Cowaramup will be the scene of one of the world's fastest rising competitive sports this month, when the World Cube Associating brings its Cubing with the Cows event to the South West.
The global phenomenon, featured in the 2020 Netflix film, The Speed Cubers, centres around the solving of various sizes of Rubik's cube puzzles, with categories including one-handed and blindfolded speed solving.
The event is the first held outside of the Perth area, and will welcome 'cubers' from around the region keen to test their skills alongside some of the best in the country. We sat down with competitor Zak Kenny and event organisers Mark and Melanie Charlesworth to find out more about the competition.
Why do people compete?
MC: People come to competitions to get together with like-minded people, it's a small community and quite spread out across WA so competitions offer a chance to meet face to face.
What makes a great speedcuber?
ZK: It's not just turning fast, it is finding the perfect balance between turning speed and looking multiple moves ahead. The fastest speedcubers can solve the standard puzzle in roughly 50 moves in under 6 seconds!
MC: Perseverance! It takes a lot of effort to get over the first hurdle of learning enough moves to solve the cube but it's a great feeling when you get your first solve in competition. To get faster and more competitive takes practice.
Can anyone have a go?
ZK: Yes it is all inclusive. There are videos of children as young as three solving the Rubik's cube and people up to 90 years old.
MC: There are no age or gender categories in a typical competition so you could be an 8 year old competing against someone in their 40s or 50s. Not only is the age range wide but you don't need to be super fast to start competing. It's a very welcoming community with everyone willing to share tips and tricks to help you get faster.
What can people expect at the event?
MC: To date, all of our competitions have been in the Perth area. One of our WA delegates, Charlie decided to try and get cubing out to the regions to give those living in the SW an opportunity.
ZK: The Cowaramup event should be a good introduction into speedcubing as it is a smaller competition. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we have limitations, which means sadly there will be less space for spectators this time.
Cubers can pre-register at www.worldcubeassociation.org/competitions/CubingwiththeCows2020/register
Cubers are permitted one guest to accompany them during competition.