John Wright wins CFOTY

The NICF says it’s with great pleasure that it announces John Wright from Leighton Buzzard is the winner of this year’s Carpet Fitter of The Year competition.

Ian James was head judge and compere for the two-day final which took place at The Flooring Show in Harrogate. In his opinion the task set for the six finalists was particularly tricky.

‘Forgive the pun, but with the addition of stairs the competition hit a new high this year and the finalists stepped up and took it to a whole new level. The only downside is there can only be one overall winner. All the finalists should be very proud of what they’ve achieved. It was a fantastic showcase of their skills and it must be satisfying for the sponsors to see their products being fitted to the high standards demonstrated in the final.’

The final took place over two days and the competitors had a set time to complete their work. Each finalist had a platform with a step up onto a small landing and then two steps down onto the ground. On the first day they had to fit a striped loop pile carpet on the stairs, which meant having to give consideration to what would be the 'main' stairs to ensure the design was centred, and direction of pile correct.

On the landing area the stair spindles were all slightly off line and it was left up to the finalists to select the finish that they thought would work best.

On the main platform on day two the finalists had to install a doormat with a logo inset into it, which had to be centred and edged with bars. The choice was again left to the individual but particular attention was paid to the possible height differential and the mitres.

The other end of the platform had what was known as the under-stair cupboard, with a post in the middle meaning that the carpet had to be split and then joined back together in a very limited space. In fact, this year’s platforms were the most technically challenging to date.

The six finalists were given an additional task to complete before the final at The Flooring Show. This was to construct a pair of slippers out of carpet. The winner for this part of the competition was Dan Jones from Telford.

John Wright and Dan Jones were presented their prizes and trophies at the award ceremony which took place at the end of the first day.
Kane Thomas, the organiser of The Flooring Show, kindly agreed to award the prizes. Each of the finalists also received a CFOTY 2018 trophy. The other finalists were Darren Ash from Alfrick, Dan Evans from Huntingdon, Jamie Nelson from Kirkholm and Tony Newall from Coatbridge.

John was understandably thrilled to be announced the winner and later had this to say about being Carpet Fitter of the Year 2018.

‘I got brave in 2017 and put in my application for Carpet Fitter of the Year. I was over the moon when I received my letter to say I was in the semi-finals and gobsmacked to get to the finals.

There was the realisation that all the training I received, for example from Fita in Loughborough, had paid off and I was actually good enough to compete.

‘After an amazing weekend in Harrogate I just had to enter again for this year. It’s a bit like an addiction: the thought of missing out on a fantastic, well-organised weekend by the NICF was not an option.

‘All the emotions from last year came flooding back, I was actually in the finals again … but this time I walked away the winner! I can't thank all at Fita, NICF and all the sponsors enough for making this happen. I'm still on cloud nine.

‘Anyone who is thinking about entering just do it! Whether you win or lose the experience is too good to miss.

‘I’m looking forward to meeting the finalists in 2019 and watching them sweat for the title like I did.’