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Unread 08-15-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
nmayeux
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Join Date: 04-03-05
Location: Marietta, GA
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Exclamation Competition Lessons

This could be one of those threads that could be continuously added to, but I did learn a few valuable lessons this weekend. Enjoy:

1. Don't try your first contest by yourself. I really missunderstood the amount of work, especially with the bad weather.

2. Bring it, because you will probably need it. Zip ties, parachute cord, extra injector, strainer, etc...

3. Be very patient with the spectators. It seems that "your space" is actually public space! My one regret is being short with a couple who wanted to samply my pork while I was putting together the turn-in box. If nobody explains it to the public, then how will they know how to act? Don't expect common sense...

4. Be generous with the other competitors, and they will be generous back. I did not understand how helpful my competition really was. There was only one team that had a couple of prima-donnas, but everybody else treated me like I was partner rather than a competitor. I made a lot of new friends!

5. Practice, practice, practice! Even though we had practiced, two of our turn-in boxes were a disaster. Pretty much throw the lettuce and meat in the box, and try to keep as much rain as possible out! We never tried to put one together under stress, and it showed.

6. Write out your schedule. I was amazed at all the PDAs, dry erase boards, Excel spreadsheets, notebooks, etc. It really makes a difference, especially when alcohol is involved.

7. Expect the unexpected. We budgeted our time for brisket on several that we had done at about the same size. For some reason, this one didn't get stuck ! The damn thing was done an hour and a half early. Pretty frustrating...
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