My thanks to everyone who participated in the contest on Facebook. To my knowledge, this has been the first world-wide contest in giant bubbling ever to be attempted.
There were 55 contestants from 23 countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guadalupe, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. They entered 234 photos. We crowd-sourced the first phase of the judging, and the photos received 2,098 Likes, and 296 comments.
In the BIG Category, many impressive bubbles could not be measured because they were incompletely shown, or lacked a usable scale figure. Other huge bubbles were incompletely formed. (See Method of Comparing BIG Bubbles about our judging of the Category.) In the end we chose “free-floating” bubbles only. We judged their relative sizes by comparing the “Big Bird” bubble of Alan McKay, and this finally resulted in a three-way tie.
GRAND PRIZE - BIG, STRANGE, and BEAUTIFUL
The Grand Prize goes to Alan McKay, who pioneered the two-pole giant bubble apparatus we use today, and whose big, strange, beautiful Guinness Record 114-foot-long bubble of 1995 remains unsurpassed. Alan McKay is World Bubble Champion.
The winning photos (marked as such) are now at the top of the album. Alongside them I’ve placed several other photos from each winner, to give a wider idea of their work.
I started this contest on a lark, it has been flawed in many ways, and I apologize for my errors. However, I think the contest might well prove valuable. I see it now as a rough sketch, a trial run for better contests that might occur in the future.
The giant bubble sport is developing rapidly. At the highest level it requires long practice, expert knowledge, physical strength, and split-second skill. Giant bubbles have already been seen in Olympic stadium parades, and I believe they are worth including in the Games proper. (This could be tested, for example in the Winter Games skating rink, with canvas covering the ice, and climate controls set for ideal bubble weather.)
Despite its informal beginnings, this contest has achieved three worthy goals:
1. It gathered a fine collection of photos that showcase the giant bubble sport world-wide; 2. It developed a simple graphic method for comparing sizes of giant bubbles, and 3. It proved many “free-floating” bubbles far larger than those of Guinness.
Anticipating criticism, I’d like to share my credentials (which, aside from giant bubbles, are humble enough)--- I invented the Bubble Thing in 1984; developed the first mixes and techniques; set the first Guinness giant bubble record in 1986 (with a 50-footer); and over the years have marketed 4,000,000 Bubble Things world-wide, where they inspired Alan McKay and other pioneers, most of them old folks now. When I claim, citing my patents, to have invented the giant bubble sport, there are few to deny it.
I’ve wondered sometimes whether competition in a playful activity like ours is a good idea or a bad one. Whatever the answer, competition exists, and for many of us it’s a spur to bigger and better things. Here’s to an enormous bubble future!
This contest remains as a collection all can enjoy. Invite your friends. (Winners, please email your addresses to email@example.com so I can send the checks.)
Olympic athletes, win or lose, have national championships to fall back on when promoting their careers. And most of you would be champions at national, state, or city levels if contests had been held. In recognition of this, I proclaim the champions below, subject to their consent, and until such time as challengers disprove them. (In countries with several champions, I’ve added team colors, and suggest a play-off.)
Rick Findley - Bubble Champion of Mexico
Celso Luiz Johnsson - Bubble Champion of Brazil
ShZarina Wan Abu Bakar - Bubble Champion Red of Malaysia
Arif Sulaiman - Bubble Champion Blue of Malaysia
Alan McKay - Bubble Champion of New Zealand
Marco Zoppi - Bubble Champion of Belgium
Bubbleflash Eger - Bubble Champion Red of Hungary
Hangacsi Adam Hangi - Bubble Champion Blue of Hungary
Yuriy Shelestovsky - Bubble Champion of Russia
Silvain Letuvee - Bubble Champion Red of France
Jasmin Belay - Bubble Champion Red of Austria
Andreas Pikal - Bubble Champion Blue of Austria
Aramis Gehberger - Bubble Champion Green of Austria
Julia Brandt - Bubble Champion Black of Austria
Eveline Bram - Bubble Champion Red of Switzerland
Mike Ashe - Bubble Champion Red of California
John Curley - Bubble Champion Blue of California
Sterling Johnson - Bubble Champion Green of California
Grande Bulle - Bubble Champion Blue of Switzerland
Maria Mercedes - Bubble Champion of Spain
Demian Zen - Bubble Champion of Argentina
Edward Spiegel - Bubble Champion Black of California
Todd Kamisugi - Bubble Champion of Hawaii
Ianita Ansaldo Patti - Bubble Champion Red of Italy
Sam Heath - Bubble Champion Red of England
Greg Brinchault - Bubble Champion Blue of France
Eliott Brinchault - Bubble Champion Orange of France
Gordy Tobutt - Bubble Champion of Illinois
Joao Craveira Silva - Bubble Champion of Portugal
Andrew Ang Ngo Ching - Bubble Champion of the Philippines
Nancy Pearce - Bubble Champion of Colorado
Caroline Cornelius Jones - Bubble Champion Red of Canada
Ernie McGraw - Bubble Champion Blue of Canada
Docy Denison - Bubble Champion Orange of California
Patrice Francois - Bubble Champion of Finland
Bulle Megastique - Bubble Champion of Guadalupe
Sara Kreutz - Bubble Champion of Iowa
Faris Nasir - Bubble Champion Black of Malaysia
Daniele Angeli - Bubble Champion Blue of Italy
Underwater Bubble Show - Bubble Champion of Latvia
Robin Knight - Bubble Champion Blue of England
Norain Jokiri - Bubble Champion Orange of Malaysia
Patrycja Szczeniowska - Bubble Champion Red of Germany
Paul Kostner - Bubble Champion Blue of Germany
Big Bubble Zig - Bubble Champion Green of England
Patrick Harnett - Bubble Champion Green of France
Siti Zuhaini Abd Samah - Bubble Champion Green of Malaysia
Vladislav Sankin - Bubble Champion of Israel
Tom Noddy - Bubble Champion Purple of California
These are all state and national titles. Use them or not as you wish. If you’d rather not defend so sweeping a territory, but only your city, or neighborhood, or none, please let me know. (Omissions and mistakes will be corrected on request.)
Until now in the contest, I’ve not posted my own Likes. But some of your photos I absolutely love, so now I’ll be going through to Like and comment on my favorites.
I've started sending out individual letters of congratulation. This will take a few days. Again, thank you all for being in the contest, and best of luck to everyone!