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02 December 2016: "It's advent calendar week!"
Movement

#6 Mike Koehoorn is rapidly approaching #5 Hendrik Bunde, largely thanks to a 0.7 AF cut this week. This puts him only 0.3 points behind the German No. 1, which is a gap that Mike can overcome in one or two weeks. His new times included his first sub-1'04 in Baby Park, which was good enough for 4th place, a 1'18"6 Mushroom Bridge and 27"8 Mario Circuit that both jumped a couple of positions, and two top-5 times in Mushroom City where his previous times were 8th/9th. His biggest win was on Bowser's Castle with a 45"03 lap, which was his worth time (15th) and he improved it to 8th. This gives Mike 30/32 top-10 times.

#12 David Gutierrez Pena was the second highest active player. He improved his Sherbet Land lap to 16th place with a 24"002, unfortunate to miss the sub. David insists that he will be active next week in preparation to enter the top-10. He needs to cut 0.4pts in AF to reach #11 Vincent and 1.1pts to reach #10 Jean-Christophe.

#96 Kevin Sekanor raced his first (non-Baby Park) Myth time this week with a 24"6 lap in Luigi Circuit. It was a big jump from 83rd to 51st, becoming his best (non-Baby Park) ranked time; his next best is his DK Mountain lap at 62nd place. Kevin has two more cuts to report and both were impressive: his first sub-1'21 Mushroom Bridge and first sub-1'33 Mario Circuit, both reaching Titan C standards. He passed Jon P and Leo B in the rankings this week.

#179 Hugh Moorhead's 8pt AF cut was largely a result of focusing on a few of his poor tracks. Peach Beach 3lap, previously his fourth weakest time, improved by 80 positions and three standards to 183rd spot. Hugh's lap in that track was already quite good -- and he even improved it to top-150 this week -- so the 3lap blitz was just a matter of time. He similarly improved his worst track, Sherbet Land, by roughly 60 positions on both the course and lap time; his 1'18"0 was an upgrade to Expert A and corresponding 24"8 lap was a new Hero time. Hugh also slightly improved two of his best time, Mushroom Bridge lap to 26"3 and Mushroom City lap to 32"1. The Bridge lap was Hugh's first (non-Baby Park) Titan time and he said that his next immediate goal is to push Peach Beach to Titan level as well, which he missed this week by 0"01.

#186 Brent Caldwell also reported an 8pt AF cut, doing enough to pass a handful of players that included Anton D and Markus H. It was a return from two months' break for Brent and he found 8 PRs in a matter of days. He also raced a 29"6 Dry Dry Desert lap and 1'22"0 Mushroom Bridge 3lap, which were his 14th and 15th Hero times, bringing him on the cusp of a majority. All of Brent's remaining Expert times are Expert A and need a little nudge to cross the line.

#193 Dorian Herniote was perhaps the busiest player this week, reporting times nearly every day and reaching Hero level in the process. In total he improved 18/32 times, enough to reach the top-200 with a 24pt AF cut. His biggest cuts were a 29"4 Desert lap (from 257th to 141st), a 1'50"3 Mountain time (from 211th to 160th), and a 1'00"0 Rainbow lap (from 324th to 160th). For the last one, Dorian said that he was happily racing small 1'00"9 incremental shaves and suddenly scored a huge 0"9 drop, so it was unfortunate that he missed the sub-minute barrier by so little.

#236 Giovanni van Basten resumed his activity, reporting three new PRs. His 35"4 lap in Dino Dino Jungle was a jump of 40 positions and his 29"2 lap in Mario Circuit, ranked 216th, is one of his best ranked times.

#294 Jean-Christophe Leger raced a 37pt AF cut and thought that it was not enough and that he should have done even more. A cut that big is enviable, but Jean-Christophe was instead happier to score his first Hero time with a 24"8 lap in Sherbet Land. It was one of two top-200 times that he reported -- his first ones so far -- with the other score being a 36"2 lap in Yoshi Circuit. His other 14 PRs included some similarly big cuts, such as 1'45"5 Waluigi Stadium (up 155 positions), 32"9 Mushroom City lap (up 167 positions), and 1'50"1 Dino Dino Jungle (up 116 positions). Jean-Christophe reached the top-300, passing 30 players, and also became Hero B.

#328 Stephen De Winter pushed his Mario Circuit times even further, reaching as high as 217th place with his 1'31"6 course time. This was about 50 positions higher than his last PR and a new top position for him, better than his 220-230 ranked times on DK Mountain. Just like the Mountain, his Mario times were both Expert A and likely candidates for a first Hero time.

#345 Vincent Audoore reported an 8pt AF cut, passing 9 players. His highlights were definitely on DK Mountain, including a 37"5 lap that is now his best time outside Dry Dry Desert. Vincent also beat his Yoshi Circuit time from August, one of his last Advanced times, which leaves him with 2 remaining.

#479 David Nutt's 21pt AF cut was a result of only 6 PRs, albeit he felt that his week was too busy and that he didn't have enough time to apply himself fully. He improved his Mario Circuit quite substantially, from Advanced D to A, and scored a top-500 time. He improved Yoshi Circuit by a long way, too, from ~680 down to ~530 and eliminating two more Advanced D times. His last remaining Advnaced Ds are on Rainbow Road, which he didn't get a chance to tackle this week.

#513 Christophe Balzeau joined a month ago and reported his first batch of PRs raced over the past three weeks. With a 53pt AF cut, he moved up over 40 positions. He said that he couldn't play on the weekdays since he was away from home, but managed to play during weekends. Christophe's favourite cuts among his 21 PRs were on Dino Dino Jungle where he smashed his Advanced D times by about 300 positions. The 1'52"8 course time and a 36"4 lap were both new Expert times and ranked top-400, slightly better than his best times last week on Sherbet Land. Just yesterday, he improved his Rainbow Road times using R-tech to top-400 level as well, reaching as high as 316th place on 3lap with a 3'07"1. The Rainbow times were his 5th and 6th Experts and Christophe progressed to Advanced B level in ARR.

Guillaume Becard filled in 4 holes in his timesheet, needing just 4 more to go. He seems destined to be ranked between 100th-150th place when he finalises his timesheet and already progressed to Hero D level with his latest cuts. They included an 8"6 lap in Baby Park ranked 96th and 1'00"5 lap in Wario Colosseum ranked 92nd, both new top-100 times. Guillaume now has 7 top-100 times, the best of which is Luigi Circuit ranked 89th, but he seems capable of making big cuts in many tracks such as his recent jump from 160 to 97th in Bowser's Castle. His Sherbet and Rainbow times this week were among his weakest ones because he is filling the empty gaps, but perhaps with some dedication he can bring those to top-100 level as well.


New Records

None this week.


New Players

Welcome to...

Russell Horwood, UK (#808, Intermediate C)
Bart Rooijmans, Netherlands (~804, Intermediate B)
Will Mandrola, USA (#779, Intermediate B)
Jordan Fetner, USA (#969, Beginner C)

Lots of new players and all in the same general area of the ladder. Maybe they'll pick up some advanced techniques from watching our top players' streams and videos?