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Alex

One caucus to rule them all

Alex @ Tuesday, February 2nd 04:20AM   [link]

Movement

#3 Andrew Math scored three PRs this week, resulting in one new overall record and some 60Hz records. He sliced 0.1 off his AF score, stepping away from #4 Kouider but still far off #2 Andreas. Read about Andrew's records below.

#23 Jacob Purcell raced a new 1'28"5 Mario Circuit time and added a 31"3 Waluigi Stadium lap. These gave him the lead over #24 Mikael J, although it wasn't quite so comfortable since #64 Mikel N had a few PRs indirectly affect Jacob and Mikael's AF scores and the duo were briefly tied in the middle of the week. The Mario time was a new Myth time, while the Waluigi lap was a huge jump from 43rd to 18th place as well as a new Myth. This leaves Jacob with only 6 Titan times remaining, since the rest have already been upgraded to Myth. The next target in sight is fellow US player #22 Matt T, just one space ahead, although it's possible that Mikael could fight back and race for the top-20.

#26 Stacy Needham played the same tracks as Andrew and scored a trio of new PRs. His 32"6 Yoshi Circuit lap was a new Myth time and new top-25 time, but it was the DK Mountain times that did most of the running. The Mountain was perhaps Stacy's worst track, so improving the 3lap from 68th to 33rd and the lap from 50th to 25th was likely quite a relief. Stacy passed Germany's #27 Rene B in the rankings and is probably eyeing the 25th spot, currently held by Germany's #25 Michael D.

#42 Mike Koehoorn returned after a 2 week break and scored his first God time on Baby Park lap. Baby Park is where most people learn to walk and race their first God times, and Mike acknowledged that it likely isn't as satisfying as a God time on another track. It's not among his best ranked times, but it is a tricky track to get right, and Mike's 8"589 was his first sub-8"60. His other notable cuts included a 1'16"0 on his weakest track, Luigi Circuit, which was a jump from 74th to 45th; a 1'31"00 Dry Dry Desert reaching as high as 19th place, cuts of 20 positions each on Waluigi Stadium with a 1'39"8 and 31"56, and halving his rank from 60 to 30 in DK Mountain lap and Dino Dino Jungle lap. Mike became a Titan+ in the process and passed Alejandro H, Mike H, Kris W, and Gregor F.

#64 Mikel Nelson wants to make sure we are as confused as possible with all the Miks in the top-50 by scoring a 13pt AF cut, jumping from 81st to half-way between where he was and the top-50. He was not the first Mik to score a low 1'31 Dry Dry Desert, although in his case it was an even bigger improvement compared to Mike's (from 74th down to 22nd place). It was also a Myth time, his second after last month's Baby Park. He added a third Myth on the Desert lap, with a top-40 time of 28"40, and a fourth Myth on Luigi Circuit lap. It was already obvious that Mik's Mushroom and Flower Cups were much more refined than his Star and Special, and the remainder of his 18 PRs were dedicated to bringing those two cups up to par. For one, he improved all 8 of his 100+ ranked scores to top-100 level. The biggest improvement among those was Bowser's Castle 2'20"9, a jump from 114th to 69th. Two other impressive cuts were Rainbow Road 2'58"6 and 58"6, both now top-50 times and 30 places higher than before. Mikel halved his remaining Hero times from 12 down to 6, and should soon reach 32/32 Titan. His cuts this week were big enough to promote him to Titan B, so he is already well into the Titan ranks.

#94 Frederic Vernier found only a few hours to play, and mostly spent it practicing Baby Park and trying to mimic the TAS strategy in terms of shrooms and A-tech. He improved his lap from 8"71 to 8"66 (25 positions) and 7lap down to 1'05"999. The course time was his first sub and almost a top-100 time, although Fred noted that he lost more than 0"15 on messing up the shrooms and still managing to save the situation and get a PR.

#192 Joe Higgs had 8 new times to report, scoring a 6pt AF cut in the process to pass Arnaud G, Michael J (of MK64 fame), Pete R, Shaun T (of MKW fame), Jeffrey M, and Nicholas S. He played Baby Park lap like many others this week, and improved his time from 171st down to 119th. It's his best time by a fair margin and was his first Hero A time, so perhaps may become his first Titan time in due course. Another big cut was on Sherbet Land, a 25"06 lap that saved 0"3 seconds and 55 positions compared to his previous lap. Joe almost has his fingertips on the next promotion, being only 0.19 ARR points away from reaching Hero status.

#199 Kai Oliver Meister rushed to reach the top-200 faster than he thought he would, with 21 new PRs being the required number to take him there. He raised his Hero tally from 3 to 12 and is also reaching out for the same promotion as Joe. His biggest cuts in terms of positions were in DK Mountain (160 positions) and Rainbow Road (130), both of which were understandable since they were his lowest ranked times and only 300+ times. His new times are closer to the 200 mark and roughly in line with his AF score. Most of this other cuts were in improving his time to top-200 level, and scored 11 new ones that he didn't have before. The best among them was his new Wario Colosseum 2lap, a 2'04"1 ranked 140th, which is his new best rank. Kai has found a friend and rival in Jonas S, so he may feel motivated to aim even higher up the rankings.

#218 Jocelyn Sitek was busy with exams and found very little time to play, but what little time he had, he tried to spend on his favourite Mountain track. He improved his 3lap from 1'48"08 to 1'47"6, nearly scoring the Titan time, and improved his lap to 96th place. DK Mountain still head and shoulders above any other of Jocelyn's tracks, which are all ranked 200+ rather than top-100. Jocelyn did manage to race a few other PRs, no doubt with far less effort exerted, on five other tracks, but he still really wants to max out his Mountain.

#231 Jonas Schmidt last played two months ago, but has been playing or talking or strategising behind the scenes -- possibly with #199 Kai, since the two seem to know each other -- and reported a 177 AF cut. I assume it took more than just a single week to race. He improved 31 of his times and started seeing his first glimpses of Hero times, so far getting 4 of them. The best ones are his pair of Daisy Cruiser times, ranked 166th and 144th for the course and lap. Jonas also reached 32/32 Expert by erasing the last 12 of his Advanced times. Most of his timesheet is now Expert A or B, so even with only 4 Hero times he is only one standard away from reaching Hero overall. Jonas has found a friend and rival in Kai O, so he may feel motivated to aim even higher up the rankings.

#282 Michele Sgroi took a variant on the Mik spelling, as well as scored 23 new PRs in exchange for a 31.5 AF cut. He reached the top-300 as a result, beat the last of his remaining 400+ times, and scored his first top-200 time on Mushroom Bridge with a 1'22"29 3lap that is ranked 193rd place. This was Michele's first Hero time and he paired it with a 26"87 Hero D lap time, albeit ranked 214th and on the other side of 200. Among the other cuts, Michele's best was perhaps Luigi Circuit 1'18"5 since it's currently his third best time (ranked 226th) and was a 72-positions improvement. If Michele can replicate his AF cut next week, he would be standing on the welcome mat of the top-250.

#518 Anna Moon raced his first Expert time on Dry Dry Desert, a 31"08 lap ranked 359th. It was 33 positions better than her December time that had already secured Dry Dry as her best track. Anna also said she has given some thought to her last remaining Advanced D time, on Luigi Circuit. She managed to improve it a little, but not to escape the D ranks and will look into again next time. Meanwhile, she also played some Yoshi Circuit -- which seems to have been a common trend over the week -- and found her seventh top-500 time on the lap.


New Records

Andrew M took the DK Mountain record with a new time of 1'42"867, a 0"02 win over Richard, whose old 1'42"893 record was set in November 2013. Andrew previously attempted to take it and scored 1'42"897 weeks after Richard's time. He missed out by milliseconds then, and finished the job now. Will Richard return to the Mountain in the future?

Andrew M also improved two of his own 60Hz records, both on Yoshi Circuit. A 1'40"004 was close to a memorable sub. It beat his old record from one year ago by 0"1. On the lap, the new target is 32"194, a 0"05 cut on his 32"24 lap from a year ago. Richard still has both of the 50Hz records.


New Players

Welcome to...

Vincent Audoore, Belgium (#785, Intermediate C)
Logan Colp, USA (~1165, Newbie)

Logan has only a few scores so far, so could benefit from sending in times for more tracks. Vincent is fairly consistently at Intermediate level across all tracks, and has had his first Advanced time on Bowser's Castle.
Alex

If there is a new planet out there, we should call it Pluto and avoid having to throw out all the old text books.

Alex @ Thursday, January 21st 11:58PM   [link]

Movement

#23 Mikael Johansson was the highest active player and continued his mission from earlier in the month to bring both Rainbow Road times to top-10 level. He got closer, but wasn't happy with his times and may try again. Meanwhile, #24 Jacob Purcell continued to inch closer and closer behind Mikael, reducing the AF gap between them from 0.5 down to 0.1. Most of this cut came from DK Mountain lap, which Jacob had been fighting and wrestling with for the past week. He improved his 33'94 Titan+ to 33'69 Myth+, a big jump over all of the Myth A-D standards and a 10th place ranking on the track. It's Jacob's second best time follow his 8th place in Dry Dry Desert. Jacob also improved both Mushroom Bridge times by five positions each, narrowly missing out on bringing to top-25 level.

#27 Stacy Needham provided further top-50 activity with a new Yoshi Circuit time, his first in nine months. The 1'42"29 was a 0"6 cut off his old time and a jump from 53rd to 32nd place. It was one of Stacy's weaker times, although not his weakest. This was Stacy's 21st Myth time and he reduced his remaining Titans to 11.

#36 Jordan Haack scored his first new times since October, netting 7 PRs. He subbed Luigi Circuit with a 1'15"96, improving from 50th to 38th, and made an even bigger cut on the flap with a 24"61, improving from 54th to 34th. It was his 17th Myth time, just tipping the scales. He also improved his Peach Beach course time by 0"16 to gain 8 positions, and lap by a smaller 0"07 to gain a much larger 22 positions. Jordan unfortunately missed a sub on Mushroom Bridge with a 26"003 lap, but got a nice Baby Park sub with a 1'04"95, which was half a second and 25 positions better than his previous run. He also improved the lap from 8"60 to 8"57, resulting in his first God time and 14 position improvement. Jordan's victims in the rankings were Jake S, Scott D and Xavier V, and he is now closing in on Cedric W.

#47 Noah Murad scored a 2.2 AF cut, pushing away from Rodolphe G and almost catching #46 Mike K. He improved his Luigi Circuit by 0"4 to 1'16"1, a top-50 time and 28 positions higher than before, but Noah is worried than the next 0"1 will be tough to shave off. He moved on to Wario Colosseum and raced two PRs, a 59"6 lap and 2'00"5 course time. The course time was a significantly larger cut, going from 73rd place to 40th and hitting the Myth D standard. Finally, Noah scored a nice sub on Sherbet Land with a 1'15"93, and hopes to improve both the course and lap next week. He is very close to a promotion in ARR, so any cut anywhere will be rewarding.

#180 Jack Whittingham became a Hero D this week after 3 of his 9 PRs achieved new standards. The key improvements were Dry Dry Desert 1'34"9 (up 68 places), DK Mountain 1'50"2 (top-150 time), and Yoshi Circuit 33"96 (up 30 places). He also beat his last remaining Expert B time, leaving only Expert As and a vision of becoming 32/32 Hero in the near future. Speaking of standards, Jack improved his Mushroom Bridge lap from 26"78 to 26"62, good enough to score his second top-150 time and his first Hero B. Jack also had a small psychological win in taking half of his times to top-200 level, increasing the tally from 15 to 20. He passed Casey M, Matthew H, Michael R, Fabien P, Kenny C and Ian M in the rankings.

#252 Alex Viande sent in his first time of the year, and they were fairly significant. His 26pt AF cut translated to 26 positions gained in the charts, stopping just shy of the top-250. Most of Alex's new times were in Mushroom and Flower Cups. His best new time was a 1'06"2 on Baby Park ranked 135th place, an improvement by 65 positions and just one position less than this best-ranked time on Sherbet Land. Mushroom Bridge was also impressive, improving from 366th to 155th place. Alex had 3 Hero times before and now has 8, although he still has one single Advanced time left that is preventing him from reaching 32/32 Expert.

#394 Anton Delva continuously broke his promises to focus on study and keep greedily improving his PRs, making multiple submissions over the week even after promising to stop. His 157pt AF cut is a testament to how much he improved: 30 of his 32 scores. Much of this he attributed to learning the ins-and-outs of each track and their individual tricks and pit-falls, be it ways to avoid sand in the Desert, racing lines around cars in the Bridge, or figuring out the best shroom spots in Mario Circuit. He started the week with 0 Expert times and Advanced C rating, and finished with 14/32 Experts and Advanced A rating. A few more improvements will be enough to become an Expert overall. Anton's best time last week was ranked 417th, and this week is 304th (Waluigi Stadium lap) with an AF of 421. Let's wait and see how he fares next time, but don't be surprised if Anton's cuts are not as large (because of studying, obviously, not because he will run out of steam).

#536 Kai Winter scored a 7pt AF cut thanks to 6 new PRs, two on each of Yoshi Circuit, Wario Colosseum and Rainbow Road. He raced his first top-500 times in the Colosseum, both ranked 490-500, but has another five scores very close to making the cut. They were also his first Advanced A times, and Kai can look forward to chasing his first Expert time (perhaps after beating his last remaining Intermediate time on Baby Park). Right behind Kai is #537 Jonathan Toole-Charignon, who opted to focus entirely on Wario Colosseum and managed to extract a 30pt AF cut from beating only those two scores. They were some of Jonathan's weakest, ranked 700+, and he improved multiple times over the week until ending up scores ranked close to 250th place. They're not Jonathan's best times because he has some top-200 times in Mushroom Bridge, but you can definitely say that Jonathan's timesheet is full of crests and troughs, with a 646 position difference between his best and worst ranked times.

#899 Meagan Schmidt had some new Yoshi Circuit times to report, avoiding playing the same tracks as Jacob this time. Both of her new times were Beginner A, 100+ positions higher than before, and she passed 10 players in the rankings.


New Records or Players

None this week.
Alex

We don't talk about Mario Kart

Alex @ Friday, January 15th 01:56AM   [link]

Movement

#3 Andrew Math, 60Hz champion, was the highest active player this week. He improved his DK Mountain lap to score a new 60Hz record and come within 0"1 of Richard's WR. Andrew's last submission was in August, so he clearly hasn't lost his form.

#24 Jacob Purcell continued his long mountain walks in DK Mountain, saying he had potential for a 33"7 lap but settling for 33"94. He improved his ranking from 20th to 18th there, even though he was set on top-15. Jacob also bested his 25"94 Mushroom Bridge lap with a 25"89: not a huge cut, but it awarded him an 8th God time and beat seven players. These cuts helped him creep 0.3 AF points closer to #23 Mikael, closing down the gap to another half-point.

#81 Mikel Nelson crushed the top-100 barrier with a 20pt AF cut, passing players such as Yohan F, Julien B, me, Prashant B, Frederic V, Max R, Sylvin R, Scott A, and plenty more. He scored his first God standard on Baby Park, improving the lap from 8"69 to 8"53 by trying to copy Mikael's TAS video; the new lap was ranked 20th and is 26 places ahead of his next best ranking. Mikel's other major improvements included a 22"2 Peach Beach lap (up 38 places), 1'05"6 Baby Park (4 standards higher), a 1'20"05 Mushroom Bridge (from 113rd to 55th), two new Titan times on Mario Circuit both up by 40 positions, and a one second cut in DKM (from 96th to 70th). He had started the week as a Hero A with 12 Titan times and finished as Titan C with 20/32 Titan. Curiously, he doesn't have any Myth times at the moment since his best non-Titan is the new God time on Baby Park. So there is still at least one thing Mikel didn't accomplish!

#187 Jack Whittingham decided to start 2016 with a bang and carry his momentum into the top-200. Some of his times were raced in the first week of the month since he narrowly missed the last update. Nevertheless, he produced 19 PRs and is now on the cusp of Heroism. One of Jack's PRs was on his weakest track -- Baby Park 7lap, from 282nd to 218th - and he improved another four other times from beyond top-250 to something closer to his expectation. Since he reduced his AF from 220 to 201, his expectation now is to race top-200 times everywhere. There were 7 new ones this week, raising his total to 15/32. He also raced his seventh and eighth Hero times: a 1'11"0 Peach Beach (up 52 positions) and Dino Dino Jungle 1'48"3 (up 47 positions). Jack has only two Expert B times remaining before he can start upgrading all of his Expert As to Hero, and the next immediately goal is shave the 0.2 ARR points he needs to become a Hero.

#199 Joe Higgs did just enough to reach the top-200, kicking out Shane V from 199th place. Joe also passed fellow UK player Jordon W en route, and has 6 more British players before him in the next twenty or so ladder rungs. The highlights among Joe's 11 new times included a 1'35"2 Dry Dry Desert (from 234th to 177th), a 47"3 Bowser's Castle lap (from 256th to 190th), and two of 1'39"9 Mushroom City and 1'49"5 Dino Dino Jungle. Joe remains an Expert A for the moment, but has 5 Hero times so far and almost everything else is Expert A, so on average he is very close to reaching Hero overall despite having a relatively smaller number of individual Heroes.

#236 Kai Oliver Meister didn't want to be left out of the top-200 discussions and is on his way there, himself. With a powerful 49pt AF cut this week, it seems that he may only need just one week extra! He had 100+ position cuts on Peach Beach lap, Dry Dry Desert lap, Mushroom Bridge lap, Mushroom City lap, and Daisy Cruiser. We suspected that his first Heroes would reveal themselves on Kai's best tracks, like Sherbet or the Castle, but instead he found three of a few of the aforementioned tracks: the Desert (from 30"52 to 29"79), the City (33"04 to 32"48) and the Beach (23"20 to 22"79). Two of those were also Kai's first top-200 times. So, as they say, the flood-gates have opened.

#308 Michele Sgroi got some very quick PRs early in the week, saying he got them in only four minutes of playing (possible, but unlikely to be precise, since they combined to three minutes and it takes a minute to clear the results screen and switch track between each one). He returned later in the week an additional 5 PRs, and his best cut was perhaps the 23"02 Peach Beach lap, a jump from 351st to 275th. Michele promised to focus on Waluigi Stadium and Baby Park next time since his times are now lagging behind there, and Baby Park holds his only remaining 400+ score. Michele's 7pt AF cut got the better of six players in the rankings, including William L, Matheus C, and Lorenzo F.

#325 Stephen De Winter scored his first PRs in three months. There was a sub in Dry Dry Desert and a 0.7 second cut in Bowser's Castle, but Stephen's 29"57 lap in Mario Circuit was his biggest cut among them since it improved from 342nd to 283rd. It's his fifth best time after Rainbow Road and DK Mountain, and eighth Expert B time. He passed Niels D, Patryk C, and Eric L in the rankings.

#401 Ben Stoneman reported 5 new PRs, leaving the top-400 for his next PR. He improved his weakest track, Mushroom Bridge, by 1.2 seconds and followed suit with beating his lap there to reduce him number of remaining 500+ times to 7 left. Ben's lap was also an Expert time -- his eleventh one -- so it's nice to upgrade one of his lowest times to his best standard. He is still Advanced A overall, but needs another 0.28 ARR points to reach that major promotion.

#545 Anton Delva says that he's been playing with his friends until 4am, eating salami sausages and drinking to Bon Jovi songs for many long weekends and now his world is shattered since he's discovered our secret, underground fight club. Armed with 25 PRs, Anton fisticuffed his way past maybe 70 or 80 players -- I don't know, there's a lot of names to count -- with an 87pt AF cut. He said he would really like to reach the top-500 but has to spend a week studying for exams, invigilated by his girlfriend, but vows to return very soon and earn some more bruises and black eyes. His new PRs took him from Advanced D to Advanced C level and he also erased all remaining traces of his 18 Intermediate times. The other 7 PRs that were not dedicated to upgrading Intermediates were spent on making Advanced times even more Advances, and the best among them were easily his pair of Bowser's Castle times ranked 441 and 417th. The lap alone was a jump of over 110 places and could be pushed a little further to become Anton's first top-400 time. Anton's other Advanced A time is on Mushroom City and he feels confident that he can upgrade it, as well.

#547 Chance Mewherter passed a couple of players, but got passed himself by Anton. Both players are only separated by Kai Winter, who himself was active only last week and may want to join them. Chance had 3 new times on Sherbet Land and Rainbow Road, and the 1'03"1 Rainbow lap in particular was an improvement from 564th to 509th. It's his second best time after Baby Park (where he has an Expert top-400 lap) and perhaps his most likely place to find a second Expert. However, Chance says his first priority is to improve Advanced D times to C level and that he will likely play DK Mountain next.


New Records

Andrew Math improved his own 60Hz record in DK Mountain lap from 33"46 to 33"421. His old time was set two years ago and his new time increased his leave over second place from 0"02 to 0"06.


New Players

Welcome to...

None this week.
Alex

XCX is.. surprisingly better than I expected! Worth trying.

Alex @ Friday, January 8th 09:45PM   [link]

Movement

#24 Jacob Purcell breathed some fresh mountain air this week and finally becoming a Myth B. He improved his DK Mountain to 1'44"5 and 33"97, chopping half a second off the 3lap and going sub-34 on the lap. His positions in the Mountain improved from 24th and 32nd to 18th and 20th, making it his fifth best track. Jacob reduced the gap between #23 Mikael J and himself from 1.4 down to 0.8 points.

#41 Mike Koehoorn reduced his AF by 1.0 points, extending his lead over recently-active #42 Noah and getting a few steps closer to #45 Gregor. Mike is sitting in the large gap between Gregor and Noah and it may take him another week or two to break out of the zone. He is also quickly approaching the limits of Titan A and may be in line for a promotion very soon. Mike's 5 new PRs this week included a new Myth B time on Baby Park lap with a 8"62 and new Myth C 28"4 lap in Dry Dry Desert, alongside some smaller cuts in Luigi Circuit, DK Mountain and Bowser's Castle.

#93 Frederic Vernier enjoyed his extended holiday and said it gave him ample free time to kart, producing 8 new times and finally achieving Titan-hood with a Titan D ranking. His 4.1 pt AF improvement also let him to overtake Nivek N, Max R, Sylvin R, and Fabien dS on the Combined ladder. Frederic's best cut was a 1'29"6 Mario Circuit, going sub-1'30 and improving from 104th to 70th. This new best time despite Frederic admitting that he lost 0"2 at the end trying swerve around a magnetic/kamikaze goomba, and so he thinks he can do even better. His time was also Titan D, and he slightly improved his best lap to obtain his 18th Titan time. Frederic also improved both scores on his weakest track, Sherbet Land, after receiving some cool tips from #23 Mikael on how to handle the ice. His old times were ranked ~130th and his new times, almost 40 positions higher, were both top-100 level. Only ten more races to go before he reaches 32/32 top-100.

#212 Joe Higgs impressed with a 12pt AF cut, passing 11 players including #220 Cooper L and #223 Jocelyn S. His scored 9 PRs and 7 of them were new top-200 times. For example, he improved Luigi Circuit lap by 40 positions to 195th, both Wario Colosseum scores by ~50 positions to 194th/187th, DK Mountain lap by 49 positions to 194th (missing out on nailing the 3lap as well, with 201st place), and both Peach Beach scores by ~60 positions to 186th/162nd. Those Beach times were his fourth and fifth Hero times, and the 22"6 lap ranked 162nd was also Joe's first Hero B and new best time. His old times were Expert, so these were substantial cuts. It seems inevitable that he will reach the top-200 either next week or the week after.

#317 Michele Sgroi was very active this week -- his first full week on the charts -- by scoring 21 PRs in the first half, adding 17 more in the second half, and reaching Expert C level. Overall he accrued a 44pt AF cut, enough to advance 39 places. His biggest cuts were on DK Mountain, improving his course time from 393rd to 250th and lap from 384th to 277th. He had three other new top-300 times in Bowser's Castle 3lap, Mushroom City 3lap, and Mushroom Bridge lap. Michele also slightly improved Mushroom Bridge 3lap, which was already his time, from 249th to 227th with a 1'22"7. He reached 32/32 Expert by erasing the last 7 remaining Advanced times, but is yet to uncover his first Hero. Mushroom Bridge seems the most promising track for it since both times are Expert A.

#409 Ben Stoneman reported 7 new times, passing 12 players in the charts and being within distance of catching the top-400 soon. Ben improved two of his weakest times, Peach Beach lap and Waluigi Stadium 3lap, to top-500 level but still has a few neglected tracks with 500+ scores. He also improved some of his better times, such as Waluigi Stadium lap, from 370th to 330th, and scored his first top-300 time on Rainbow Road with a 1'01"5 lap that was ranked 298th. Ben passed the half-way point between Advanced A and Expert and can look forward to that milestone.

#549 Chance Mewherter passed 8 players this week, including #555 Leone C (top-30 in MKDS) and Rob P (roommate of #47 Noah). Chance has a single Intermediate A time spoiling his timesheet and realised that he will need to play DK Mountain soon to clean it up, even though he doesn't like the track. Aside from that, he has 9 Advanced D times remaining now because he beat 3 of them this week, and he promises to continue pressuring his weakest standards to buckle.


New Records

None this week.


New Players

Welcome to...

Anton Delva, Belguim (#631, Advanced D)

Anton joined early in the week and was very active during. He is learning how to SSMT more effectively and improving PRs en masse. Expect some big cuts as he figures out the quirks of the game. Hopefully he is using the Barrel Train? He has 14/32 Advanced times but not Experts yet.
Alex

Good news: changing a 5 to a 6 on forms and paperwork is not super hard

Alex @ Saturday, January 2nd 01:32AM   [link]

Movement

#23 Mikael Johansson was the highest active player and spent the week trying to beat his Rainbow Road times. He improved the 3lap by almost a whole second and the lap to sub-58. Mikael said that the luck and consistency on R-tech on the spiral was costing him the most time and that he could still improve with better spirals. His new 2'56"4 course time, ranked 12th, is his new best course performance; his lap, ranked 14th, is his second best after Sherbet Land even though it earned a higher Myth standard.

#46 Mike Koehoorn found himself short on time due to Christmas and gaming tournaments, but had some spare time to chase a 1'35 in Mushroom City. He said he choked some potential runs, but at least improved his lap to top-50 with a 31"51. Mike also nudged his Daisy Cruiser lap a few positions higher to score a new Titan+ time.

#47 Noah Murad slashed 4.2 AF points to pass five veterans: Rodolphe, Trystan, Stefan v D, Kyle C, and Stephen M. He almost caught up to Mike as well, but was happy with his top-50 position. His favourite among his 7 new times were Mushroom Bridge 1'19"8 / 25"9 and Mushroom City 1'36"9, scoring three new subs and one of them by a thousandth of a second. The Bridge 3lap was a new top-50 time while the lap equalled his best position of 31st place. The City 3lap was also a top-50 time, and a big jump from his old 77th place. The spate of new top-50 times continued flowing in Waluigi Stadium lap and Wario Colosseum lap, with a 59"6 being what's needed there these days to reach the top-50. Noah raced his first ever Myth+ time this week and is hoping to go just one step higher next time.

#97 Frederic Vernier had 5 new times to report, enough to pass Marvin M and distance himself slightly from the top-100 gateway. Frederic's 28"6 Mario Circuit lap was his biggest improvement, from 117th to 95th place. He raced his 19th top-100 time on Waluigi Stadium with a 32"11 lap and his other PRs were on Mushroom Bridge, formerly his weakest track. He has pushed his Hero A status almost as far as it can go and should earn a promotion quite soon. Tracking close to Fred is #100 Mikel Nelson, continuing his recent comeback with 20 new PRs. His best individual time was a 28"6 lap on Dry Dry Desert, an improvement from 98th to 58th place. It's currently his top time by fifteen positions. Mikel's cuts were spread across all cups and he improved a few courses quite a bit, e.g. Luigi Circuit from 144th to 85th, Mushroom Bridge lap from 198th to 78th, Sherbet Land from 162nd to 111th, and Dino Dino Jungle from 184th to 112th. With a 25pt total AF cut, Mikel is poised to step into top-100 territory very soon. He also boosted his ARR from Hero B to Hero A and is now very close to the same major promotion as Fred is.

#205 Jack Whittingham scored a healthy 22pt AF cut, nearly enough to reach the top-200. He had 21 new PRs to report, mostly skewed in favour of Star and Special cups. Jack raised his count of top-200 times from 3 to 9, still not half-way but with many scores borderline. His best cuts were on Baby Park 8"79 (from 8"89), Mario Circuit 29"0 (from 29"3), and Mario Circuit 1'31"5 (from 1'32"5), each of them a 70+ position cut. The Baby lap was also Jack's new best ranked time (154th) by five positions compared to his Desert lap. He reached Expert A status and raced two new Hero times to reach 6/32, but will likely need to race another ten Heroes to cross the Expert terrain.

#223 Joe Higgs scored a 13pt AF cut from 7 PRs, including his first sub-1'07 on Baby Park and a powerful 75-position cut on Daisy Cruiser. He also produced his long-awaited cuts on Waluigi Stadium, a track he had neglected since September. He beat his course time from 317th to 213th and lap from 342nd to 209th, ensuring that it was no longer his worst track. The top-200 is still on the horizon, although Jack may reach it first.

#286 Kai Oliver Meister had a week off during the holidays to play his heart out and managed 24 new PRs, enough for a 45pt AF cut and 42 positions gain in the rankings. Kai increased his count of top-300 times from 5 to 16/32, reaching the half-way point, and it's likely why his average finish is 300.6th place. With all 16 of his old Expert D times beaten, Kai's timesheet is now exclusively Experts A-C. He has a few tracks that are likely candidates for his first Hero time, such as Bowser's Castle or Shertbet Land. His best PR of the week was a 25"22 lap on Sherbet ranked 237th, his third best time. Having reached the top-300 and Expert B level, the next obvious target is to go for top-250.

#545 Kai Winter, #557 Chance Mewherter, and ~809 Chaz Gwennap were also active over the holidays.

New Records

None this week.


New Players

Welcome to...

Baptiste Lefebvre, France (~1024, Beginner C)
Michele Sgroi, USA (#356, Expert D)

Baptiste has many Intermediate times but only a partial timesheet with many blanks; his best track is Mushroom Bridge. Michele has mostly Expert times with a small handful of Advanced times, and his best track is also Mushroom Bridge where his course time is top-250.
Alex

The Falcon has landed.

Alex @ Tuesday, December 22nd 04:58AM   [link]

Movement

#46 Mike Koehoorn was the highest active player (somehow avoiding the temptation to eat chocolate all week long) and felt that he needed to close the AF gap with #45 Gregor. The gap was nearly 5 points and he reduced it by 2.3, although still has a ways to go. His 8 PRs this week were on Daisy Cruiser, Rainbow Road, and all the tracks beginning with 'M'. Mike was quite pleased to go under 1'29 in Mushroom Bridge, with a 1'28"98, sneaking into the top-50 there and upgrading his time to Titan A. Daisy Cruiser and Rainbow Road echoed this same story: subbing the niner (with 2'58"7 Rainbow, 1'38"8 Cruiser) with a new Titan A time that's roughly the same rank as his overall position. He also raced his 9th Myth time on Mushroom City lap with an impressive 31"57, and feels that he needs to bring his still-Titan 3lap down to Myth level... even though it's ranked higher than his new lap.

#98 Frederic Vernier returned to Daisy Cruiser, having raced a new time there last week, and tried all sorts of shroom configurations to avoid tables in the dining room getting in his way. He ended up with a 1'39"8, his first sub-1'40 and just over half a second faster than before. He also beat his lap again, making sure to bring both course and lap to top-100 level for the first time. He also improved his Dry Dry Desert to top-100 with a 1'33"3, which was a jump from Hero B to Titan D. Fred is not sure what track to tackle next but supposes that it will have long stretches of asphalt and wide, gentle turns.

#120 Mikel Nelson, last active in 2011, made a strong return to the MKDD and says he has been playing vigorously over the past two weeks. A younger version of himself wasn't so good, but the new, improved Mikel has several years of speedrunning practice (Mario 64), more wisdom, more resolve, more luck, etc. Mikel had to start from scratch since he lost his save data, but managed to beat all 32/32 of his times since the start of the month. His new timesheet is 80 positions higher than before and Hero B instead of Expert A. There are some weaker tracks present (ranked 180+) but so five top-100 times. His best is 72nd in Rainbow Road and is also quite good at DK Mountain, which Mikel says was the last track he conquered. Let's see if he's got more up his sleeve next week.

#230 Jack Whittingham had a 10pt AF cut to report and was most happy to race his fourth Hero time on Peach Beach lap. It was a large cut from 23"08 (300th) to 22"77 (199th) and Jack's third ever top-200 time. His others, just in case you forgot, are the Desert lap and Bridge lap. A pattern? He also scored a psychological boost, albeit a small cut in absolute terms, in Mushroom City with a 1'39"8, which was his first sub-1'40. He also played some Rainbow Road to edge out his rival Joe, who is rumoured to have been playing that track and trying to beat Jack's time.

#234 Joe Higgs kept pace with Jack's progress, mirroring his 10pt AF cut. Joe's seven new scores were spread across five tracks, with two doubles on Wario Colosseum and Rainbow Road. He improved those four times from 300+ to ~260 (except Rainbow 3lap, which was already 297th) to bring them closer to his average. Joe made use of the other tracks (Luigi Circuit, Mario Circuit, Mushroom City) to reduce his remaining Expert C times from 8 down to just 3 left.

#290 Kevin Sekanor returned after four weeks absence--but assures us that he was active and chipping away at his timesheet the entire duration--with 16 new PRs and a 52pt AF cut. He focused on the half of the tracks he liked most, and says he will need to return to the sucky half later. The biggest single cut was a 22"52 Peach Beach lap ranked 141st, down from 393rd. It was Kevin's first Hero A time and one of six new Hero times, increasing his total to 7/32. The others were a 25"1 lap in Luigi Circuit, 1'11"1 Peach Beach, Mushroom Bridge 1'21"8 / 26"6, and a 1'39"0 in Mushroom City. Kevin also increased his total of top-200 times from one to six, giving us a show of potential since he still has scores ranked 400+ in places that could be smashed to similar levels. Unfortunately they are on the sucky half of the tracks that Kevin doesn't like, so we may have to hold our collective breath to see them improve so much, so soon. Kevin reached Expert C in ARR and is very close to the next standard as well, so expect another promotion next time.

#322 Gavin Kimpton and #328 Kai Oliver Meister were both active and remain very close. Kai, if you recall, recently joined with half of his timesheet and completed his missing times last week to debut just ahead of Gavin. This week Gavin reclaimed the lead with a 17pt cut, although Kai's 5pt cut was enough to push ahead of seven players as well. Gavin's favourite improvements were Bowser's Castle 2'28"7 (a jump of 79 places and sub-2'30) and Dry Dry Desert 30"61 (a jump of 80 places and fourth top-300 time). He had ten other improvements and reduced his number of Expert D times from 17 down to 10 left. Kai's highlights were his 2'25"6 and 47"9 on Bowser's Castle, both ranked top-250 and almost becoming his best track if it hadn't been for the meddling Sherbet Land that still holds claim to his best time (ranked 231st). One of those Castle times was Expert A, which equals Kai's best-ever standard and therefore makes Sherbet Land slightly less greedy.

#422 Ben Stoneman's 16 point AF cut came from 15 PRs and allowed him to pass fellow Australian #429 Jack G, giving him fifth place in the whole continent. Ben's biggest cuts were easily on Rainbow Road (100+ positions) and his 1'01"6 lap, ranked 305th, was almost his first top-300 time. Nevertheless, it was a new Expert time and Ben now has ten of those. He remains Advanced A in ARR for now, but can sense the Expert ribbon around the next corner.

#561 Chance Mewherter was active once again, besting his Mushroom City lap by 72 positions. He may need to watch out for, or be inspired by, the nearby #566 Jonathan Toole-Charignon who scored some frightfully impressive Mushroom Bridge times. Jonathan's 26"7 lap was 1.3 seconds quicker than his old lap from earlier in the month, and he seems to have extended whatever epiphany he had to the 3lap with a 1'21"9 (four seconds quicker than before). These top-200 times really stand out from the rest of Jonathan's timesheet.

Last but not least, Chaz Gwennap thumped his Peach Beach from 1'12"7 to 1'12"0, further improving his already-best time from 368th place to 302nd. He also improved Luigi Circuit a couple of times over the week, resting on a 1'20"2 that's getting very close to the sub, and found a way to save a lot of time on his worst track (Walugi Stadium). Hopefully he will submit his lap times soon so that we can see where he really stands.


New Records

None this week.


New Players

None this week.
Alex

May the Force be good for a change.

Alex @ Wednesday, December 16th 01:48AM   [link]

Movement

#47 Mike Koehoorn got the better of #48 Trystan P after reporting 7 PRs. He thought he had also caught up to Rodolphe G, but forgot that #52 Noah M is close behind and beating some of his scores. Mike was happy to take his Yoshi Circuit below 1'43 for the first time, and even more happy with his 1'31"4 Dry Dry Desert time, which is ranked 28th and is his second best time after Wario Colosseum. Mike also focused on Daisy Cruiser and Sherbet Land, grabbing a few more PRs on each.

#52 Noah Murad took a few more steps towards his goal to reach top-50, and towards his longer-term goal to reach Canada's top player #35 Scott D. This week's 6 point AF cut came from 10 PRs, some of which were Noah's weakest times. For example, he improved his Rainbow Road from 145th place to 91st, which is still almost his worst time but much better than before. It was one of three Hero times that Noah upgraded to Titan, the other two being Baby Park 1'05"7 (was 86th, now 81st) and Rainbow Road 58"81 (was 94th, now 54th). Noah still has a single Hero time left over, on DK Mountain 3lap, which he has been grinding for the past few weeks and improved once against this week but is still shy of the Titan standards. His best PR this week was a 31"80 lap in Daisy Cruiser, equalling his best ranking of 31st place. Noah's efforts earned him the title of Titan A and he advanced seven positions.

#98 Frederic Vernier joined the double-digits ranks with a 6 PR week and 4.3 pt AF cut, enough to pass Scott A, Chavallier F, and to nudge Rickard L back to triple-digit ranks. He raced three new Titan times -- Daisy Cruiser 32"49 and Wario Colosseum 2'02"6 / 1'00"3 -- to raise his total to 13/32 Titans. He is still Hero A level overall for the moment, but another strong week like this week might be enough to get promoted.

#219 Jocelyn Sitek passed 8 players with a 6.2 pt AF cut, primarily motivated to bring his DK Mountain time back into the top-100 after briefly being kicked out by other players' improvements. Jocelyn's DKM is by far his best track and he improved his old 1'48"8, which had slipped to 102nd place, to 1'48"0 and 83rd place. This was Jocelyn's first Hero A time, and still his most likely track to get his first Titan some day. He also improved his lap from 134th to 102nd, almost getting a second top-100 time. Aside from DKM, Jocelyn's best improvement this week was a 25"4 Luigi Circuit lap, ranked 208th down from 246th.

#233 Jack Whittingham has been busy Xenoblading but found some time to play time trials, a net reduction of 20 AF pts from 14 PRs. He brought six scores up from 300+ to 200+, and had two large cuts among them. One was Mushroom City 1'40"07, missing the sub but improving from 333rd to 244th. The other was a 26"7 lap in Mushroom Bridge -- his second top-200 time and third Hero -- ranked 183rd down from 228th. Jack also beat his last remaining Expert D time on Sherbet Land, giving him 32/32 Expert C. He has only 4 Cs, so he may be able to beat those as well by the year's end.

#332 Kai Oliver Meister debuted on the rankings after sending in his missing lap times, which he said he had been working on all week. He also beat his three Advanced course times to reach 32/32 Expert, and a new title of Expert C. Kai's best tracks are still Sherbet Land and Bowser's Castle, but he also drastically improved his Luigi Circuit this week to make it his third best track.

#434 Ben Stoneman, the recent MKDS champion, is devoting more and more time to MKDD. Like MKDS, this is a game of "too many MTs" and his finger-mashing skills should transfer well. He was busy all week and improved almost all of his scores, accumulating a 57 pt AF cut. He went from 12 top-500 times to 20, and improved many of the others that are not yet top-500 quality. His biggest improvements were on Sherbet Land, going from 553rd to 391st in the 3lap and reaching his new best ranking of 341st with a 25"7 lap.

#558 Rob Prittie has started taking part in his friend Noah's "random track challenge", where Noah assigns him a track and he must play it until he improves. This forced Rob to play a few neglected tracks, where he scored big PRs to help him amass a 62 pt AF cut. For example, he improved his Mushroom Bridge lap from 600+ to 443rd place, which is his best rank and his first Expert D time. Wario Colosseum and Dino Dino Jungle both showcased 200+ position cuts and new Advanced times, giving Rob 26/32 Advanced and ample motivation to erase his remaining Intermediates. He still has several neglected tracks that hopefully Noah will roll on the dice next time.

#584 Jonathan Toole-Charignon smashed his Luigi Circuit and Mushroom Bridge times, which was enough to take him into the top-600. In the Circuit he raced a 1'19"5 to get the sub for the first time, score his second Expert time, and improve from 491st to 330th. In the Bridge, he improved both times from ~600-700 to ~450th, also scoring his third Expert time on the lap.

#501 Jim Dalton, #525 Anna Moon, #561 Chance Mewherter, ~823 Chaz Gwennap, and #912 Meagan Schmidt were also active and feeling the holiday spirit. Perhaps the Christmas break will afford them even more time to kart and break their times.


New Records

None this week.


New Players

Welcome to...

Dennis Heisenberg, Germany (#237, Expert B)
Bob Wilson, Sweden (#486, Advanced B)

Dennis has mostly Expert times with the occasional Hero time. Bob has seven Experts among his primarily-Advanced timesheet, and also the most-Swedish-name-ever.
Alex

UCL this morning: United to Europa!

Alex @ Tuesday, December 8th 08:11PM   [link]

Movement

#24 Jacob Purcell helped #15 Christian Wild tie for 15th place with David Schiering. He raced a 32"63 lap in Yoshi Circuit that was faster than David, but (strategically) slower than Christian, to make David lose some points and make the two players tie. Some handshakes and payment were probably exchanged, although sitting on a tie is a precarious position to be in, and Jacob might accidentally beat Christian somewhere else next week. Jacob's other PRs were a new 1'15"4 Titan+ on Sherbet Land, and two new Titans on DK Mountain. Jacob is very close to the next Myth standard, and halved the distance between himself and #23 Mikael, so he has good reasons to keep playing. Just be wary of any accidents smile

#48 Mike Koehoorn managed to pass fellow Dutchie #49 Stefan vD with a new 32"84 Yoshi Circuit lap. Apparently there were secret handshakes and bribes here as well, with a similar goal to Jacob. Mike's lap wasn't as fast as Jacob's but was a big 30-position improvement on his old 33"11 and two standards jump. He also improved his Peach Beach time to 1'08"8 later in the week, scoring a new Myth C time.

#56 Thomas van Leeuwen played for the first time in a few weeks and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly he raced a new 31"53 Waluigi Stadium lap, the same difficult track he struggled with last month. His new time was ranked 33rd, a nice jump from 50th, and was also two standards better than before. Thomas pointed out that it was his best ranked time by a fair margin. He also passed #57 Ivo in the rankings, which makes him the meat in the Flynn-Thomas-Ivo Dutch sandwich.

#102 Frederic Vernier only had time to play one track this week, and he chose Bowser's Castle. It helped him score a 2.5 point AF cut -- enough to pass Mikael S, Ben Z, and David L in the charts, but not enough to get to the top-100 yet. He improved his course time from 2'22"8 to 2'21"3 and lap from 46"6 to 46"1, both of which were big cuts of 30-40 positions and both were new top-100 times. The lap was also Frederic's tenth Titan time, which was better than his Hero A average.

#234 Jocelyn Sitek reached Expert A status this week after racing three very nice subs. First was a 1'18"9 Luigi Circuit: this was previously his only remaining Exp D time and worst ranked time (300+), but he improved it by two standards and to 255th place. It's still ranked below his Average Finish but is no longer an outlier, so Jocelyn was happy to get Luigi into shape. He also subbed 1'40 on Mushroom City with a 1'39"82 -- a whole second faster than before -- and subbed 1'50 on Dino Dino Jungle with a 1'49"9. Jocelyn had two smaller PRs on Wario Colosseum for a 7pt total AF cut.

#249 Joe Higgs kept pace with Jocelyn by racing his own 7pt AF cut to pass 9 players in the charts, including Arto J and speedrunner Lars Stelzig, which allowed him to reach the top-250. Nearby rival #261 Jack W was absent this week, albeit this doesn't mean Jack hasn't been racing behind-the-scenes. Joe had 6 new PRs to report, including his third Hero and first Hero C: a 26"79 Mushroom Bridge lap. This lap was ranked 170th, making it Joe's new best time since it was slightly better than his Dino Dino lap (183rd) from last week. Joe improved two other times to top-250 status -- Peach Beach lap and Yoshi Circuit lap -- which is perhaps the new expectation for him since he joined the top-250.

#291 Randy Jacobson joined last week with a handful of Expert times in Mushroom Cup and not much else. He said he actually had a full set of times and that his email got cut off, so he sent in the rest this week. His other Cups appear to be just as good, if not better, than Mushroom: dozens of Expert times everywhere. Randy even sent in 4 Titan times in his submissions this week, so I'd like to double-check that they are not in error. If correct, then Randy is a Yoshi Circuit and Bowser's Castle specialist since his times there are top-100 (the best being 61st place). There's some support to believe the times are not typos since he also has multiple top-200 times in Flower and Special Cups. Meanwhile, there are tracks that Randy has clearly neglected where he still has 500+ ranked times, such as Baby Park and Dry Dry Desert. Assuming Randy's timesheet is all clear then he debuts in the top-300, is ranked Expert B, and has 5 Hero-or-Titan times so far. If he can improve some of those lagging Advanced times then he will shoot up the rankings quickly.

#498 Ben Stoneman got tired of not being in the top-500 and decided to rectify the situation. He sent in 12 PRs in exchange for a 13pt AF cut, and raced his top-500 times on Baby Park 7lap, Sherbet Land lap, and Wario Colosseum 2lap. So far Ben has 12/32 top-500 times, with eight more times being very close to the border and needing a small nudge. He also beat Dry Dry Desert lap, one of his last two remaining Intermediate times, which now leaves just DK Mountain as his sole remaining Intermediate. Ben's time there is from six months ago and it may be worth scrutinising a few videos to learn how to best approach the canyon shortcut, since that's where a lot of time is won or lost. Using Toad Kart instead of Barrel Train is another option that's popular on DK Mountain.

#530 Anna Moon made Waluigi Stadium her best track by racing a 35"3 lap, ranked 470th, which was a 96-position cut and ranked a few positions ahead of her Daisy Cruiser lap from last week. She now has 5 top-500 times, a gain of two for the week, and they will likely keep coming as she approaches the milestone mark. Anna also upgraded 5 of her times to Adv B (13/32 now) and improved 5 of her last 7 Adv D times, leaving just Luigi Circuit and Yoshi Circuit for next week. She gained 13 positions in the ladder with a 16pt AF cut.

#618 Rob Prittie scored a 22pt AF cut and freed himself from the shackles of beginner-prison by besting his last trio of Beginner times on Baby Park and Rainbow Road. He was pleased to reach 32/32 Intermediate and further pleased to reach 18/32 Advanced and get a promotion to Advanced D, but knows that the road to riches is still long, dark, and fraught with danger such as prams, cruise ships, arenas, savage dinosaurs, neon lights, fireballs, and various other tracks he will need to revisit again to challenge his weakest times. Rob's best improvement of the week was perhaps his 1'27"9 Mushroom Bridge, a jump from 735th to 585th place, but his best time was a 35"6 lap in Waluigi Stadium ranked 501st -- so close to becoming his second top-500 time.

Chaz Gwennap and Meagan Schmidt were also active. Chaz is still missing many times from his timesheet, but raced his new best time of 1'12"7 (366th) on Peach Beach. Meagan went under 1'56 and 38"0 in Mushroom City for the first time, scoring her fourth and fifth Beginner A times. They would have been her best times, had it not been for the meddling Dry Dry Desert, which is (understandably) her best time (since it's also Jacob's best track).


New Records

None this week.


New Players

Welcome to...

Jonas Schmidt, Germany (#395, Advanced A)
Jim Dalton, UK (#504, Advanced B)
Peter Finn, Australia (#731, Intermediate B)
Kai Oliver Meister (~768, Intermediate B)

Jonas is very-nearly-Expert and his best time is on Sherbet Land, ranked 274th. Jim, who is close to the top-500, may provide some competition for Ben and Jack; his best time is on Luigi Circuit 3lap, ranked 153rd, and his Baby Park is also quite strong. Peter has mostly Intermediate times, with the occasional Beginner time (homer_d'oh.jpg), six Advanced times (homer_woohoo.jpg), and some super Expert times on Dino Dino Jungle ranked 300-400. Kai has only half of his timesheet submitted but has many Advanced and Expert times, the best ones being near the top-250.