Sunday 13.12.2015 – The End
First I want to congratulate all the winners, especially new champions: Tom Arscott from Great Britain in Club class and Australian own boy Matthew Scutter in Standard class! Also I want to congratulate all of them who have reached their goals and/or learned something new here.
As it is the end, I think it is a good time to tell Tony’s story. Even this event is – or was – about young competitors, I want to talk about older ones as well. Mostly this is a pointer for aeroclubs, especially in Finland.
I want to take you back to the beginning of the competition. We had dinners at warm Narromine weather on practice week evenings, it was also time for getting to know “who is who”. At one point I ended up talking with Tony Edge. I asked him when he started gliding, and he said: 12 years ago at the age of 67. I was really surprised, as I thought the answer would have been more like “I’ve been here since I was a little boy”. I asked him how he had found gliding. He told me his story, it’s not too long, but interesting anyway.
The “until death do us apart” had happened 12 years ago when Tony lost his wife, they had been married 47 years. Tony told me that he was sitting at home and thinking what to do, as the life had changed so dramatically. Answer was: he will start gliding. Well, Tony had a dream of flying since he young, as he had followed the aircrafts landing to air force base in Dover, UK.
At gliding field you can find people to talk with, there’s always something to do for everybody and all sorts of skills are needed. And of course you will get up to the sky once in a while, if not alone, there’s always somebody who will take you to fly. Gliding field is a good place to be, as if you live alone, wake up alone, have your meals alone and watch TV alone, you will turn to vegetable soon. Everybody needs social life to keep their brains active, don’t they.
In Finland we have a common problem among the aeroclubs, and that’s not getting enough new members in the club, and the old members are…well, getting old. But I don’t know if that is a problem or not. Perhaps the solution for recruiting is to get young ones to dream about flying, but we should remember that the most potential glider pilots aren’t always on their teenage years, but they might be those whose kids have moved out and they are thinking what to do with their lives. There’s also good examples of families who has discovered flying; my parents were pilots, and I know several others with similar stories. And I have to say, gliding field is pretty good environment to grow up, as you might have heard the saying “it takes a village to grow a child”.
I think Tony’s decision was very good. I hope he will have lots of fun with gliding.
Finns in the organization at Australia
I will end my story telling about me and Finnish twins (fin-twins) Wille and Wellu. You might have been wondering why here has been Finnish girl (woman) doing the website, photos and social media, and two Finnish guys as field runners and marshalling.
Well, all three of us have been working in several gliding competitions in Finland, Räyskälä; at local competitions, gliding nationals and also in international competitions. After JWGC2009 in Räyskälä I was asked to Musbach for German Junior Nationals 2010, then to JWGC2011 Musbach again and from there to JWGC2013 Leszno. At Leszno I told to Beryl that if they need somebody at Narromine, I would be interested to come. Terry was in Räyskälä WGC2014, where I was doing the website, photos etc. and Terry asked if I would be interested to come here. I said yes.
People have asked me how it is possible that I am travelling from one competition to another. Well, one reason is because I have been asked to, but the other reason is that I’ve told to people that I would like to come and help. That’s exactly what Wille and Wellu did, they told that they would be interested to come here and help, and they were welcomed.
We all paid our own flight tickets here, so we do not get rich when coming here, I mean rich by money. Also our families are waiting in Finland, and being here when family is far away, it can be difficult. But we do get something else than money. We are experiencing new things, getting to know new people, learning to know ourselves better, getting new friends and seeing new places.
So if you would be interested to participate, that’s possible. Just tell that, don’t wait that someone will call you and collect you from home.
My trip to Australia lasted one month. Thank you for having me in Narromine. It’s time for me to continue my trip.
See you somewhere!