Monsoon v SawBlaze (Episode 18, Final 16)
We reached the final 16 and our opponent was SawBlaze!
Jamison is a phenomenal driver, and when he's behind the reins of Sawblaze, he's unstoppable. Our plan for facing SawBlaze was to try and get around the back or sides - we didn't want that saw blade to come down on top of us (as we only had relatively thin HDPE top armour!) If we could disable his weapon, we'd stand a far better chance. We fully expected to be bullied around the arena, where he could pin us and get that arm down - so we knew we would have to act fast.
Luckily, we managed to get around the back of SawBlaze relatively early in the fight, and a good hit on the arm disabled it. But the fight was far from over - we'd still have to contend with facing an opponent that can out push us, and he did so with ease. As the fight continued, we struggled to get the big hits in - but the damage started to mount on SawBlaze. Eventually SawBlaze lost drive, and we managed to get in one last cheeky hit to impress the judges before the 3 minutes were up. We won on a unanimous judge’s decision, and we were absolutely thrilled to make it through to the quarter finals! We honestly couldn’t believe that we’d made it this far, just getting to this point had been an incredible journey.
Along with Sam’s dad, you may have spotted that by this point by parents had flown out to the USA – this was literally exactly as you saw it on the show! My mum had asked that the moment we knew if we were in the final 16, to give them a ring and they’d book the next available flight. Once we knew, I gave her that phone call – which was about 4am UK time! The next day they were on a plane heading to the filming, and this was the first fight they saw.
Kudos to Jamison Go and his team – he’s built an incredible machine that stood up the punishment, right through to the end. See you next season for that rematch?
Monsoon v Minotaur (Episode 18, Quarter Finals)
Shortly after leaving the arena after our previous fight, the next fight between Witch Doctor and Minotaur began. We stayed in the holding area next to the Battlebox to see who we’d be facing. Ah awesome – we’ll have Minotaur then.
Even though it looked like we came out of the Sawblaze fight relatively unscathed, going three minutes delivering hit after hit took its toll on our machine. The pivot was broken on one side, the belts had (somehow) turned entirely upside down leaving them horribly stretched – and we didn’t have any more spares! As this was the penultimate day of filming, we only had a few hours left to go before our next fight. We decided that the best course of action was to immediately weld up the base of the pivot, whilst someone went out to get more belts ASAP. The belts we had been using were super strong muscle V belts, reinforced with extra internal steel. However, as we couldn’t get to anywhere in time that had these exact belts, the next best would have to do. Sam’s dad ran out and got us the new belts we needed, and the bot was repaired. We were good to go.
Last season Minotaur actually lost to another vertical spinner in Bombshell, so we knew that we had the right type of weapon to face the Brazilian drum. If we could stay squared up to their weapon at all times, we would stand a pretty good chance at beating them. The first couple of hits were well aimed, squarely on their drum – we actually managed to destroy one of their two weapon pulleys, if the fight had gone on for much longer, they may have lost their weapon.
However after a few more hits we lost drive to the weapon and were flipped – the pivot had broken again on one side, and the belts had gone slack… we knew that we were in trouble. Minotaur eventually pushed us around the arena and slammed us into the wall, we were beached and couldn’t move. We did of course shout at them to free us and continue the fight, but we were in the knockout stages now and they wanted the win - and to be honest we’d probably have done the same thing!
Again, we had an absolutely fantastic (and somewhat surreal) time at BattleBots 2018. We won’t forget it, and hopefully we’ll see you next year! #WeWantSeason4 #RainDownThePain #ForQueenAndCountry #ItsComingHomeNextYear