This year we had 29th Jannen Kisat (Janne’s Competition) in Räyskälä. Competition is open for all, and this year wasn’t any different, we had both new and old competition pilots. Old meaning if not age, the experience in competitions anyway :-) Altogether there were 23 participants, 10 in Club class and 13 in Open class, both classes were handicapped.
Usually the competition director is the general manager of Räyskälä, so this was Riku’s (Rissanen) first time as a competition director. He has been flying in competitions before, so he knew what to expect. My task in this organization was to take pictures and write news on competition website and update the site when needed.
Competition started on Sunday 10.7.2011, since gliding Nationals ended on Saturday in Nummela and some pilots and planes were coming from there to Jannen Kisat.
I had a morning walk around foggy airfield, and the weather was still quite gray during the opening ceremony which we had in front of the Café 26 at 9:30. During the briefing clouds started to disappear and sun started to shine. Towings were supposed to start at 11:45 and after all we started one hour later at 12:45. At this point weather was sunny, pretty warm and looked really good.
Also at this point I ended up as crew for HE, Eric Heinonen. I helped him in Nummela and he didn’t have a crew here either. I wouldn’t have taken his car keys if his glider didn’t have an engine… So I took some photos in the grid, helped Eki to start and drove his car from the airfield. We had quite relaxed day, having lunch and hanging around the café, I spent the day with AB and 2W crews, Kimmo, Tuula and Wille.
We followed the weather of course, as there were some high clouds in South, just over the Open class task area. We heard some hard comments about the weather on frequency. The weather looked like it was improving during the day, but it was getting worse later again. Several planes either landed out or didn’t finish the task. At this point Monday’s forecast didn’t look even that good as Sunday’s did.
It was historic moment in the briefing when Riku gave a prize for yesterday’s winner, his father Markku Rissanen, who managed to finish the task with speed of 58 km/h. There have been situations when father has been giving a prize to his own son, but not the other way around. Organization decided to give prizes to all pilots who managed to finish the task, as there were only four gliders which did that.
My “significant other”, Markku (Lehti) was towing with Suhinu, as it didn’t have a tow pilot for today. I went flying with him before the launches and got some nice photos of the grid from the air. He also had an opinion of Suhinu’s propeller, as he had some exciting moments starting from RWY 26 and seeing how trees in the other end of the airfield are getting bigger and bigger, and plane just won’t climb up. Also I heard that there had been a slight confusion and because of that the tanks were full, which isn’t good for competition tows.
Today we also had high clouds at south, but it was because of the raining front that was coming towards us from the south. We had AAT task, launches started 11:30, before that Iittala turn area was changed bigger, since it looked that weather is getting bad in north.
Task time was only two hours, so we didn’t have much time to do anything before the pilots were already coming back. And they all came back almost at the same time, as they had left almost at the same time. Only one pilot landed out.
In the evening it was almost clear that we won’t fly tomorrow. And it started to rain heavily during the night.
The raining front went over us during the night, but in the morning the weather was still so humid that there wasn’t any gliding weather. Kristian, our meteorologist said in the briefing that weather should improve during the day and local flights might be possible late in the afternoon, but weather won’t be good enough for competition flying.
We had really useful session with Emmi and Laura (the girls from competition office) as I taught them basics of Excel. After that I noticed that several cars had gone to Loppi and Säästö-Karit, and I had to go to Loppi myself as well. Riku asked me to get some new daily prizes, since the same people are winning all the time and he wanted to have something new to give to them in case they win again – and they will.
After all we went with other Riku (Pennanen, pilot of H1) to Loppi, and that was great, as we had a perfect idea for the evening. When we passed the place called Kalamylly (Fish Mill) on the way to Loppi, which sells fresh smoked salmon, we had an idea that it would be great to have a dinner with our friends (few pilots and their crew). So we had dinner with pilots of 2W, AB, H1 and HE and their crew members. Menu was perfect Finnish summer food: new potatoes, smoked salmon, garlic sauce, butter and salad. As a dessert we made some pancakes at the fireplace and had fresh strawberries and ice cream to go with those, accompanied by some wine of course. The evening was great and it ended quite late.
Night was pretty cool and so was this morning. Weather looked pretty good, but forecast didn’t. We got a task in the briefing and towings were supposed to start at 12:00. Then towings were postponed until 12:30 and then to 13:30. We were waiting in the grid for the whole time. Meantime the task was also changed to shorter one.
Weather just didn’t develop as it should have, and cloud base was really low. Finally Riku and Kristian decided that day is cancelled, because of the weather and because it was getting late. Eki got a phone call that he might have to go to work tomorrow or Friday the latest.
Kristian said in the briefing that the gliding weather looks really good – the best of this summer actually, and that it will be definitely the best weather of this competition period. So the tasks were quite long, 432 km and 528 km. Sniffer went flying before the launches and he told that thermals are already 2 m/s and cloud base is at 1200 m. So towings started at 11:00. One hour later almost everybody had crossed the start line, and crews just had to wait.
I had two planes to take care of, since Eki had to go to work. That meant that Wille, a crew of 2W, went to fly Eki’s plane HE. So I promised to help both Päki on 2W and Wille on HE. Luckily both of them have engines :-)
During the lunch we saw that clouds started to dry and disappear, and flying conditions at the task area might get tougher. It did. When we were washing HE after the flight, Tatu the pilot of EZ said that he didn’t see any good weather during the flight, even we heard in the morning that it should be really good.
In the evening we knew that Friday won’t be flying day, so we tried to “make some weather” in case it would help. Well, at least we had some fun ;-)
Our weather making skills need obviously practicing, since it was clear that this won’t be flying day. There was raining front again over us, and closest place where weather would have been flyable, would be in Jyväskylä.
In the briefing Riku of course gave prizes to daily winners, also organization decided to give a prize to pilot of H1, since he flew yesterday more than 8 hours and finally ended up landing out, just 30 km before Räyskälä.
After packing, doing some maintenance on planes and caravans, we went to Forssa. It was time to have pizza.
In the evening I left to Jämi Fly In with Markku. Saturday and Sunday weren’t competition days, so when I came back on Sunday, prize giving ceremony was over and almost everybody had gone home.
Result was pretty good on our group anyway, AB (Jani Pietilä) was 2nd, HE (Eki and Wille) were 3rd and 2W (Pekka Halonen) was 5th, H1 (Riku Pennanen) was 8th.