I've worked with Lisa Carrodus many times, in many places, from London, Malta to Las Vegas. So when she asked me if I'd like to travel with her which she competed in the NABBA World Championships in Italy I jumped at the chance.
We travelled out from London Gatwick as "Team Lisa". Joining us were Lisa's coach, Marco, and his wife Marisol.
The flight on Easyjet was surprisingly pleasant, although the death-defying taxi ride from Pisa airport to our hotel in Montecatini was... hairy to say the least.
Montecatini is a small town about halfway between Florence and Pisa and it was a beautiful town. Really a very nice place.
Arriving on Thursday we had a couple of days to chill before show day on Saturday. The venue Teatro Verdi di Montecatini Terme was part tent, part building. The stage was big, lighting was good, and thankfully not a roller banner in sight on the stage (a pet hate of mine at fitness shows because it just looks so cheap).
Prejudging started late, 2 of the first 4 competitors had their music screwed up, but thankfully after that the day ran much more smoothly. Lots of categories, with people from all around the world, I was starting to understand what NABBA was all about (I knew nothing about it prior to the weekend).
The evening show started with a parade through the streets of Montecatini. A full on marching band played the athletes in, who each had an "Olympic" style country name on a stick. It was quite something, and it even bought the traffic to a halt for a few minutes.
In Lisa's class of Figure there was some tough competition. I can normally call the top three, but I didn't have a clue who was going to place or win. As it happened it was an Australian 1-2-3, which was good because having obtained the only Team Australia Media Pass I was an honorary member of the team for the weekend.
Oh and a special mention to the person who decided to put two big flower baskets at the front of the stage. Just what I needed, an extra challenge to make an already fairly difficult subject to shoot that little bit more of a challenge. /sarcasm mode off
Lisa won her class, and then a little while later went on to win the overall title. A good evenings work!
I met some great people over the weekend, from all across the world; Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Latvia, and Italy.
On Sunday we dodged the rain showers in Montecatini Alto to do a photoshoot. Sometimes the best shoots are the ones that require a forced plan b to be put into effect, and that's just what happened here. Part of the shoot we shot at a restaurant whose owner had taken a shine to Lisa. Then we lucked out as the rain held off for a few minutes and we were able to shoot outside.
All in all a great weekend was had by all, I hope to shoot another NABBA event someday soon. It was fun!
Oh, I may have fallen in love with 3 different Latvian girls during the weekend!