Gregory Chernenok world champion young automotive refinisher
Technicians from 14 countries fight for coveted title in Clermont
This was the third time in the history of the competition that the Grand Final was held at the R-M Refinish Competence Centre in Clermont, France. The object of the trial was to find a successor to last year's champion, Steve Mauro from the Stillemant bodyshop in Belgium. He had won first place in the 2006 Grand Final in Caronno Pertusella, Italy, out of a pool of 10 participants. They came from Belarus, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This year the worldwide reputation of the competition moved up a notch. The competition welcomed spraypainters from four new countries: Portugal, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
With more than 100 guests and a host of members of the international press present, the sheer number of competitors and guests made this the largest event to take place at R-M’s Clermont headquarters in 15 years.
Throughout the competition, the venue was buzzing with excitement as the finalists fought hard to demonstrate their technical know-how, color matching skills using the COLORMASTER System and refinishing skills using R-M's ONYX HD waterborne basecoat.
The world’s premier competition
As the R-M Young Painter of the Year Competition continues to grow and become recognized as the world’s premier competition for young automotive refinishers, the number of leading industry sponsors of the event has grown to an all-time high. Connex, Deltalyo, EMM Colad, Fillon Technologies, Horn & Bauer, ITW DeVilbiss, Kimberley Clark, Lacour, 3M, Mettler Toledo, Rupes, Saint Gobain Abrasives, Sata, SIA Abrasives, Teroson/Henkel Loctite and Tesa all demonstrated their support for the event, providing attractive prizes. Awards included the latest Nintendo Wii game console for two players together with the "Need for Speed Carbon" game supplied by R-M Automotive Refinish. Another prize was a dream vacation to the winner’s choice of 180 attractive destinations, also donated by R-M Automotive Finish.
World champion program of special events
This year’s special events program was extraordinarily spectacular. After all the hard work on the first day of competition, R-M pampered the participants and their VIP guests with a dinner at the Eiffel Tower. The closing event of the competition was fitting for a world champion. The winner met together with the other participants and the VIP guests in front of the Hyatt Hotel. A 500-meter-long motorcade of no fewer than 16 limousines escorted by the "Gendarmerie Nationale" picked them up and drove them in style straight through the heart of Paris to the banks of the River Seine, where the ship "Bâteau Parisien" took them on a sight-sighting tour of the city. The river provided a spectacular vantage point for enjoying the "City of Lights" – an experience that reflected R-M’s passion for colors magnificently.
The motorcade then transported them down the Champs-Elysées to a superb gala dinner at "Fouquet", known all over the world for its excellent cuisine and famous guests and as the venue for French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s victory celebration just a few months earlier. The mayor of Paris’s 8th district welcomed all the guests. In his speech, he emphasized the international significance of the Young Painter of the Year Competition and praised the performance of all the participants. The program of special events met with an enthusiastic response as well. A magician mesmerized the guests with his spectacular acts. It was truly an overwhelming experience for these top young painters.
A victim of its own success
The outstanding success of this year’s R-M International Young Painter of the Year Competition and the fact that even more countries are planning to compete in the 2008 competition means that the event has outgrown the Clermont facility. For this reason, the 2008 competition will be completely revamped with an exciting new format at a different international location – which has yet to be announced.
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