The annual Yorkshire astronomy Mastermind quiz (Astromind) came to Sheffield this weekend, as usual hosted by Neil Haggath and as usual some interesting and mind bending questions. This year’s competitors were Marcus Armitage from Huddersfield, Mick Waterfield from Mexborough & Swinton and our very own Darren Swindells sporting his Sheffield Astronomical Society polo shirt. The Ranmoor Parish Centre was filled with a good sized, vocal audience from the three societies, some of the Sheffield supporters with yellow cheerleader pom-pom’s ! The competition was fierce and close and after two rounds Marcus had taken a slender 2 point lead over Darren who also had a 2 point lead over Mick.
Round 2 was the picture round which gave the audience a chance as they joined in on that round with a couple of bottles of wine on offer as the 1st and 2nd prizes.
Things changed in round 3, the practical round (Can you work out which constellation the Sun is in if you are standing on Antares ?) when Darren got full marks to take a commanding lead with the points being 31, 28 and 27 – still all to fight for.
Round 4 was Neil’s Nasties and nasties they were – What constellation is the Messier object in, if you add the Messier number of the Lagoon Nebula and the only Messier object in the constellation with the last Latin name alphabetically ?
At the end of round 4, Marcus had closed the gap to 1 point 37, 36, 33.
So it was down to the final round – the quick fire 2 minute (I’ve started so I will finish) round, a maximum of 25 questions. Darren went first and got a good tally of 18. Mick followed getting 14 and then it was Marcus’s turn. It was well know that he was very good at this round and almost always got through all 25 questions but how many would he get right ? The atmosphere in the room was electric with the local crowd keeping track of his score on their fingers. When he surpassed Darren’s number of passes we knew Marcus couldn’t win the contest by getting the same score as Darren so needed to get 20 out of 25 correct. In the end the cheers rang out as Marcus could only manage 16 giving Darren a well earned win and getting his hands on the trophy for the first time!
Well done Darren and we look forward to him trying to retain the trophy next year !
Below are a few images from the day taken by Paul Tracey.