Alphen aan den Rijn 06-07-07
One day before the magic date ” 07-07-07 ” one day before the verdict of Floyd Landis. Will he be winner of the last Tour de France or not!? Doping in sport!? Where do we go!? I hate it!!!!!Cause ….how do we know if a winner is ….a winner!
Well here is gliding news from Finland as promised. Katia asked me to use parts of her story, but I think I should let you read it as it is . Her nice Finnish English is as my Dutch English, so nothing to worry about; you are used to it!
Enjoy the Finnish Nationals for 18 m. class and standard class seen through the eyes of Katia! Thanks Katia!!!!
This years Finnish Gliding Nationals in Räyskälä had something that it never had before. And that is three metres more. In most years, we have organized Nationals for 15 metre and Standard classes. But this time we decided to add three metres to other class, so competition classes became 18 metre and Standard classes. We had 36 competitors altogether, and 18 metre class with
19 pilots was two times bigger than ever in Finnish Nationals.
First two days weather just wouldn’t co-operate with our meteorologists.
Saturday, first competition day weather forecast promised nice clouds and good thermals, but somehow it just didn’t go that way. In some point competition office stopped updating outlandings list, as all pilots landed out. Well, it wasn’t really that sad story, as most of competitors flew more than 350 km. Oripää airfield was that day crowded, almost half of the pilots landed there. Maybe that was just because of good company, isn’t it nice to wait for pick-up if you can wait together with other pilots.
I thought it would be nice to start competition with good task with nice flight, just to get everybody in the right mood. And luckily, that we got on Sunday, after very nice weather and fast flying we saw lots of happy faces in the café terrace. Although, pilots didn’t stay there too long, everybody knows it is important to go to Small Sauna and fly day’s flight there again and again.
Third competition day was similar, even weather weren’t so easy than day before and task was longer, still most of the pilots seemed so happy after their flights. 18 metre class winner Hannu Halonen described that flight shortly but so well, when he said “it was fun up there”.
It would be so nice to tell you how we had 7 competition days and flew long tasks. But after that Monday’s “fun flight” we had three days with no tasks.
On Wednesday we tried to start towings, but after few hours of waiting in the grid we ended up cancelling the day. I must say that one resting day after three days flying is good for everybody, but three days waiting is quite boring. Of course we sat hours and hours in café, went to famous Keppanakellari-restaurant, and spend evenings in our beautiful and renovated sauna. You should see it yourself, it is so gorgeous now.
I am glad that we didn’t have to end the competition with “no task today” – Friday’s 436 km task gave us nice ending. Hannu and Standard class winner Juha Sorri both flew all competition days well, being if not always daily winners, in top 5 anyway. After closing ceremony I enjoyed good company of both of our new champions and competition director, of course we went to Small Sauna as we always do in farewell parties…it was early hours after everybody went to sleep
We have had so beautiful weather in past few summers in Räyskälä, of course we hoped that this year wouldn’t be any different from that. But sadly, we didn’t have good luck when we decided competition days for the Nationals. If the competition just was week before or after, we would have seen again 1000 km tasks.
After Nationals we had 2nd Gliding camp here, and they flew 17 042,9 kilometres in total, during one week. Longest flight from Räyskälä this summer (that I know so far) is flown by Sakari Pyörre, with LS 8-18. He flew 950 km, that is just one thermal away from 1000 km. So there is no reason to be miserable because of few rainy days, 1000 km flights are here to stay!
Past week has been so beautiful too, and those clouds, oh my god, they just have been perfect cumulus, almost like in pictures. We have now English and German guests here in Räyskälä and they all have certainly enjoyed this week’s weather. In the evening after all Finnish pilots have put their gliders in the hangar, we have seen how our foreign guests are evidently enjoying the evening weather, flying after 9 pm and telling on the radio that there are still light thermals.
That’ s it for now. Cheers Ritz