Red Square, The Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Tomb … all iconic images of Moscow, Russia. But none can compare to the smiling faces saying “dobroye utro” (“good morning”) every day as we walked into the Moscow Expocentre for the 2018 Russian Wrap Masters.
September saw the arrival of the 2018 Russian Wrap Masters Cup. Four Days of wrapping competitions, demonstrations, training and international fun organized by the RWM team based out of Saint Petersburg.
Andrey Lobov (main organizer) tells us, “Russian Wrap Masters is a dream come true for me. When I started Russian Wrap Masters I had no idea how difficult it would be. The results have been so good that all previous problems went away when I saw the fire in the eyes of the wrappers. Russian Wrap Masters is also a special educational area where wrappers can see new tricks and styles from all over the world and we invite the best judges from all over the world. We all really enjoy this special time, when wrappers from all over the country can join together. It is a time when friendship and support are main things. It is a time when you get energy for the next year. It is Russian Wrap Masters time.”
When asked about the future of the Russian wrap market, Klaudiya Kustova said, “The Russian market has developed very well over the last 10 years from the beginning stage. The number of good masters, those who have opened their own wrap schools, and those who can teach beginner installers has grown. I think there will be a rise in the number of wrappers in the future and their skill level will also grow. I think more and more masters will take part in international competitions. We are already seeing this trend.”
The competition itself fielded a group of 22 professional wrap installers from Russia and surrounding countries. The competitor’s skills were challenged with wrapping Suzuki vehicles, using ORAFOL film, in multiple rounds and getting creative with wrapped sleds and cycling helmets. All of the rounds were evaluated by a wide ranging team of judges specially invited by the Russian Wrap Masters Team: Aleksander Buchko (Russia); Igor Sulakov (Russia); Tadashi Kariya (Japan); Ivan Tenchev (Bulgaria); Jim Miller (USA); and Tim Evans (USA).
Pavel Dudnikov summed up the event best when he said, “… the Russian wrap market has become more informed and filled with knowledge. It is about all aspects, knowledge about materials, tools, techniques of wrapping, etc., with the market continuing to go in this direction. There are more and more wrappers with very high skill, who can compete with the best world wrappers and some who have already won some worldwide competition.”
At the end of the day, when all squeegees are down, the Russian Wrap Masters champion of 2018 went to Andreas Siemens. Congratulations Andreas and enjoy a job well done!