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November 17, 2014, Constance Le Prince Maurice, Poste de Flacq. "to amaze the Mauritian public with a dazzling light and sound show" . This was the aim of the promoters of the first International Pyrotechnic Contest, and they certainly delivered with two unique shows on the 13th and 15th of November at the Constance Le Prince Maurice. After these magical evenings, the jury – presided by Eric Serra, French music composer and art director who wrote the music for film including “Lucy”, “Leon” and “The 5th Element” – awarded the first place of the competition to Thierry Lepretre, a French pyrotechnician, for his amazing creation themed on “France”. Kamal Seetohul, a Mauritian artificer who works for Rocket Fireworks was ranked third in this unprecedented event, which coincided with the 16thanniversary of the Constance Le Prince Maurice. The Festival garnered a lot of interest, for a huge crowd gathered on the Bras d’Eau beach to watch the mind-blowing creations of the Lacroix-Ruggieri artificers, the world leading pyrotechnic experts.
Eric Serra explained that his participation in the event was directly linked to his passion for fireworks. “Shows like this fascinate me! My journey with the International Fireworks Contest has actually begun when I met Christophe D’Autheville, director of Prestige Mauritius, and Ado Vallet, director of Rocket Fireworks, during a similar festival in Bordeaux. From our shared passion for fireworks grew a beautiful friendship and, when they suggested that I would be the president of the first ever International Fireworks Contest, I obviously jumped at the chance. I was even happier when I realised that this event would take place here, at the Constance Le Prince Maurice. I have travelled a lot and, to be honest, this is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Moreover, this is my second visit to Mauritius and I just love the welcome of the people here. I am glad we created this event for them, with the impressive displays created by some of the best artificers in the world!”
Christophe D’Autheville, co-organiser of the event and director of Prestige Mauritius, said he was extremely proud of this first edition. “This Festival is one of the biggest pyrotechnic events ever organised in the Indian Ocean. It has required two and a half months of intense labour by 12 European pyrotechnicians and more than 80 light and sound technicians and assistants. Without their tremendous work, this show would not have been possible, for 12,972 exploded during this festival, roughly twice as much as during the fireworks display of the 14th of July 2014 in Paris. The result was amazing, beyond even our expectations, and every spectator loved the show. In the end, the most important thing is that the Mauritian public enjoyed, for free, this unique and amazing event. We have achieved the goal we had set, and we definitely look forward to a second edition of the International Fireworks Contest.”
Christophe Plantier, General Manager of Constance Le Prince Maurice, shares his enthusiasm. “The contest was gorgeous and spectacular. The recipe for this success? We collaborated with the best to deliver a show that was out of this world. And, seeing how much the Mauritian public enjoyed the display, we really look forward to a second edition of the International Fireworks Contest, even more so because the setting of the Constance Le Prince Maurice perfectly suits this kind of event: by launching the fireworks from the middle of the bay, spectators can enjoy the show from the hotel, as well as the Bras d’Eau beach. For the next International Fireworks Contest, we can do even better, with more fireworks and a longer festival, on three or four days, so that everyone can enjoy these magnificent creations that enthral young and old alike. I can’t wait for next year!”
Ado Vallet, director of Rocket Fireworks underlined the fact that, “with this event, we wanted to make dreams come true and I believe we succeeded. The strength of this festival is its diversity, for we chose themes that regroup different continents, with different cultures and approaches to pyrotechnics. China, France, Brazil and Australia were thus represented through the creations of our participants. Each country has a specific colour theme and uses light and sound differently, for example. We are also very proud of Kamal, who ranked third. The representatives from Etienne Lacroix-Ruggieri were impressed by his talent.”
Kamal Seetohul, pyrotechnician at Rocket Fireworks, said he was extremely pleased with his ranking. “I took part in a similar show in Bordeaux, on the 26th of June of this year, but being able to do this in front of a Mauritian public is an amazing feeling. The fireworks on display on Saturday were so impressive and I am really happy that the public liked it. I really hope to participate in this contest next year and improve my ranking.”
The International Fireworks Contest is an initiative of Rocket Fireworks, Prestige Mauritius, Constance Le Prince Maurice, the MCB and the MTPA. The jury was composed of Eric Serra, French music composer and art director, Christophe Plantier, General Manager of Constance Le Prince Maurice, Didier Merle, Head of Private Banking MCB, Jean-Michel Dambrielle, GeneralDirector of Etienne Lacroix-Ruggieri, and Christophe D’Autheville, the main sponsor of the contest.