COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – It was a year for the ages for 7K Robotics.

When it comes to robotics, the team made up of students from Mark R. Isfeld Secondary has put Courtenay on the map.

This, after returning from the VEX world championship in Louisville, Kentucky, with a shiny new trophy and some records to go with it.

According to a release, “teams from Indiana, Canada, and China engaged in series of robotic engineering challenges over the last four days to ultimately be crowned world champions. Students persevered through exciting timed matches with their customized robots as they competed with other teams from across the globe.”

At the worlds, team members Gauthier Appaix, Eony Kim, and Taylor LaFleur won bronze at the skills challenge, after losing in the semifinals of their division against the eventual world champions.

Along the way, 7K Robotics  rolled to an 11-0 record in their qualification matches, no small feat considering there was 579 teams participating, and only six teams had 11-0 records in qualifying.

This put 7K among the top one percent among the teams, in the qualification rounds.

Appaix said he and his teammates “were delighted to see that our Island team friend 7842K, from Nides Navigates, was also in our division, and also made it to the playoffs.”

“We did some scrimmages as practices with them before the competition and through them, we both improved a lot,” he added.

Looking back at the season, 7K garnered more awards than any other robotics team on Vancouver Island, with a number of engineering trophies and tournament victories.

“It feels really good with all the work we put into it,” Appaix told the newsroom.

“It’s really exciting to see how well we can do, after spending so much time (experiencing) successes and failures,” he said.

“It was unexpected that we would even make it to words,” Appaix added. “Even to do so well at worlds, it wasn’t even in our time frame. It was, ‘Hey, we can do it.'”

Asked about next year’s goals, Appaix said, “I hope we can do better, but I hope we can do as well as can last year.”

US Open Champions

Prior to the worlds, 7K competed in the Create US Open in Council Bluffs (Iowa).

It is the second biggest robotics competition in the world, with 240 teams competing for the ultimate titles of either skills champion or tournament champions (two different competitions within the same tournament).

7K came away with both titles.

They are the US Open Champions (along with their alliance team partner  team 6842Z : PigPen, from Indiana) and finished tied for first in the world ranking (including 6,400 teams) by winning the skills competition.