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It was not difficult for the Pro Team to win in Finland. It was probably the more interesting challenge for Kalle Pohjola to compare the performance level of his February lineup with the scores that the Pro Team's AAA Class lineup posted last year at the World Challenge 2017.
His parents Outi and Kimmo Pohjola had finished with a 22.3 average, which was the team's highest one without a Super Sequence. The Pro Team lineup of 2010 (Laura Miettinen, Eija Suvala, Outi and Kimmo Pohjola) had posted a 23.2 average at the World Challenge, boosted by a 47-pointer in Round 2 (J,M,E,D,L).
Kalle Pohjola's mother Outi, multiple national 4-way champion in Finland, did not compete at the national indoor championships, where Kalle was competing in the tail slot. Father Kimmo was in his outside center slot, and Emilia Sormunen or Eija Suvala had to fill Outi Pohjola's point slot in the front piece. Eija Suvala has been the team's inside center since she joined the Pro Team in 2008.
Finnish Indoor Nationals 2018
|Roster: Kimmo Pohjola, Emilia Sormunen, Eija Suvala, Kalle Pohjola|
World Challenge 2017
|Roster: Kimmo Pohjola, Emilia Sormunen, Eija Suvala, Outi Pohjola|
There was still a difference between both draws, as the 16-foot flying chamber in Bedford allows the application of the complete dive pool. Finland's national indoor championships used the limited FAI/IPC dive pool where Block 1 and Block 13 are excluded from the draw.
The six slot switching AAA Class blocks were drawn for six different sequences this month, and new AAA Class competitor Kalle Pohjola had to master 4-way memory sequences two times in the rear piece, in Round 2 (Block 5) and Round 7 (Block 17). His mother Outi Pohjola had to deal with two memory sequences last year, as well. The other four slot switchers had neutralized each other for the front piece.
Block 1 and Block 13 of the current dive pool will be back for the competition draw at the World Challenge 2018. Kalle Pohjola has not performed them yet at an indoor competition, as the two blocks are not a part of the A Class competition that the Pro Team Extended won in 2016. The World Challenge could become the first time for Kalle Pohjola if the Pro Team signs up for the event.
Finnish Indoor Nationals 2018
Talakka won easily in Finland; however, Blackjack showed in four rounds that there is more potential for a closer battle.
The NSL News had introduced Blackjack with the story on 2 April 2017. The Finnish 4-way champions of 1996 and 1997 with Max 4 launched their indoor comeback in the A Class last year, moved up quickly into the AA Class and attended their first AAA Class meet after the comeback at this year's national indoor championships.
Dive pool, techniques, engineering and continuity plans were very different 20 years ago, and Blackjack works on getting familiar with up-to-date training and competition.
Pelakka, with Riku Peltola in the lineup, who was a Blackjack opponent 20 years ago, have only competed in the AAA Class since 2015 for a little head start. However, the team may have to look out carefully for Blackjack charging from behind...