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16 May 2003

Stellenbosch WUDC 2003 Summary

Some would say that this second Stellenbosch championship did not run as smoothly as the first. During the competition it became obvious that problems existed with the tab system, which had been tested with pre-prepared data but did not mimic live conditions. A series of small errors in the design or manual use of the tab system caused serious delays on Day 1 (finished at 11pm) and Day 2 (Round 6 moved to the next day). Another all-night session by the tab and adjudication teams saw a marked improvement in the running of the competition on Day 3. Four rounds were held in quick succession.

However after all that the break was announced on time on New Year's night. The rest of the competition ran smoothly, and throughout the championship the social events were generally considered to be outstanding, helping to keep many participants happy and win back some of those who had been annoyed with earlier aspects of the competition.

Also helping to make up for all the earlier problems, Cambridge B (Jack Anderson & Caleb Ward) won perhaps the tightest and best final in Worlds History. They won on a split 5-2 decision just ahead of Melbourne A (Perry Herzfeld & Sarah Kennedy). Monash B (Tim Sonnreich & Luke Oliver) and Cambridge A (Sebastian Isaac and Wu-Meng Tan, the latter also the top ranked speaker of the tournament) were also in the final.

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