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Did You Know...

... that Finland's Tigers are back with a 3-year plan?

Original Tigers lineup of 2006 - 2008
posted Jan 27th, 2014 - The team name Tigers has recently become well known when the national 4way team from Qatar caught the attention of the Sun Path Products NSL News with an impressive performance at the 4th Dubai International Parachuting Championship 2013.

The Qatar Tigers have been around for several years, however, there are other Tigers who have been training and competing in 4way for a longer time period. The Tigers from Finland appeared on the NSL leaderboard for the first time in 2006 and have continued to post their scores ever since and year by year.

Tigers Point Joonas Karajalainen has been with the Tigers since 2006 and is the only remaining original member. He has Nina Kivilompolo (Center Outside), Jore Löfgren (Center Inside) and Markus Longinen (Tail) in the 2014 lineup, and the Tigers are the first team from Finland to compete at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship this year.

World Challenge 2008Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class21-18-1315-11-FE-H-19-O14-2-N12-1-KQ-5-C-3P-9-A-J6-G-74-10-M16-20-BTotalAvg
22Pro Team1516231615202517161317617.6
Finland's national team of 2001 with Joonas Karajalainen (top left)
image by: Omniskore
Joonas Karajalainen has had a colorful history with the Tigers after his first international experience with Finland's national team at the world meet in Spain 2001. The Tigers career was heavily influenced by the Pro Team. In fact, the time period between 2006 and 2010 in Finland was an ongoing duel between the two teams, and it has actually never ended.

The Tigers of 2006 - 2008 (Joonas Karjalainen, Nina Kivilompolo, Erkki Kursukangas, Nadja Lönnroth, Markus Pitkänen) had the upper hand and represented Finland at the world meet in Maubeuge 2008. However, the scores at the World Challenge 2008 had indicated a change possibly coming, as the Pro Team defeated the Tigers for the first time.

The Tigers won the national title one more time shortly after the world meet, but it was a 4-point (154 - 150) outdoor battle by then. It was the last time that the Tigers won the national 4way title in Finland.

Finland Nationals 2009Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA Class6,F,1916,9,B20,13,4M,10,H,82,22,151,E,1817,7,A14,21,J5,D,L,1112,Q,K,OTotalAvg
1Pro Team2019131613131815151715915.9
Pro Team at the World Meet 2010
The Pro Team won the national championships a year later and represented Finland at the world meet in Menzelinsk 2010 with a very strong performance. Pro Team and Tigers both did not train and compete much after the end of the 2010 season. However, both teams still competed, and the Pro Team has continued to win the national 4way title year by year ever since, with one exception.

The new team Silver Knights came up like a shooting star in 2011 and won the national championships in 2012 - over the Tigers, and coached by Pro Team member Kimmo Pohjola. The Silver Knights then competed for Finland at the Mondial Dubai 2012.

The Silver Knights did not come back in 2013, and it was back to the old duel between Tigers and Pro Team. The well trained national team of 2010 had no problem adding another national title to the team's collection (16.9 - 11.4) while the Tigers competed only once last year.

Silver Knights at the World Meet 2012
The plans of the Tigers for the 2014 season are different and promising. Original member Joonas Karjalainen is coming back this year with Nina Kivilompolo who has been a Tigers member since 2006. New Center Inside Jore Löfgren brings in a lot of experience. He was a Madway member in 1993 when the team from Finland placed 4th at the world meet in Eloy with a 14.9 average. Madway's 4th place at a World Championship of Formation Skydiving is still the best result for a 4way team from Finland in history.

Markus Longinen is the new Tail, and the Tigers have a 3-year plan to replace Pro Team and/or Silver Knights as Finland's national team. Joonas Karjalainen said that the "old Tigers woke up after many years of sleep". The old Tigers ran into funding problems and just kept the name and multiple different lineups without a long term goal.

The new Tigers have been creeping quite a lot, and teams in Finland now also have their own wind tunnel: "We have been training in the Finnish tunnel almost every weekend, and we try to make about 200 jumps in the first season." Pete Allum is coaching the Tigers, and the team is eager to go: "Now we hit the road/sky again. We ended with a 16.3 average and we would like to continue from there..." The first 2014 results of the new Tigers will be posted at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2014.

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