13/14th October - Finish Line
We arrived in Adelaide on Friday afternoon, after leaving one of our Electrical Engineers, Zi, with AUSRT in case any of their issues resurfaced. We got ahead of a few teams before they started driving at 8am and so were able to watch them cross the finish line and give them a very warm welcome.
The atmosphere around the finish line was wonderful, with all the solar cars going on display as soon as they arrived. This enabled everyone to have a really good look at the cars, both public and other solar team members alike, and ask all the questions that have been raised in our minds through the competition. Despite the bitter-sweet feeling of celebrating others teams' challenge results instead of our own, all the team have great admiration for what the other teams have achieved and the intricate details of their cars and processes.
It has been wonderful to hear all the different stories of the challenge and be able to share ours, although they are somewhat different. As ever, the solar community has shone through and there is so much excitement and positivity here that it's infectious.
As usual, celebrations each evening have been at the Belgian Beer Cafe, with most of the teams joining in for a solar car take-over of the whole venue. With this, naturally, comes the swapping of team kit to remember those who have become such close friends in the fire of the challenge. Some people may think that we've had enough solar car time over the last few weeks here, but there is something about a good chat with someone who understands all the little oddities of the World Solar Challenge and what it means to be in a solar team that we can honestly just talk for hours. Seeing people from all the different teams come together in this way is testament to the strength of a shared experience like the World Solar Challenge and is exactly why people come back time and again, as they are always part of the solar racing family.
The team cheering DUEM over the finish line
On Saturday, the final teams arrived in Adelaide and we were very happy to see Durham University cross the finish line with around 1,000km completed on solar. In the afternoon, the Cruiser Class judging took place, where teams were required to undertake parking manoeuvres and fit items into their storage space, among other tests of practicality. The result of this will be announced in the Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening.
Eindhoven packing the boot of Stella Vie during their final judging
It has been great to be reunited with the whole solar community here in Adelaide, after seeing them mostly in passing on the road during the challenge, and we fully intend to be back here in 2019, celebrating our own challenge results with all the other fabulous teams that also undertake this crazy adventure.