"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
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.
X Crackle Bomb
Brocade to Blue (Fantazia 25)
Brocade to Blue (Fantazia 25)
Fairies From Hell + Triple H-Bomb
| | |
Red Candles (Fantazia)
/ | \
Pily Rain + Silver Dragon
| | |
Assorted Crossette (Fantazia 25)
Colour Boquet Asstd Peony (Fantazia 19)
Fairies From Hell + Red Candles (Fantazia)
\ | || | /
| | |
100 Shot Finale
| | |
Bird Of Prey + Soaring Eagle
| | |
Red Candles (Fantazia) + Illusion Candles + Crazy Horses