Explosive success for Bracknell fireworks company
Published: 26 Aug 2013 17:001 comment
Star Fireworks, in Bulbrook, took first place in the British Firework Championships 'Champion of Champions' competition.
The event brought the champions from the past six years together to battle it out for the ultimate prize.
Andy Hubble, director of Star Fireworks - which is in charge of the display at Bracknell's annual Christmas lights switch-on - said: "We are so chuffed at winning the biggest fireworks competition in the UK.
"This is the ultimate win for any professional fireworks display company and truly marks a real high-point for our Bracknell business.
"Competition was really tough this year, with some outstanding shows coming from some of the other big, established UK firework companies. For our Bracknell-based firing crew to produce the winning show is a very sweet victory."
He added he was "incredibly proud" of his team and he hoped to achieve worldwide success.
Star Fireworks qualified for the event as 2010 British champions, and in this competition, teams had to fire a computer-controlled display lasting precisely ten minutes.
Three teams took part last Tuesday night and three teams on the Wednesday night, with Star Fireworks the first team to fire on the second evening.
The displays were fired from the Mountbatten Breakwater, a 200m stretch of land jutting out into the Plymouth Sound, opposite the famous Plymouth Hoe park.
The show featured more than 2100 fireworks - around 200 being fired per minute.
Up to 250,000 people watched the competition from Plymouth Hoe and the surrounding coastal villages.
A panel of expert and lay judges graded the displays, giving points for the range of products, rhythm of firing, originality of design and overall effect.
An adjudication committee also awarded points for the technical aspects including crew competence, adherence to the rules, consistency with the firing order supplied, good site layout, compliance with submission deadlines and sportsmanship.
Sean Durcan, also a director of Star Fireworks, said conditions were not ideal.
He said: "We had five hours of constant rain at the start of the set-up followed by strong ocean winds.
"Despite the weather we set up every single firework as planned and when it came to firing, everything came together to produce the winning display.
"I would like to pay tribute to our firing crew who put in hundreds of hours of preparation to create the show, including manufacturing dozens of items of specialist hardware to produce the patterns of effects in the sky."
As well as winning the title, the company collected a trophy and prize money of £4,250.