensity of the battle for the 2nd place and XL's and Volt'R's road to the jumpoff.
The battle for the 2nd place between Volt'R, the new French national 4way Open Class team until at least 2016, and XL began in Round 1 and lasted throughout the fastest sequence of the meet, which was drawn for Round 11, the jumpoff. Both teams exchanged blows round by round until the first tie in Round 5, which was the beginning of a 4-round run for Volt'R. However, the XL veterans knew what to do and needed only two strong rounds to catch up with the French team from a 4-point deficit.
World Challenge 2014 Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Rd. 5 Rd. 6 Rd. 7 Rd. 8 Rd. 9 Rd. 10 Rd. 11 T. Avg R. AAA/Open Class 17,18,19 5,16,6 4,N,13 P,F,12,M J,D,10,K G,3,O,C H,22,14 20,2,8 1,21,11 15,7,L A,B,E,Q,9 T. Avg 2 XL 25 25 21 34 28 30 23 21 23 33 46 309 28.1 3 VoltR (FR) 26 24 23 33 28 32 23 22 21 31 45 308 28.0
All top teams and 4way experts had agreed after the competition draw that it was one of the slowest that they had seen before, at least the slowest in the World Challenge history. Four of the five rounds on the first competition day included slot switchers, and the remaining two memory blocks also appeared in two separate sequences. This made it a total of six slot switchers in ten rounds, the maximum possible number.
It was no surprise that Round 11 was a very fast sequence. In fact, another random formation was not drawn for the 11-round meet. XL and Volt'R were the only fortunate teams who could finally get a realistic meet average after adding the scores of Round 11 to the total.
World Challenge 2014 Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Rd. 5 Rd. 6 Rd. 7 Rd. 8 Rd. 9 Rd. 10 Total Avg Rank AAA/Open Class 17,18,19 5,16,6 4,N,13 P,F,12,M J,D,10,K G,3,O,C H,22,14 20,2,8 1,21,11 15,7,L Total Avg 2 XL 25 25 21 34 28 30 23 21 23 33 263 26.3 3 VoltR (FR) 26 24 23 33 28 32 23 22 21 31 263 26.3 4 Gavroches (FR) 23 25 24 33 31 31 20 18 21 28 254 25.4
Volt'R has two 4way world champions of 2010 in the lineup (Mathieu Bernier - Julien Degen), however, the team is still in the building phase, especially for the two new members (Pierre Emmanuel Balages - Damien Gouriou). It was actually impressive how close the whole competition and the jumpoff were from the French view.
The jumpoff was a nerve-wrecking situation, as the video shows. The French team had to wait for a long time in the chamber before the air speed was ready. It was a very different timing compared to the previous ten rounds. XL was luckier as the second team and followed their usual procedure. They still had their own obstacle though, when the green light did not turn on after setting up the entry formation in the door. XL climbed back out and set up again a minute later for the winning performance...