HAR2009 … dress rehearsal for Turkey 2010

A little delay updating blackback as I am quite busy with non-lock related stuff. But looking back at Hacking At Random’ still makes me smile … it was great! The people, the championships, the lockpick village, the presentations, the atmosphere … it all was magic.

now all say 'Open' !!!

And for us it was the ultimate dress rehearsal for the mega-event that is waiting for us at the 2010 ELF/LockCon conference in Turkey. The most important thing about that conference (for us) is that it will host the first official European lockpick championships. And we will be organizing it. Lockpickers from all over the globe could try to win three full paid ticket to that event at HAR.

From the beginning it was unclear if Julian Hardt could make it to Hacking At Random. But the moment he tapped on my shoulder and we greeted each other I said out loud: there go our tickets to Turkey.

Julian Hardt and Barry Wels

And I was right. Julian won the most prestigious ticket to be won: that of the ‘unofficial european lockpick championships‘. And even though it was a hard battle, it was no surprise the winner would (most likely) be from Germany. And for me personally it was no surprise it would be Julian Hardt. I immediately admit that people like ‘Master of the universe’ Dr. Manfred Bölker or Arthur Meister also had a fair chance to win. But Julian is a multi-talent that keeps impressing us with his skills. He was the only one that managed to open the notorious Lips 6 pin in the finals (containing very nasty serrated pins). And on a side note: we just had another safe opening weekend where Julian proofed to be a bad-ass safecracker by picking open a couple of very high security safes (one of them containing a mauer variator B, 11 lever lock). The big surprise at the lockpick championships was to see Peter Fuhrmann from Labor/Bochum getting second! Arthur Meister and Gerhard Heperle became third and fourth.

Julian also became winner of the safe combination manipulation contest. In the qualifiers he opened his lock in 57 minutes … just three minutes before the end. In the finals he managed to dial open the lock in an impressive 21 minutes! But since Julian already won a ticket in the lockpick championships, second place winner Michael Huebler now won the ‘all in ticket’ to Turkey.

As the Germans have a tradition in winning lockpic games, the Dutch seem to have a reputation to protect when it comes to impressioning. Three out of the last four games were won by Toool members and the absolute world record time of 1 minute and 27 seconds is set by Jos Weyers from Toool too. It is interesting to note that both number two (Oliver Diederichsen) and three (Dr. Manfred Bölker) at HAR broke the previous record of 4:23 (by Olivier Diederichsen) by going well under the magical ‘four minute border’.

Still, we are not really clear about the future of these games in the current setup. For example: at the games in Sneek 2008 Oliver used 52 minutes to open a lock that would normally take him (much) less then ten minutes to open. And a few months ago in Hamburg Jos scored 46 minutes on a lock using six blanks … not to mention me not opening the lock at all.

This all makes it feel like some kind of lottery. So maybe we will sit down with some people before Turkey and work on a new style game to rule out this luck/bad luck factor (for example: people playing against each other on the same locks, using knock-out rounds).

There is so much more to say about HAR that I will split the post. The follow up will be about the presentations, the lockpick village and the more interesting things that happened there …

5 Responses to “HAR2009 … dress rehearsal for Turkey 2010”

  1. Alexandre says:


    So Julian finally opened the variator ! Very nice. I had to leave Haarlem before it occurs, but Julian worked hard on it so I’m happy he managed to open it. It was a very difficult lock, especially because of dust. And it was definitely more difficult that what was stated in the opening instruction leaflet. Congratz to you Julian !

    Thank you to who organized this weekend, it was a lot of fun and interesting stuffs and nice people !

    Thank you again Barry for HAR, it was nice too. I can’t wait for Turkey !


  2. Congrats to all winners! 🙂

    What tool did Julian use to open that Variator B? A 2-in-1 pick or a pick&form tool?

  3. jord says:

    I made the tool and it worked again, Julian is a real bad as safe cracker, sadly I did not open the LaGard swing bolt with my spikemaster II.
    The safe was in the open air standing outside for more then a year. the solenoid was not giving a click, Paul and Mike tried a few of days later again but it did not open. To bad they will not give up on this safe.
    Tanks guys I had a great weekend.

    Jord Knaap

  4. Jord, do you have a picture of that tool you made? If you can email it to me, I would appreciate it! 🙂

  5. n0n4m3 says:

    Hi Jord!! what about your spikemaster?? It\’s really a great tool? opinions? impressions? I have more questions about it….can U give me a contact? Thanks!! cheers