Jack Smith has been named the UK’s National Paint Champion following a closely fought final event at Automechanika Birmingham. Smith won a cash prize of £4,000, with runner-up Rhisiart Griffith taking home a prize of £1,700. Smith also collected the People’s Choice award, worth £2,500, as voted by Automechanika Birmingham visitors.
Contestants were tasked with a pre-show qualifier to impress judges with their skills, followed by designing the most impressive Vauxhall Corsa car bonnet under the theme of ‘Mobility Royale’ within a 50-hour deadline.
“I’m over the moon to win the championships,” said Smith. “The strength of the final and quality on display was so high. I’m really happy that my technique and creativity shone through and I’m thankful for the opportunity to really show off the level of talent across the industry, and also to my boss Dave for letting me have the time off to compete.
“I do a lot of low rider paint jobs so it’s a style that comes naturally to me. It took over 47 hours, so I was really pleased to get it done.”
Griffith said he was “chuffed” to be awarded second place. “The design was a play on the Royalty theme – the cup of tea is a staple in body shops everywhere, so having that with a crown in was a subtle nod to that,” he said.
Alex Jones, Marketing Manager at Messe Frankfurt UK, organiser of Automechanika Birmingham, described the level of skill and creativity demonstrated by the finalists as “phenomenal”.
“We’re very grateful to our star-studded judging panel for their diligent deliberation selecting this year’s winners, and for sharing their rich industry knowledge to pick out a worthy winner.
“We hope all our finalists were inspired by the tournament and maybe our exhibition visitors interested in making their mark in the trade will be inspired to hone some new skills.”
A panel of professionals from the body shop and collision repair industry decided the competition’s winners. The panel included Rachel Murray, finisher and owner of Paint by Rach; Michael Massey, Global Paint Finishing Platform Application Engineer for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division; Simon Wait, Head Of Editorial at Bodyshop Magazine; Jordan Salt, Managing Director of R+R Coatings; Sunny Yip, Car Body Repair Technician at Auto Spray; and Craig Bourke, who is also known as The_Specky_Painter.