The enclosed trailer with a heater removed me from the elements and I was warm an cozy the whole weekend. However, the smokers were affected to some degree, but it wasn't anything that was insurmountable. The whole cook went very good for me and I was very pleased with what I presented to the judges.
Now the judges on the other hand...just kidding. The judges had some great turn-ins to score - there were 14 teams competing that were at last years American Royal Invitational i.e. they won at least one Grand Championship in 2011! The winner of the American Royal Invitational and the Sam's Club National BBQ Tournament was there in addition to the team that placed second nationally last year in the KCBS point's chase. Wow, what tough crowd. Back to the judging, I was overall please with my scores, they were for the most part very high. I had two judges for the chicken, pork and brisket that were a bit out of line from the other four and as such, I didn't fare too well on these scores, but that's just life and personal preference. The ribs on the other hand, I had all the judges agree that they liked what I presented them and they blessed me with a 4th Place finish in Ribs. Any call at this contest would have been great and I was fortunate to get one. Overall I placed 25th out of 56 teams. Not too bad for the first time out this year.
We'll see how it goes at Pleasant Hill - not changing a thing, so it will be a good comparison.