Thunderbolts 2630 - 2013 experience

2013 was a special season for Team 2630 - Thunderbolts from Emek Hefer, Israel and i just wanted to tell the FIRST community a little bit about it because i think FIRST Israel is an uprising story.

After 2011 & 2012 ending very quickly for the team (QF Israeli Regional at both) we decided to do something never done before by an Israeli team - compete at another regional besides Israel - looking back i personally think thats what made 2013 so different than the previous 2 years.

I can’t say it was an easy season - hardest game i know - and like i say: the first game that makes it really really hard to do everything. We gave up 30 pt. climb and floor pickup and hoped an accurate shooter and a 10 pt. climb will get us far as we wanted.

Our first competition was the Israeli Regional, we were ranked 9th after quals and were picked as the first pick of the 2nd alliance by team 4320 - The Jokers. joining our alliance was team 1577 - SteamPunk. Elims started and it was looking GOOD. We reached the finals against a great powerful alliance of 1574 - MisCar, 1952 & 3835, after losing F1 we won Finals 2&3 and i got to say it was tight up to the buzzer. Winning Israel was a great start for 2013 and winning the Quality Award, Volunteer of the year - Eli Barak, a scholarship for the Technion University in Israel - Shelly Salomon & Dean’s List Finalist - Myself were great and made the team very happy.

As i said before 2013 was the first ever 2 Regional season for an israeli team - DC here we come! Excited and full of will to win we came to compete at DC - practice day looked great and we were happy with how things looked. We came the next morning ready for action - our 1st match starts and nothing - the robot is not communicating. It took us 3 matches (losses) to fix the problem (something with the code) but we were back on and the remaining 5 matches went (4-0-1). At the end of Quals we were ranked 23 and hoped to be picked - first pick by 3rd alliance! YES! Teams 6 what??!! 612! & 1735 were great alliance partners. We reached SF there we lost 2:1 after our battery disconnected in the 3rd match. :frowning:
Winning the Industrial Design Award in DC was a great finish to a great competition.

CMP Event

St. Louis was a dream come true for 2630 after 2 terrible seasons and we came to give it our best!
We had an amazing positive experience at the FIRST Championship games in Saint Louis.
We’ve been seeded #5 in Galileo , with a (7-1-0) record!
This by itself is a great achievement, to say the least, and we were very excited.
We ended up being the captain of the 4th alliance and were honored to pick two great teams, Team 111 - WildStang & Team 3641 - The Flying Toasters, and went on to the Quarter Finals where we met the going-to-be 2013 Champions (teams 610, 1477 and 1241). We won the first game (199-176), lost the second (206-201) and unfortunately had field communication problems at the third game, which we’ve lost.
This time it was not a router problem (it worked fine), nor a battery getting disconnected (following DC we now lock them tight…).
FIRST is yet unclear about the problem. Officially - it’s a problem on our side, and hence they didn’t call a re-match.
Unofficially, they (sort of) admit that this is probably a “rare” mis-communication between the field and our robot.
A full analysis of the problem is going to be done by FIRST in the next coming weeks, and we will get a formal report from them.
This will not bring us to the Semi-Finals of course.
Nevertheless -
We are not bitter. We are indeed disappointed, but had an amazing experience.
We contributed to the successes of the world champions, and won the first game against them.
We now know that winning a division in the Championship games is doable for an Israeli team.

One of our matches should be noticed - Quals 73, With 27 & 578 - This match was the first match scheduled after the Dean’s list ceremony held that day - as one of the team’s driver and a Dean’s List Finalist i was told (officially by FIRST) that the ceremony will NOT interfere with the matches so i went quietly to participate at the ceremony - suddenly i recieve a text from our drive coach telling me to run because they are starting without me, at first i didn’t believe it so i didn’t go - after another text saying RUN!!! i started running to Galileo. When i arrived i saw the Laptop closed and the joysticks untouched - it thought i made it… A second later when a volunteer told me: come on! disconnect let’s go!! i understood they played without me… We got lucky and won the match.

Besides this one issue i really think St. Louis was great this year - really nice volunteers, great music, great MC’s, amazing teams and a wonderful experience!

Thanks again to teams 1731, 116, 1885, 1836, 111 & 1114 for helping us with batteries, chargers and other equipment - we couldn’t compete without your help! And once again a big thank you to all teams we played with in Israel, DC and Galileo you are the BEST!!! Congratulations to the 2013 Champions from Galileo!!!

Our 2013 season is coming to an end.
This is a season to remember.

That’s it! thank you FIRST for 3 great years! See you all as a coming back mentor!! can’t wait to see the 2014 game!!

One last thing, i really had a great time in St. Louis and met a few great people that i was stupid to not write down their names to keep in touch with and i’d like to try and use CD’s power to find them!

  1. Blake from team 379
  2. Team 118’s driver
  3. Drive team coach from 2169
  4. Drive team coach from 111
  5. Drive team coach team 79

I’ll let 2169’s coach know.

You guys were really impressive at DC. Hope to see you guys at competition again.

Hi Yalib,
I was the coach for team 2169. It’s fantastic to hear you had such a phenomenal competition. I’m extremely glad I got to work with you and your team and hopefully we’ll be able to meet again one day!

I have sent you a private message with Blake’s email address

Tom is on here.

Hope to see you guys next year, maybe some place a little warmer? (I’d suggest Orlando)

Israel is warm :3

You guys were really great! Everyone in Israel followed all your matches both in CD and champs. You’ve made us all very proud :slight_smile:

You guys were awesome to watch at DC (I was one of the queuers at the event) and I was cheering for you, 612 and company all through elims. Hopefully we’ll see you there again next year.