Come April and the team jetted off to Vietnam to take part in the Danang International Firework Festival (DIFF for Short) where we were competing against 9 other teams from across the globe. The format of the competition was a little different from what we were normally used too as the teams were set out in 4 heats then the winners of each heat then went through to a final where the winners would battle it out for the top spot.
Once we had arrived in Vietnam, the team were quicky bombarded by the organisers in the airport and the locals thought we were celebrities as there was cameras crews everywhere awaiting our arrival to take pictures and videos of the team. This was the case when we arrived at the hotel too, all the crew wanted to do was grab a few hours sleep after the 16 or so hours of traveling.
That night the organisers took us to watch one of the heats where two teams were battling out for a place in the finals. After the shows they took us for a nice meal where we discussed the plans for our set up for the display. The day after the team got on site and the temperature in Danang was far from pleasant, and was likened to working inside an oven, especially when unloading the steel shipping containers. The crew spent long days on site working in the crazy heat which was around 40’C with around 90% humidity but by the end of the week, after numerous pictures and interviews with the local tv companies the crew ended up with 400-meter-long firing site stretching 11 single shot plates wide 3 deep with 9 cake and slice positions and 5 shell stations for the 20-minute show.
On show day, nerves were high but everyone was raring to go, however, mother nature had other ideas and it decided to rain throughout both teams shows, we were gutted due to all the hard work we had put into the show, but not all was lost as later in the week we were told that we had came first in the heats and we had made it into the final, we were so excited.
So after two weeks on UK soil the team headed back to Vietnam to take part in the finale, we were much better prepared the second time round and we acclimatised to the heat much quicker and the set up was more bearable, well it was until Mark decided to raid the free stock container and added sequences and products into the display at the eleventh hour, however the team stuck with it and pulled it off. Plenty of drinks in the local HQ kept them in check.
On the finals night all three team’s shows were a success and fired beautifully, it was a tough competition for the judges but after what seemed to take an eternity the results came in. Mark and the other two team leaders were asked on stage we nervously awaited the results, unfortunately this time we came 3rd with Martarello clinching first prize. We were all disappointed with the result but overall very happy with how our show fired and the experiences we shared in such a beautiful country.
Awarded 3rd Place