Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

France takes out fireworks finales

Posted by Kimberly on October 2, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
October 2, 2007, page 6 (565 words)

Jacques Couterier Organisation from France won first prize at the 19th Macau International Fireworks Display Context yesterday, while Taiwan’s San Tai Fireworks came in second and Japan’s Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks was third.
The trophies and monetary awards were presented at a dinner reception last night at the Macau Tower after France and China has completed the round-up of firework displays that had enthralled Macau over the past few weeks.
Asked what he planned on doing with the two trophies awarded to his team, Joseph Couterier responded with “drink champagne from them!” This event was the company’s first for the Macau Festival and it’s seemed to have been a dream start. When questioned about this, Mr Couterier said it was largely due to the unique quality of their display, namely the inclusion of a story, in last night’s case, of The Little Mermaid.
“This is our trademark and we are the only ones to do it” he said. His hope was, other than a repeat performance next year, that the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) would perhaps allow the company to show another one of their famous fireworks displays next year, of The Little Prince. As for the prize money of US$6,000 Mr Couterier said the company would most likely use the funds to repay some of the costs of their Macau experience.
Ms Jamie Huang from San Tai Fireworks who also received a US$3,200 cheque with her trophy, said hardly more than “I’m too happy to say anything right now” after her second place win. She did add that with her team having won first, second and third places over the years, another first must surely be in the stars.
Mr Kohei Ogatsu from Japan whose team also walked away with a US$1,800 cheque, was simply happy to have placed in the top three and hoped that his company would have another chance at the top crown next year.
Asked whether there would be any changes to the way the Festival is run, come next year and the possibility of a televised display, Mr Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, Director of the MGTO said that while the Organisation always tried to better the Festival each year, there would be slim chance of such an option being taken up.
“I don’t think a televised display would every replace the feeling of being there in person,” said Mr Antunes, adding that “there may be a chance that it would happen.”
Mr Ian Coughlin, Wynn Macau President said he had been delighted with the opportunity to be a judge at the Fireworks Festival and had been afraid of not being able to distinguish between the displays at the beginning. He said that he managed to overcome this, realising that there were definite distinctions and these helped him to make a decision.
As for whether Wynn would sponsor the event again next year, Mr Coughlin was quick to add that it would remain up to the MGTO to provide them with the invitation but that he would be happy to accept.
The 19th International Fireworks Display Contest pitted ten teams from around the world to display their talents and prove their worth, competing, not so much for the trophy and cheque, but for the glory that comes with being the best in the business.

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