Everyone around seemed so excited about our going for the European round. The competition was on 19th November and we had to report to the ATK office at 9 am. Sean offered to pay for our stay in London if we wanted to go earlier so that there is no rush on the D-day morning! Wonderful! Even more wonderful, ATK had arranged for dinner after the results and we thought we would not be able to attend it. Why? We had an assignment, WAC, to be submitted on 20th. But Sean was gracious enough to encourage us to stay for dinner and then submit the WAC on 21st!
So, we left Cranfield on 18th evening...8 pm. Reached our hotel in London at around 9.30 pm. Rooms were taken. Small cozy rooms. We spent sometime together at the lounge and then left for our rooms to have a good night's sleep so that we wake up fresh and active the next day. Went to my room, practiced my lines in front of the mirror some 3 times and then off to bed. And then came the D-day... when we would know the results of our efforts!! We reached the office at 9 am and were shown into a conference room right next to the conference room where the final presentations were being made. We started our practice. 2 hours to go... four rounds of serious practice and I started getting stressed... I was forgetting my lines! :(
The team told me to just calm down... Ilan said..ohh don't worry u made a mistake only once so you wont make it in the final presentation and moreover the judges know what you mean. Mark said... just calm down, we will do well. Khanh said..remember Rhino... (will write about rhino sometime probably), for now its just about being confident while making presentations :). So at 11 am we walked into the room, four judges welocmed us and as soon as we reached the end of the room, one of the judges started talking and setting the pace and before we were setlled, he said, you have 20 mins. While Mark started talking, Ilan put the set-up in place and handed over the clicker to Mark. The presentation went smoothly and none of us fumbled for words even once!! Wow! Then there was question round which we answered confidently.
Relieved after the presentation, we decided to have coffee and stepped out. We had a nice one hour walk around the area and then went to a nice little coffee shop. By then it was time for lunch so headed back to office and met lots of people over lunch, the judges, students from other schools. Lots of chatting and discussions. Then we checked into our hotel, Radisson, this one arranged by ATK. Freshned up and then we were off for another long walk, this time to the Buckingham Palace,Trafalgar Square and National Gallery. Quite relaxed initially but then as it started nearing 5.30 pm (which was supossed to be the result announcement time!), the pace towards the ATK office increased.
And then..there we were back at the ATK office at 5.15 pm, there was lots of hustle bustle at the office, all teams were there waiting for the result...anxiety, excitement, nervousness, I felt all of these and even more at that point of time. Finally at 5.30 pm, the judges came out of the conference room and we huddled together around the four judges to know our results. But wait... the judges wanted to keep us waiting. 'We will announce the results but before that the people who were involved in the case would discuss the case with you, then we will give each team a feedback on their performance and finally we will announce the result', one of them told us! And, there were sighs all around... the anxiety was killing!