Finland, venue of the 2014 WGC !

Time to look ahead at the 33d WGC for club, standard and 2 seater [20m] class.
After spending a few { working-}holidays in Finland at Rayskala, as TC [EGC], steward [EGC], editor [JWGC] and crew, I think it is nice to share with you some moments from our visits, to bring you in the mood, though the WGC is still a few months away.
As you notice, pilot is not on the list, so I did not fly there, but pilots themselves are the best to talk about gliding in Finland.

Z Rayskala 1  Z rayskala 2

Pictures as shared on EFRY ,these by Harri Lonnqvist

My very first time was in 1988, the 4th European Championship.I was still in mourning after loosing within ONE week, our best friend Kees Musters on December 27 and our handsome and talented son Dennis on January 3 .
Kees had said that I should be the TC for the EGC in Rayskala and Daan [Pare] who was in the team, said that life continued and I should do it!
So I did.We had 5 pilots and 9 crew members,we had organised sponsoring from VOLVO and Andrelon [hair cosmetics]  and off we went on the Silja Line from Travemunde to Helsinki.The way up was a quiet one to relax before the job, the way down was driving through beautiful Finland and Sweden and parts on the boat.
And of course we were not the only ones , the boat had more trailers in the " belly".
It was a year with not the best weather but still 10/11 days of soaring and some interesting moments for me personally as well.
One was when I was waiting for my last  young pilot to finish and " lead"  him around a thunderstorm which had arrived already on the border of the field. He made it back home safely, but Finnish mates were not pleased that I was sitting outside the tent , under 2 umbrella's, with a radio to keep the contact while lightning struck around me. Nothing happened and I learned my lesson.

Z rayskala 3  Z rayskala 4

The beautyful airfield!
Shared by Harri Lonnqvist

On an other day some pilots departed on track, whilst due to incoming rain others had to land back. The line was open and the lucky ones flew to the Russian border [TP 1] with pretty good weather , whilst the other pilots were waiting at the field to depart. The weather moved and between 3 and 4 they finally could start as well. In between the first group had arrived back over the field to continue to the W.
Group 2 arrived there later as well .
To make a long story short, except for one pilot, they all out-landed and the rumor was that this finishing pilot might have flown in the clouds! Never proven!

We loved the trees , the lakes and the tennis court at the camping area all close to the field.It was the year of the mosquito's , but no worries,  we wore gloves and boots and tried to keep the animals out of our tents with lot's of citronella oil.
We loved the sauna as well,  for most of us Dutchies something "new".
The men went to their sauna far from the ladies sauna. We learned how to " punish"  or body with branches from birches and had to get used to the easy way the Finnish girls behaved while sitting nude in the sauna.
After we all ran to the lake and jumped in it . I lost my breath and nearly fainted from the ice cold water on my still hot body.I disappeared quickly back to the sauna, cooling of by throwing with a big spoon cold water over me, which felt warm compared to the lake.
I heard a lot of noise and laughter.Looked on the veranda and saw that all men had swum from their sauna to ours and ALL had the biggest fun in the lake.

Z Rayskala 8

Camping area, in the forest, very child friendly.
Shared by Teemu Mykkanen

European Champion in open class that year was Klaus Holighaus [from 13 participants with 8826 points].
In 15 m. class Gerard Lherm [from 30 and 8581 points]  and in standard class Janusz Trzeciak [ from 28 and 8725 points] They had 11 days.

In 1996 Tapio Savolainen was the CD of the 8th EGC in Rayskala. As you know he sadly died of cancer.Tapio was a lovely guy who organized things other teams did not even think of.I always remember the stripey out fits they had.
We were not there then as we moved from Holland to live on the Carribean Island of Curacao.

Z Rayskala 5

Shared by Terhi Zetterman

Another interesting year was 2005. Fantastic weather , certainly on day 1 with a 1000 set and 17 from 20 in open class, flew the task.I was steward that year and had traveled from Australia, where I lived then,  to Europe.
No mosquito's in 2005, lot's of sun and a learning process again for me, as I was never steward before.
But chief steward Dick Bradley was a great " teacher" and Katja, the webmaster and designer, taught me a lot about computers,  so I started to write the daily bulletins there as well.
Here is some news I wrote on July 3 2005, day 3 from the EGC;
" It is really nice to see so much PR around this competition. This morning, Silva [CD] welcomed the crew from the National TV here during briefing and afterwards they were taking shots on the grid while launching was in progress.
The weather yesterday was still good enough for 1000 km tasks as a pilot starting from Nummela Airport, which is about 50 km South from us, flew 1015 km in an LS 8.

We had a longer briefing today than the first 2 days! Of course we were in "some kind of hurry" on day 1 with the 1000 km task and on day 2 we had to cheer on the "gladiators " who made history. They all received a Rayskala certificate for 1000 km and a bottle of champagne. We clapped our hands blue! Did you see the happy and smiling faces on the pictures from the 17 1000 km pilots? Great isn't it? But to be honest I felt a bit sorry for the 3 pilots who flew around 950 km and just did not make it!"

The terrace in front of the restaurant is full of pilots, crew members, local pilots and friends from town. The town has about 100 inhabitants and this seems to be a nice day - day out for them. They eat and drink, play with their children and join in with the crew and pilots!

The people who run the restaurant are doing an extremely good job. They have breakfast ready at 08, lunch between 12 and 15 and dinner, "a la carte" from 18 onwards and they are flat out and always friendly!"

Z rayskala6  Z Rayskala 7

Shared by Kai Monkkonen.
[Sorry , needs dots on the o but till now nobody " found"  my umlaut]

With Dick and Visa Matti [ jury member] , we went on a rest day, on the ferry from Helsinki to Talinn,[Estonia]  one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen.I was amazed to see so many people travelling with big , so to see light suit cases to Talinn. Not on the way back however, when they were carrying the suitcases with difficulty.
Found out that they were full of booze. You learn on every trip! Vodka etc is very expensive in Finland.

Visited as editor the JWGC in Rayskala as well. Great comps, lovely young pilots and very dedicated to their soaring-job.Safe as well. Some "grown up's " in '95 had more problems with the safety as they took some risks over the trees and some " topped"  them due to more sink than expected and that sounds as an active machine gun. Luckily nobody was hurt,  but 2 gliders were as our Yugoslavian friend once said; " For total no use".
I will always remember the awesome videos " created"  by Hubertus Huvermann [Hubi] with which every JWGC - briefing started.

I know already now that pilots will love flying over Finnish ground, looking from above on trees and lakes and cute little red houses behind a nice house, with in it the sauna.
When the weather behaves ,  competition director Heikki who is a VERY good meteorologist,will combine both  jobs to set tasks everybody likes.
Till the end of February [28] pilots can enter,..... then they can start to live-to-the-moment.

Z Heikki

Heikki, meteorologist and CD.

Till February 28 they still take entries and to see who is on it already you can go to;
Very interesting lists!
A pity I can't go there as I have other obligations in that time.

To finish this Finnish blog some words:

beer is olut, white wine is valkoviini and red wine punaviini.
fish is kala and meat is liha
thank you is kiitos and hello is paivaa.
yes is kylla [but they prefer joo] and no is ei.

For all other news from last week as 166.3 km./h during the Horsham Comps and nearly 1000 km in an ASH 26 from West Wyalong and a " clean sweep" , gold, silver bronze for Dutch speed skaters on day 2 from the Olympics on the 5000 m. , you can go to

Cheers Ritz

Follow me

  1 comment for “Finland, venue of the 2014 WGC !

  1. February 13, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Thanks for a nice article by Ritz! I am stationed in Finland near the Russian border; Kymi Airfield. I am writing about my gliding experience on , I hope to meet you and your friends in Rayskala incoming summer!
    Soaring Regards

Comments are closed.