Saturday 12.12.2015 – Last competition day
It’s the last competition day. Let’s see how pilots are flying today, Adam told me this morning that it was quite late evening for quite many teams and for him as well, as he was asked back to the airfield after midnight.
I was really tired in the morning and when I said that out loud, someone made immediately an assumption that I must be partying too much. Oh, I wish. Waking up at 5 in the morning because bed is uncomfortable or it’s too hot, and working 3 weeks in a row with only one resting day, the “party theory” didn’t feel great. Perhaps I am getting old as I am waking up so early or getting tired in this heat.
Club class got today 3h AAT and Standard class 366km tasks, towings started 12.35 after 5 minutes delay. They started quite late. As it is a blue day, we saw some gaggles above the clubhouse. Also there was an introduction of Australian tradition: that’s flying in the core of the thermal and throwing out a roll of toilet paper. Then you have to dive and try to cut the paper in two pieces. I had a short lens on my camera at that time, so I couldn’t take any evidence of that. Claire told us that it is tradition on last competition days. I think our toilet paper in Finland is much stronger than here, so I wouldn’t do that in Finland :-D
Meanwhile pilots were flying, we had some “flying fun” with Wille, Wellu and Claire. I mean when people among aviation are having fun, it’s not trying to get a white ball on a hole or reading books or running etc. It’s about flying! You might be doing formation flying, or some low passes, or aerobatics etc. That’s proper way to have fun, isn’t it.
We went with John Buchanan on his helicopter to Dubbo as he was going there for refueling and then we came back, so it was only a short visit. Wellu informed us quite loudly that he will take the front seat. Well, this is something you would get used to in Finland. But here, all men have been most polite, opening doors and gates, letting me go first, offering rides to the town and back, asking what I wanted and so on. So I teased boys a little bit and said that as Wille and Wellu are gentlemen, they should let us women to sit on front seat. And as Brian is flying, C comes after that so Claire will sit on front seat when we go to Dubbo and as Katja is before W on alphabets, I will be sitting on front seat when we come back.
But Wellu didn’t accept my proposal of alphabetical order, obviously he didn’t want to be a gentleman either, so he was explaining fast and loud all the reasons why I can’t sit on front seat. One of the biggest reasons was that I’ve been on a helicopter before and my husband is a pilot. Hmm…perhaps that “being a pilot” means to Wellu that it’ll bring manna from heaven or something, I don’t know… I had great fun listening his arguments, and as I said, I was surprised of his reaction after spending a lot of time with these “easy going” polite men. Anyway, I don’t blame him, if something would be important to me, I might behave like that as well.
It’s true that I’ve been on a helicopter before, and the others hadn’t. So my plan was to give my seat to one of the brothers when we come back. But I got a story of a yelling Wellu instead :-) Or should I say Peter 1. As we were pushing the helicopter out from the hangar for suitable place for us to start, John asked Wellu’s name and it was too difficult to pronounce. So he decided that Wellu is Peter 1 and Wille is Peter 2.
Both Wellu and Claire got to fly the helicopter and they both had a big smiles on their faces after the flight. I told Claire that as my mom gave me this trip to Australia as a Christmas present, surely she will get a helicopter license for next Christmas. If she was flying at that time when John was telling her what to do, I think she is natural talent and did really well.
There’s not much to tell about the farewell party, we had some food and ice creams, also bar was open. Pilots and crews were running around the dancing floor and ended up having a water war. What was really special on this party was that the music was good, modern music. Usually I end up out of the party hangar listening a tears in the corner of my eye as it’s sad that the competition ends and the music is usually some “oldies”, anyway not danceable except for slow dancing. I’ve always wondered why it has to be like that. I’m glad we had Gus as our DJ.
It was anyway great evening, I am glad I went to bed early enough so I could sleep 5 hours before it was time to get up, even it felt like the evening ended too soon. I saw also the Southern Cross finally, and I was taught how to find south with it.
I had a plan to stay here until Monday, but it starts to feel that it would be better idea to spend one day somewhere else than between Narromine-Dubbo-Sydney. So I am making arrangements that I can leave after the closing ceremony.