Yes, it was scaffold convention and exposition time again and this year it was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the Indy 500 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The SAIA (Scaffold & Access Industry Association) is a great way to see new equipment, connect with vendors, learn new things and have a great time.
Oh yeah, and our team of bad boy scaffolders came out to defend their title at the Scaffold Builder’s Challenge (I’ve already spilled the beans on that but I’ll recap it for you here).
And then it culminated with a party at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and racing around the track at 130mph! (I’ll get to that in a bit).
Let me first start out by saying that I was blown away by Indianapolis. What a great, clean, well laid out city. I had never been there before so it was a treat to explore both during the day and late at night.
I was out shooting at 2:30am around the canals behind our hotel and there were people out and about at that hour – on a Monday, to boot. Crazy.
Every year the good people at the SAIA put on a great convention with lots of activities and seminars – they really are a great group of people and should get a shout out – so I am shouting out!
The theme is obviously racing so let’s lets get started.
The Superior Scaffold crew arrived, loaded our gear into the hotel and then immediately went out walking around. There is an elaborate canal system on the edge of the city where people can walk, paddle and ride through a maze of open space and artistic endeavors.
Both the art museum and the history museum are right down in this area and are kind of woven in around this vast array of sidewalks and canals.
Worth checking out if you make there.
And then, our scaffold crew was up and ready to rock the Scaffold Builder’s Challenge. Here, Nick Pantalone, Chris Rickets, Drew Watson, Rich DeTora and coach Kenny Foreman get ready to throw down.
The challenge started and our guys rocked the house…
The drawings where so complicated this year that none of the three teams could erect and dismantle the scaffold in the 2 hour time allotment. And to make matters worse, our team stuck in one wrong tree and had to dismantle and reassemble almost the entire scaffold.
Well, even with that mistake the Superior Scaffold team was only :38 seconds behind the winning team…
We ended up finishing second. Good job in the blazing heat guys! Yes, it was hot out there!
Had we had time to dismantle I think our guys would have probably kept their title.
Day two offered a powerful showing of information as our own safety and suspended scaffold specialist, Shawn MacDonald participated in a seminar with Tom DeJong, from Bee Access and Motti Yitzhaki from Wire Rope Works Messilot LTD, on “Wire rope in a suspended scaffold application”.
The convention was a great success! We got to make new friends, connect with old colleagues and make new memories.
The crowning achievement was probably the Bee Access race themed party at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I will admit, it was really cool getting to walk under the pagoda and out onto the race track! The evening started with a bus trip from the hotel to the speedway. You can see the old bricks leading into the pagoda and to the racetrack, some of the most hallowed ground in motorsports history.
We got an all access pass to the inner working area of the raceway.
Inside, they had the new pace car in view for us all to see…
But the real treat was the 3 cars lined up on the track that would hurl us around the famed Indy 500 racetrack at close to 130mph!
This was a great thrill. I must admit I took 3 laps with 3 different drivers!
The night continued with dinner on the veranda of the pagoda high above the track and then music and dancing. Thank you everyone at Bee Access for putting on a great party and capping off an incredible trip to Indianapolis.
The convention finished strong with the president’s gala and awards dinner.
It was one of the last gatherings of all convention attendees.
The Superior Scaffold crew had a great time in Indianapolis and at the SAIA annual convention. We look forward to next year’s event in Montreal July 23 – 26, 2017.
You can see the entire photo album here, if you like.
And I’m going to let the Rock City boys from New York give you the musical interlude today.
Oh, okay I’ll throw this in as well…
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