World Shootout 2017

Posted by Jeffrey Milisen on Saturday, February 17, 2018 Under: Events
This year is off to a sprint! Just a few weeks ago, I got a phone call inviting me to accept an award at the World Shootout award ceremony at the Boot show in Dusseldorf. Suddenly, a year that was already packed to the gills with travel was about to get even crazier. But there were complications. For starters, it was winter and I had to borrow a winter coat. And by the time I had clearance to travel, I had days to buy flights to a place that is half a world away. And finally, the awards ceremony was on the 26th and 27th, and I had to be back in Honolulu on the 29th! Fortunately, I had Sarah ready to plan for us. By the time the logistical dust settled, we had 3 days to take in Dusseldorf and visit this Boot show before busting out of the country to sprint home. 

Boot is a gargantuan show of wealth consisting of 17 different exhibition halls, each featuring a different style of boat or watersport. To give you an idea of how big, the Scuba portion was every bit as big as north America's DEMA, and it only occupied 1 and a bit halls. Next door was a lovely display of yachts. On the other side of that was another hall housing an array of superyachts, some of which were well over 100 feet long and 40 feet tall. These multi-ton behemoths are shipped by barge up the Rhine and maneuvered into place by giant machinery and cranes into the halls. My borrowed winter coat didn't pass the black tie dress code to step aboard. We were forced to stare from the outside, where our drool and bourgeoisie manners wouldn't mess up the calfskin upholstery. 

After soaking up some local alt beer and some schnitzel, it was time to make our way to the award ceremony. Abutting the stage was a big aquarium where scuba divers got clever with pool toys while decked out in the latest Aqua-Lung gear. They provided a much-needed distraction while the team set up for the show. There is no way of saying this without sounding braggy, so I'm just going to say it: I won the best 5 photos portfolio category! Now time to answer some FAQs: the portfolio was a celebration of epipelagic cephalopod diversity. The prize was a 3 week jaunt for 2 through Papua New Guinea! Along the way, Sarah I will be diving at the Tufi resort, Tawali resort, and spend 10 days aboard the MV Febrina! Woohoo!!!

Sarah was instructed to stand under the vessel to give it some scale. Next to the giant hull, she is barely visible.

Nothing but Sarah and I bumping elbows with scuba celebrities Simon Lorenz and Amanda Cotton!

The biggest check I've ever held!

Finally, the winning entries. Clockwise from top left: Leachia pacifica, Ancistrocheirus lesseurii, Thysanoteuthis rhombus, Sepioteuthis lessoniana, and Callistoctopus sp. I spoke with the lead judge Roni Sofer after the ceremony. Apparently, I was almost disqualified because they had a hard time believing that I found all of these cephalopods on scuba. I took that as a compliment. 

In : Events 

Tags: boot dusseldorf world shootout underwater photography competition winner 

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