NewsWorldWorld's fastest Rubik's Cubers prepare for 2021 World Cup

World’s fastest Rubik’s Cubers prepare for 2021 World Cup

The world’s fastest Rubik’s Cube solvers will go head to head on Saturday (December 4) as the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup reaches its final.

The 32 finalists can compete in four categories: Mixed ‘speedcubing’, fastest one-handed solve, ‘speedcubing’ female and the ‘rescramble’ event, where competitors are given a solved Cube and need to match the pattern on a randomly scrambled one.

The UK’s Chris Mills claimed victory in the ‘rescramble’ category last year, with a solve of 17.6 seconds.

As with other competitors, 19-year-old Mills first learnt how to solve a Rubik’s Cube from a YouTube tutorial. He was inspired to learn after he saw one of his brother’s friends solving the 3D puzzle seven years ago.

Mills hopes to win again this year but knows he is up against tough competition with Tommy Cherry from the USA.

“I’ve got to hope I do really well or he doesn’t do that well to beat him… I’d just be happy to get on the podium again this year but winning it would be really cool,” he told Reuters on Tuesday (November 30).

Another UK hopeful in this year’s competition is 19-year-old George Scholey from Northampton. He can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 3.3 seconds at home and hopes to give last year’s champion Max Park a run for his money.

Scholey first picked up a Rubik’s Cube aged 13, as an extension of his interest in close-up magic, and was instantly hooked.

The Cubes used in competition are Bluetooth enabled and connect to the challenger’s phone where an app tracks their times and movements to ensure complete accuracy and fairness even when they are thousands of miles apart.

Patrick Ponce, 19, from the U.S. is also vying for the title, with an at-home solve time of 2.9 seconds and a competition best of 4.2 seconds. He also learnt from YouTube, over 10 years ago. He said friends and family were initially surprised by his “strange hobby” but have now got used to it.

Ponce hopes to beat fellow American Park, who took the crown with a solve of 5.9 seconds in 2020.

“I would be very happy (if I won). I probably post about it on social media and then that’s about it… It’s a very instant gratification sort of thing and it kind of wears off,” he said.

Over 4,200 entrants from more than 50 countries competed in the first round of the knockout competition. The final 32 will be whittled down on Friday (December 3) and the ultimate champions in each event will be crowned on Saturday.

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