We awoke early in order to get an early practice in before our preliminary round competition run at 9:30am. We left the hotel at 6:15am to reserve a spot on the practice side of the pond at about 8:20am. Our official weigh-in was at 46.5kg (102.5 lbs), well above the weight that we were told on day one, but about what we expected.
After a pretty good practice run, we had a disastrous preliminary run! On our first pass the sub went straight through the gate, but at a pace of less than half of our normal speed. We stopped the run and after some small modifications of code, we restarted our run. The sub did not move! After a few more tries we realized that we needed to cancel our runs and go back to our tent to analyze our problems in more depth. We found an error that should not have occurred, but somehow did. We had two mission planners running simultaneously! We lost our first chance to qualify for the finals, but with the knowledge that we will have another chance tomorrow (Saturday), we did not lose our confidence.
Our afternoon practice went very well. We went straight through the gate and hit the buoys and worked some on going over the hedges and towards the pinger. We will work into the night to get all the task solid that do not require actuation. We will attempt to run the entire course, including the actuation tasks, in the finals.
Wish us luck tomorrow and of course … Go Gators!