Canadians win Challenge Bowl

Challenge Bowl

By Dean Clark, TLE Editor

The widespread Canadian team of Darragh O'Connor and Adrian Smith cruised to the championship of the seventh SEG Challenge Bowl with a dominating performance, before an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd, in the finals Monday during SEG's Annual Meeting.

O'Connor, a master's candidate at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and Smith, a graduate of the University of Western Ontario now at the University of Calgary, were tied with the eventual runners-up from India at the end of the first round. However, they shifted into high gear at that point.

O'Connor and Smith breezed into the championship round by scoring 90 points in the five-team semifinals (one more than expected but forced by a three-time tie for the final spot and made possible by some efficient maneuvering by emcee Peter Duncan). That nearly doubled the total of Debarpit Chandra (Maharashtra Institute of Technology) and Debanjan Datta (Indian School of Mines) who captured the other spot in the finals.

The Canadians took complete control of the finals by correctly answering five consecutive questions in the second round to build a 190-130 lead with only ten questions (worth 10 points apiece) remaining. They then squashed any hopes by the Indian team for a comeback by correctly answering five of the questions in the last round, with only a single misfire, to make the final score 230-150.

The champions split the first prize of US $1000. The championship was also "sweetened" this year by giving the winners two "guaranteed interview slots" with ExxonMobil. The second place team split $600.
The Challenge Bowl, thanks primarily to the efforts of the indefatigable Duncan, has evolved into one of the most popular events at the Annual Meeting. The 2102 edition featured 11 teams (representing Italy, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Argentina, and England in addition to Canada and India) who had earned their spot in the finals by winning a regional Challenge Bowl competition.

The crowd, encouraged regularly by Duncan, was an enthusiastic vocal participant in the finals and obviously responded with glee to the witty repartee of Duncan, wearing his now traditional white jacket, and the equally witty musical commentary by the three-piece band.

Much of the success of this popular event is due to the financial support of its sponsors: Chevron, ExxonMobil, XTO, Fugro, Marathon, Shell, Andarko, Total, and Microseismic.