Italy – July 8th – Vaccalluzzo Events SRL

Bellissima Sicilia

Designed by Alfio and Alessandro Vaccalluzzo; PyroLeda firing with ~3500 cues; ShowSim visualization.

Torrential rains early on Saturday morning lead many of us to fear there could be technical problems with this first on-competition display. Large pools of water could be seen on ramp 2 and, with so many one-shots, there’s always the fear that moisture will get in and damage them. The wind direction was also a factor in that it was towards the audience for most of the display, leading to less than ideal viewing conditions.

The display began with what I believe is the longest narrative segment of any display in the history of the competition, at three minutes and twenty seconds, fully occupying the entire first soundtrack. This is always risky as there is the possibility of anti-climax after the countdown and this was initially the case as the display started with just red flares. Fortunately, it came to life with candles and shells as the narration described in detail what we would see in the rest of the display.

The overall soundtrack was very well executed and powerful, though it wasn’t exactly clear what connection it had to the theme. The pyrotechnic material used was of an exceptional quality with vivid colours and many interesting effects, including very well done “ghost shells” with sequenced colour-changing stars. Lots of multi-break and studatas as well as other composite effects that made for a very diverse display indeed.

Some negatives, unfortunately, were that, despite using all five ramps, the firing patterns used for the low-level one-shots and candles, were rather simple and repetitive and were unfortunately marred by quite a few errors where the wrong angle would be used. These were doubly unfortunate as once you have one that’s wrong, you have another in the case where there is a module address transposition. I was expecting to see a Mount Etna effect made with comets, but I didn’t see one – or, maybe there was, but it was spoiled by these kind of errors. I’m not sure if the general audience would have noticed, but attention to details like this make the difference between a very good display and one that is outstanding.

The finale was long and powerful and very much enjoyed by the audience, but the 15 seconds of dark sky before it started (apparently deliberately to allow smoke to clear) caused many of us to fear a technical problem. It reached a thundering crescendo, with a final volley of massive salutes that shook everyone in the chest but, surprisingly, unlike in 2012, no nautical shells.

All in all, this was a very good display be Vaccalluzzo and it may just make it to the podium, but there are some very strong competitors ahead.

The qu

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