Motor Equipment News - - FRONT PAGE - Words Chrissy Fletcher. Pic­tures WorldSkills

There were more than 45 trade skills con­tested by 1,300 com­peti­tors from 72 coun­tries over five days at the equiv­a­lent of the Trade Olympics for un­der 24-year-olds, the WorldSkills In­ter­na­tional in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The NZ Tool Blacks team con­tested 15 of those skill cat­e­gories. The three con­tes­tants in the au­to­mo­tive field were Chel­cie Kuriger from Hamil­ton (Waikato Toy­ota), David Fox from (Wade Col­li­son Re­pair (Hamil­ton), and Luke Tahu­rangi from Wainuiomata (Larsens Panel and Paint).

To get into the NZ Tool Blacks they won through the 2013 re­gional and 2014 na­tional com­pe­ti­tions, then ear­lier this year at the Ocea­nia com­pe­ti­tions in­volv­ing eight coun­tries.

The WorldSkills NZ team, the NZ Tool Blacks and their coaches and men­tors, all knew that the WorldSkills In­ter­na­tion­als would be a gi­ant step up again from the scale of the Ocea­nia com­pe­ti­tions – but see­ing 250,000 spec­ta­tors con­stantly pack­ing the 3-4m wide walk­ways watch­ing ev­ery­thing each con­tes­tant did, was an­other mat­ter.

See­ing is be­liev­ing. Sud­denly you’re a rock star and ev­ery­body’s not only watch­ing ev­ery­thing you do, but of­ten film­ing it, as you tackle mul­ti­ple projects in a few pres­sured hours of in­tense com­pe­ti­tion.

The WorldSkills In­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion’s open­ing cer­e­mony was struc­tured along the lines of the Olympic Games, with an open­ing pa­rade and com­peti­tor’s oath. Luke Tahu­rangi was se­lected as one of only three com­peti­tors to take the oath on be­half of all 1,300 com­peti­tors – a huge hon­our for both Luke and NZ. Just af­ter the NZ team was in­tro­duced in the open­ing pa­rade, Luke led the team haka, af­ter which there was a mo­ment of stunned si­lence, be­fore rous­ing ap­plause from the 120,000-strong crowd.

Luke com­peted against com­peti­tors from 20 other coun­tries in Au­to­mo­tive Re­fin­ish­ing. He won the Medal­lion of Ex­cel­lence in Au­to­mo­tive Re­fin­ish­ing, which means he came within the top 10 per­cent and placed ninth over­all. His com­pe­ti­tion was bro­ken down into five mod­ules:

Day 1

Spot re­pair on pre painted left wing Mask­ing of car and plas­tic part.

Day 2

Stan­dard ap­pli­ca­tion in­side and out­side right door.

Day 3

Wet on wet right wing (three layer) Colour mix­ing.

Day 4

De­sign lay­out and pol­ish.

In David’s Au­to­body Re­pair (panel beat­ing) com­pe­ti­tion, there were also 20 com­pet­ing in five mod­ules. In the end he was just a pid­dly half point off a Medal­lion of Ex­cel­lence, which al­though of course was dis­ap­point­ing, he said was not as im­por­tant in the big pic­ture as the chance to be there and ex­pe­ri­ence the com­pe­ti­tion and Brazil.

“The build-up to go­ing was pretty in­tense,” says David. “I went to Sin­ga­pore to the Car-o-lina Train­ing Fa­cil­ity a month be­fore, for a week’s train­ing. Sin­ga­pore was my first big trip and so it pre­pared me a bit for Brazil.

“As much as peo­ple told me what it was go­ing to be like, it wasn’t un­til you were there that you got a sense of how much big­ger WorldSkills is in other coun­tries. Here it tends to fly a bit un­der the radar.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence it­self was the best thing about it. Be­ing there with ev­ery­one else was amaz­ing and the com­pe­ti­tion was amaz­ing.”

The com­pe­ti­tion com­prised five mod­ules with no set times per mod­ule in an eight hour day for four days. Only two peo­ple com­pleted all five mod­ules and they were the Top 2.

“The first mod­ule was straight­en­ing up a chas­sis, re­mov­ing and re­plac­ing the chas­sis rails and then as­so­ci­ated pan­els (about five made up the struc­tural re­pair). Then we had to re­move and re­place a rear quar­ter panel.

“The third mod­ule was a ham­mer and file of a bon­net for small re­pairs. A ham­mer and file of a roof skin with one large re­pair and fi­nally, an airbag and elec­tri­cal sys­tems di­ag­nos­tics.”

In Chel­cie’s Au­to­mo­tive Tech­nol­ogy field, there were a to­tal of 41 com­peti­tors all from dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Chel­cie was one point off claim­ing a Medal­lion of Ex­cel­lence and in the end, ranked 22nd. She also laid ti­tle to the first fe­male to com­pete at the WorldSkills In­ter­na­tion­als in this cat­e­gory.

In Auto Tech there were five dif­fer­ent sec­tions to un­der­take: brakes steer­ing and sus­pen­sion, en­gine re­build, gear box re­build, elec­tri­cal di­ag­no­sis and re­pair, en­gine man­age­ment di­ag­no­sis and re­pair. You got three hours to com­plete as much as you could in each sec­tion. All tasks were de­signed to not be com­pleted.

“In the brakes steer­ing and sus­pen­sion sec­tion, I re­moved and re­placed shocks, low­ered con­trol arms, mea­sured brake disc runout, com­pared all my find­ings with man­u­fac­turer’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions and per­formed a wheel align­ment,” said Chel­cie.

“In the en­gine re­build I had to per­form a cylin­der leak­age test, strip the en­gine, per­form mea­sure­ments on the pis­tons, cylin­der bore, ring gaps and clear­ances, cylin­der head warpage and crank main and big end bear­ing clear­ances. We had to re­build the en­gine with re­place­ment parts that didn’t meet the spec­i­fi­ca­tions and torque all bolts to spec.”

In the gear box re­build Chel­cie tested work­ings of the gear­box, stripped the box and mea­sured bear­ing clear­ances, in­spected all the gears and shafts, and re­assem­bled fol­low­ing ser­vice spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

“Dur­ing elec­tri­cal we were given a car full of elec­tri­cal prob­lems, from the lights not work­ing and win­dows not re­spond­ing to the switch to in­te­rior lights and elec­tri­cal boot latches not work­ing, I had to di­ag­nose and re­pair th­ese faults while ex­plain­ing what I was do­ing and why.

“En­gine man­age­ment was sim­i­lar to elec­tri­cal, lots of faults in the en­gine to stop it from start­ing and run­ning rough. I had to di­ag­nose and re­pair faults while ex­plain­ing what I was do­ing and why.

“Go­ing to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent cul­ture, lan­guage was a bit shock. I’d been to Aus­tralia but not be­yond that, so it was a mas­sive ex­pe­ri­ence with lots of learn­ing. Rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try in a com­pe­ti­tion like that while im­prov­ing your skill level is a great op­por­tu­nity and I’d do it again in a heart­beat.

“Be­ing in­volved in WorldSkills also makes you learn a lot about your­self, build on your strengths and your per­son­al­ity a well as skill up in your trade. Be­ing in Brazil with the oth­ers was fan­tas­tic be­cause we were all see­ing the same things and feel­ing the same things. We were in it to­gether.”

Our team does the haka!

Chel­cie in ac­tion – spot the lucky mas­cot.

David us­ing the air tool.

Spec­ta­tors con­stantly packed the 3-4m wide walk­ways

Medal win­ner Luke Tahu­ran­gio

Luke all masked up.

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