"Probably The Best Team In The Competition - Ever!" was formed online during the successfully attempt to break the record number of simultaneous people in the UKFR forum last October. The team comprised: Glen "The Joker" - team captain, Justin (Blackbat), Jim (SemptexJim), Rob (Skyline2) and Phil (CrazedMonkey - who takes the blame for the team name.

Geographically we were spread from the north of England through to Cornwall so our only get together before the competition was at a test firing night we arranged for February. We started putting the display together by all keeping an eye open for good pyro over the GFN and New Year periods and then in February bringing along all the pieces we wanted to try out. It was at this stage that Glen was able to procure most of the Cat 3 range that Fantazia Fireworks was selling so our test fire turned into a mammoth session checking out Fantazia gear, reviewing it for UKFR at the same time, and checking out as many UKFR Best Buy pieces as we could lay our hands on.

During this time we also selected our music to fire to, "I Predict a Riot" by the Kaiser Chiefs, but not the usual mix.

The test fire went very well and we were all impressed with the pieces we'd set up, especially some of the Fantazia Cat 3 cakes. Just watch out for Sure Win rockets if you ever fire any! It seems, from the evidence we saw at the competition, that our test firing sample was not the only one with a built-in five second delay between burn out of the motor and bursting!

The test firing was filmed and distributed amongst team members soon afterwards, allowing everyone to make suggestions as to what should be used in the display. Some of the "must use" fireworks we decided on were Planet's Illusion candles, Fantazia's red candle bundles, Cube's Molten Krypton and a selection of Fantazia's superb 19 and 25 shot cakes.

Partly because of our wide geographical spread and it being our first time in the competition we decided on a very simple display layout with nothing fancy. Glen came up with the firing order and the layout comprised three straight lines of fireworks, spaced about 10m apart, with half a dozen Master Crackling rockets in a rack for the finale. Through use of email we exchanged ideas about the final firing list and timings, so it was a bit of a joint effort with Glen making the final decisions.

From left to right: Justin, Phil, Jim, Rob and Glen. PTBTITCE team photo courtesy of Justin

On the day, we arrived at the Woodman in good time and were somewhat daunted to see all manner of constructions being put up by other teams. Our set-up consisted of quickly staking and waterproofing the fireworks, then drinking beer in the warm sunshine (apart from CrazedMonkey who seemed to get away with just drinking beer!) whilst watching with interest the construction work taking place in front and behind us. Glen and I also had a little birthday surprise for Glen's wife Debbie to set up at the back of our firing area in the form of 15 mines quick-matched together and a parachute rocket - these latter items were not part of our display and were to be fired electrically to start off the evening's proceedings.

The display was fired by myself on the centre line with a gas torch, Phil (sporting the MonkeyCam taped to his helmet) on the left with another torch and Rob on the right with a gas torch kindly lent by Sultanbrown (I think) of the Newsbox Toyboys (apologies if it was someone else!). Glen cued the show and Jim circulated with a spare lit portfire in case of torch problems and to relay cues to Phil.

This is where we could have done with radios, or perhaps a system of raising and lowering portfires to signal cues because, over the noise of the fireworks and music, Rob and Phil had some problems hearing their cues. I was using a clipboard with copy of the firing order and a timer down the middle, so that would have been another (probably better) option for everyone.

All in all things went more or less as scripted with the to-be-expected hiccoughs. The two X-Crackle bombs that we started with ejected their contents late and we all fluffed a couple of cues, the most noticeable being a red candle bundle going early on one side. Given the randomness of Cat 3 fusing, though, it was particularly pleasing to see pyro from both sides breaking in the sky in perfect unison to the music at times. Our chosen music track had a fade-out finish and we just managed to pull the red caps of the bottoms of the rockets (oops!) seconds before firing them to see them burst as the music tailed off.

All of the competition entries were of a excellent standard and, firing last, we really didn't think we stood a chance of winning, having seen the previous four entries, and we were genuinely surprised and of course extremely pleased to win. Now next year, I think we're going to have to indulge in a bit of D.I.Y...

MONKEY CAM: Amazing footage of the winning display from REAL close with the camera mounted on the helmet of one of the firers! Windows Media format, 98Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing.

MAIN CAMERA: View from right at the front of the spectator area. This is the highest quality video clip. Windows Media format, 960x540 (widescreen format), 82Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing. A stills from this video is shown above. See the clips below for views from further back.

HOTDOG CAM: View from further back, footage kindly provided by UKFR member Hotdog. Windows Media format, 69Mb, click on the image to the left. Please download it all before playing.

FLASH2 CAM: From the Video Vault, footage by Flash2 from a superb viewpoint near the back. Quicktime format, 22Mb, click on the image to access this from the Video Vault section.

No Time Pyro Qty Config.
1 00.00 Illusion Candles 2 \ /
2 00.14 X Crackle Bomb 2 |
3 00.20 Brocade to Blue (Fantazia 25) 1 |
4 00.29 Brocade to Blue (Fantazia 25) 1 |
5 01.00 Fairies From Hell + Triple H-Bomb 2+1 | | |
6 01.11 Red Candles (Fantazia) 3 / | \
7 01.21 Pily Rain + Silver Dragon 2+1 | | |
8 01.39 Assorted Crossette (Fantazia 25) 1 |
9 01.49 Colour Boquet Asstd Peony (Fantazia 19) 2 | |
10 01.59 Fairies From Hell + Red Candles (Fantazia) 3+3 \ | || | /
11 02.21 Triple H-Bomb 3 | | |
12 02.34 100 Shot Finale 1 |
13 02.47 Moon Missile 3 | | |
14 02.59 Bird Of Prey + Soaring Eagle 2+1 | | |
15 03.19 Red Candles (Fantazia) + Illusion Candles + Crazy Horses 4+2+1 \| \ O / |/
16 03.32 Molten Krypton + Aquabuster 2+2 | \ / |
17 04.09 Master Crackling Rockets 5 |

Return to main fireworks site

©2007 UK Firework Review. Contributions as noted above are courtesy and ©2006/7 their respective owners. All rights reserved.