Report of the Winter Extreme South Tyrol 2017

The WEST is now a fixture that traditionally marks the beginning of the season of barbecue competitions. As stated in its claim, it is an extreme competition, held in the difficult conditions of South Tyrol in January. Therefore temperatures can easily drop below -20 ° C, snow and often a biting wind. This makes not, however, hold back the inscriptions by teams, who arrived this year to exhaust the 30 available places in just over 24 hours. The reason is obvious: the organization of MIG is always impeccable, even with a small wooden shed with plug connections for each team and the location is a beauty that takes your breath away. The weekend is enhanced by cooking shows, by a heated tent party that lasts until morning and the unlimited availability of hot drinks and goulash suppe all night long. All this, together with the intense cold creates a set that seems made for being together. Every time is a unique and unforgettable experience.

Sportingly speaking, the experience of WEST 2017 has been very positive. We bring home a fourth place in the Pork and a third in Brisket, good for a satisfying fifth place overall. But above all, we were the first Italian team in the ranking, which according to the rules of the Jack Daniels Invitational means a token for the draw of this year and the opportunity to be one of the candidate teams to represent Italy at the 2017 Jack in next October. It was one of the goals we set for this season and yet it seems unreal we centered it at the first competition.

Before closing, let us proceed with the usual list of five things that we bring home from WEST 2017:

  1. Most of the time in which people talk about the cold that makes WEST an extreme competition, they do it regarding the possible stabilization problems of smokers, that however, prove to adapt well to cold temperatures. The real difficulty is everything else. This edition, which although it was not very cold if compared to the windy -22 ° C of last year, will leave in my memory the bottle of dishes detergent left in the wooden shed in the evening and found completely frozen the following morning, along with that of the water drops falling from the just cleaned accessories, which froze instantly as soon as hitting the floor. Imagine having to make injections….
  2. I have not yet figured out how it happened, but about ten o’clock on Saturday night, friend after friend, our tent started filling up with people, getting to its limit of physical capacity. In that tent everything arrived, from fabulous and sophisticated cuts of meat by Federico dal Lago, to every kind of alcoholic beverage, craft and not even up to still smoking polenta and cotechino. All spontaneously born, just for the sake of being together. One of my best memories of WEST 2017.
  3. We met so many good contest organizers but the MIG have their own distinctive style. They have the unique ability, typical of people who comes from that wonderful land, to bring up perfection as a banal normality. At WEST everything is just gone as they planned and the few drawbacks incurred has not noticed virtually by none. Anyone who has tried to organize any event and think about the conditions in which they did it, can easily understand how difficult it could have been.
  4. Having had a team that came to Rein to get you support and cheer for you is a great satisfaction. They helped us in set up the competition area, they cooked meals for us, have been with us during the night but most of all they were our first supporters during the award ceremony. A big thanks to the guys from All You Can Smoke.
  5. Sunday evening, Rein has been emptied. Virtually all the teams at the end of the awards ceremony, left, leaving it to the quiet routine of a end of a off-season weekend. Us, same as the Smoke’em All Instead we decided to extend our stay and leave with the following morning with calm. Before going to sleep so we decided to grab a quick bite together in a nearby restaurant, where we were pretty much just us. At dinner abundantly over, at the coffee time, we were approached by one of the resident, moved by the propensity to socialize that only alcohol can create. He reveals as a real character and the evening goes on for another two hours between rounds of schnapps and beer. I will associate forever the laughter made with Arnold and Smoke’em to this edition of WEST

After this pleasant prologue, the season takes a little break. See you at the next competition, in April at Bardo Q.

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