The first round of VISTA semi finals concluded last week, with nine semi finals taking place in Verona, Beesd and Dubai. In what was a busy week for the competition, sixteen teams qualified for the world final, while all teams enjoyed a memorable few days.
In Verona, Volvo Trucks Italia hosted the Nordic, Central East and Italian semi finals over the whole week. The Central East semi final saw fifteen teams competing for three spots. Viru Valge (Estonia) missed out on the VISTA 2009 world final by just 0.6 of a point, however in Verona they were able to make amends, and become the first Estonian team to ever qualify for a world final. Vikings LT (Lithuania) and FB One (Hungary) will join them after both claimed the other two spots. Five teams took part in the Italian semi final, which was won by CastellaCorteseGrappiglia.
Next up was the Nordic semi final, comprised of twenty teams from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland, thus making it one of the largest semi finals in the competition. Copenhagen Controls (Denmark), Veskum Popoo (Finland), Avesta Cruising Club and Bonnraggarna (both from Sweden) claimed the region’s four spots in the world final.
Meanwhile in Beesd, Netherlands, the semi final for Central Europe was taking place. Team Impact (Austria), winners of the 2009 VISTA world championship, where among the 15 teams from Germany, Austria and Switzerland participating, however Team NTC1 (Switzerland) finished in first. Team Impact came in second, which means that along with third placed Team FH16 (also from Austria) they still qualify for the world final and will have the chance to defend their title.
Later in the week, Beesd then hosted four more separate semi finals: the Netherlands, Belgium/Luxembourg, France and Spain. Band of Blues (Netherlands), Automobilia Trucks & Cars (Belgium), Rennes 2 (France) and Montrones 13 (Spain) won their respective finals. Finally the NAME (Northern Africa, Middle East) semi final was held in Dubai, with 12 teams from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and United Arab Emirates. Team I-4 from UAE finished first meaning that for the third time in a row the NAME semi final has been won by UAE’s representative team. However the competition was close with teams from Algeria and Lebanon, both competing in VISTA for the very first time, only trailing I-4 by two points and three points respectively.
Due to the hard work and dedication of Volvo Truck and Bus staff in Verona, Beesd and Dubai, each semi final was a complete success. Competitions were well organised, and also incorporated plenty of social and team-building activities, ensuring that each final was an unforgettable experience for all concerned.