Alright, day 2! Abstract Images
This event is kind of an odd one. Looks hard and seems like it might be impossible to come up with a system for, but it's actually pretty easy to master once you figure out the strategy. Hence, those who know it or have one, they just destroy this event, memorizing the order of 300+ images in 15 minutes. An abstract image, on first glance, kinda looks like a blob from a Rorschach Test. But upon further inspection, you can figure out that there are about 100-200 different patterns (printed on a larger selection of shapes). Most people ignore the shape and just focus on the pattern. If you have an image for each pattern, you can use a simple PAO and Memory Palace to memorize them. The trick is to make sure you know all the patterns, and that takes some sneaky practice of going through old competition papers and bugging Ben Pridmore for his flash cards, hehe.
You get 15 minutes to memorize as many rows of images (5 per row). And then you have to put each row back in the same order during recall. The world record is 396 images held by Simon Reinhard.
Two trials of memorizing as many digits as possible in 5 minutes. The digits are separated in rows of 40. Simple. Do as many as you can. Wang Feng holds the record for 500 digits (which is absolutely nuts). Think of it this way: if Wang Feng was at a bar and had 50 hot babes lined up in front of him offering their phone numbers, he'd get them all memorized in 5 minutes. Who said memory techniques aren't useful?
This event is super fun for me. Memorize a year (1000-2100) along with some type of fictional event (ex: 1765 "aliens land on earth"). You get 5 minutes to memorize as many pairs as possible. During recall you get a jumbled list of events and you have to write the correct year next to them.
Johannes Mallow is a master of this event, holding a record of 132 dates in 5 minutes. This event is all practice. No one is good at this unless they've practiced it a ton. Plain and simple. Mallow clearly practices a lot.
1 Hour Cards
Like 1-hour numbers, but with cards. Memorize as many decks as possible in 1 hour. Ben Pridmore holds the record with.....you ready for this? TWENTY EIGHT decks! Ridiculous. Doing over 10 decks is pretty impressive....but 28? Damn. The world record for most decks ever memorized is something like 58 or 59, held by Dave Farrow. But who knows how long he took to do that.