6.7.2014 – Price giving ceremony, few goodbyes

It was really weird to wake up after decent hours of sleep, which is quite unusual after farewell parties. Also it is quite unusual to have enough of sleep before the prize giving ceremony, which is always held too early on Sunday morning. I would like to suggest that the ceremonies would be arranged on Saturday evening, but hey, what can you do if Saturday is a competition day. Oo, I hoped it would have rained on Saturday, but it didn’t.

Anyway, the prize giving ceremony was arranged with almost same plan as the opening ceremony, some speeches, but not too long or too many of them, concentrating on the reason why we are here; which is contestants.

I didn’t have any other obligation during the prize giving and closing ceremony than taking pictures. I asked Visa to take pictures of the winners, since I always – and I mean always – seem to fail taking those. So I was concentrating on the audience instead. I just hope I would have chosen other lens on my camera. Now I was able to take pictures from distance, but I had to stay close to the audience so the angles weren’t what I hoped for. Like I said, I usually fail taking photos at prize giving ceremony.

Prizes were given and I waited for my tears to come. You might know that usually I am crying at the time of the farewells, but this time the music and speeches weren’t too touching and I am glad of that.

The end

But…you know, after the couple of years preparing, planning, training week and the actual competition, there is just something in there when the President of the Jury says “I declare these 33rd FAI World Gliding Championships closed”, you know that you come to the point when you can say “That’s it, we’re done”. Also Kirsti did something which touched my heart. I’ll tell you what that was, but first I have to tell you some background: During the competition we had a person on the radio telling the wind information at the time of the finishes, and several people asked “whose sound is that”. That sound belongs to Kirsti. Her English, pronunciation and voice is really radio-perfect.  At the closing ceremony she was the announcer, so she didn’t really have that much of freedom saying her own goodbyes.  Also I have to tell that we didn’t have any big-budget airshow after the ceremonies even we would have liked to have that. We had something as great instead, I think. A Hornet (F-18) flyby. I just love the sound of such fighters, when I am in the airshow, and these powerful fighters are doing their routine, my heart almost bursts with joy and I have to hold my tears back. It doesn’t matter if they are doing either just a flyby or even a tight formation like Frecce Tricolori or Midnight Hawks. The sounds of the engines are overwhelming, at least to me they are.

So what Kirsti did? This woman with a nice tone of voice, not a hint of uncertainty in her voice, said the last words of the closing ceremony: “Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornet from the Karelian air command will arrive. Please look to the west and please cover the ears of children. Wind 120 degrees 5 knots.” Still now, when I am reading that, brings me back to the moment, this nice and calm sunny morning, and the last official words of the competition followed by fast low flyby of a Hornet.

I think that was really ingenious way from Kirsti to bring some personality to her announcements, and remind people of what they’ve heard on flying days. Her voice took people back on the competition, like this would be another evening of finishes.

After that I hid in the container, but still Patrick and Terry found me for goodbyes. Also soon after that it was time to “undo” all the furnishing and setting of the containers. I was surprised how quickly that happened, since preparations took good few days, and we were ready in couple of hours.

After the competition

Weather continued really warm after the championships, which we enjoyed with most of the Aussie team members. We had barbecues every night, but in some point it was time to say goodbye to them as well.

In the end I still felt like I didn’t take enough photos, didn’t catch all people on my “film” and didn’t update the site as much as I should. But I did my best. And some of you told me your thank you’s and nice words, and I thank you for that.

See you again somewhere, perhaps in JWGC2015 :-)


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