In the UK we had a small competition in Weston Super Mare, this venue only holds 85 competitors. Despite its small size, it did attract a few high profile international competitors, including Juliette Sebastian of France who is the female world record holder for 3x3x3 single, Knut Skaug Haraldsen who is the Norwegian national record holder for 3x3x3 with one hand and Ari Randers-Pehrson of the USA, another top cuber from the USA who invented a new method for avoiding OLL parity on 4x4x4 which is now being used by some top cubers. Unfortunately there were not really any notable results at the competition, no national records, Chris Mills did finally return to a UK competition there but failed to reclaim his national record for 3x3x3 average which he lost to James Alonso at Wilshire Spring 2023.
In worldwide records news we saw Manuel Gutman from Argentina get South American Records for 3x3x3 and 4x4x4 blindfolded at It's Blind Time Montevideo 2023, he achieved a 3x3x3 Blindfolded single of 15.96 and a 4x4x4 blindfolded single of 1:25.73
Alexander Vujcich of New Zealand broke the Oceanic record for megaminx single and average at Auckland Autumn 2023, he achieved a single of 28.84 and an average of 31.01.
Lim Hung of Malaysia got the 7x7x7 average Asian Record at UTM speedcubing Open 2023, he achieved an average of 1:56.49, most people assume that Max Park is comfortably ahead but I do wonder how long it actually might be before it is challenged, or someone just gets a really good solve and takes his single.
In cube release news, we have a few new cubes coming soon:
YuXin have also released some "digital puzzle cubes" in 2x2x2 and 3x3x3 forms but I am not sure what these actually are, they appear to have numbers on each side, I will have to try them and see what they really are and how difficult they may be.
QiYi are releasing another budget magnetic 3x3x3 called the QiYi M Pro, it will be interesting to see whether this gets expanded into a new line, it does appear QiYi may have discontinued the QiYi MP series, although I cannot confirm that.
ShengShou have released the YuFeng V2, I will be getting this soon, it is interesting how soon they have released this, the YuFeng V1 was a very interesting cube as it had many features in high-end cubes such as core magnets and maglev but at a much much lower price of only £15.
DianSheng have said they are postponing the release of their magnetic 12x12x12 and will release a magnetic gigaminx at the end of May, it will be interesting to see how much this will cost and how much business it may take away from the YuXin gigaminx, DianSheng have said they eventually intend to release magnetic cubes up to 15x15x15 and a teraminx as well.
MoYu have released a version of the Meilong M series with new packaging, I do not intend to stock these though as they will have to be more expensive and don't really serve much purpose for an online store, they may be useful in getting high quality cubes into physical shops though.