© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Speed-cubing hits the Garden City

Annabel Kean
Speed-cubing New Zealand Southern championship 2017.  Mike Field

Some of the world's best speed-cubers can solve a standard Rubik's Cube faster than Usain Bolt's 100 metre world record sprint.

The South Island's first speed-cubing regional tournament since 2008 has taken place with more than 40 people competing.

The world's best speed-cubers can solve a standard Rubik's Cube faster than five seconds. Australian teenager Feliks Zemdegs holds the world record for a three-by-three Rubik's Cube at 4.73 seconds.

Christchurch's White Elephant Trust hosted the event. The trust's chief executive Mike Field is an avid speed-cuber and took part in the competition himself, placing 33rd.

He said Rubik's-cubing was a fantastic way to expand problem-solving skills, as well as being an affordable hobby.

The White Elephant building was the perfect place to host the event, Field said.

"White Elephant exists to help young people do cool stuff, and I saw an opportunity to bring something really cool that's mostly done by young people down to the South Island after a nearly 10 year absence."

Speed-cubers at Saturday's competition were striving to beat the New Zealand record of 6.6 seconds.

 New Zealand's top speedcuber, James MacDiarmid, was at the competition in preparation for the Paris World Championship in July.

The 18-year-old from Wellington started "solving" six years ago. Now he has a Rubic's cube on him 24/7.

He said there was a strong community in New Zealand that attended the regional competitions every year, and people from around the country traveled to Christchurch over the weekend.

"You get to make new friends and get to know people that share the same common interests as you."

The world championship has had almost 1000 registrations from 65 countries.