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Did You Know...

... that Blackjack's comeback is more like a new beginning?

Blackjack at the World Challenge 2018
posted Apr 12th, 2018 - The NSL News introduced the first AA Class winner from Finland at the World Challenge 2018 with the story on 9 April 2018. Tempo won the AA Class competition after an internal battle with a second team from Finland, Tahma.

The situation was very similar in the AAA Class, where Telakka and Blackjack caught the attention of the NSL News in the absence of the Pro Team or the Tigers. Telakka and Blackjack did not compete for the medal positions in the AAA Class, as Tempo did in the AA Class. However, the internal battle of the teams from Finland was even much closer compared to the AA Class competition.

Telakka won this Finnish duel still by six points, while Blackjack has moved significantly closer compared to the last meet where both teams competed together in February this year (162 - 145).

The NSL News had introduced Blackjack with the story on 2 April 2018 when the team had a reunion comeback, 20 years after their last 4-way competition, which was the FAI World Meet 1997. An earlier indoor event in Finland connected Tempo with Blackjack, as both teams competed in the A Class at that time. The AA Class winner of the World Challenge 2018 had easily outscored the Finnish national 4-way team of 1997 at the meet in April last year.

World Challenge 2018
RankAAA Class10,H,F,1320,6,2212,1,114,M,G,J9,B,P,AN,C,8,3K,7,L,D18,19,145,Q,2115,16,OTotalAvg
1NMP-PCH HayabusaBE3125253862324726313234934.9
2Weembi Mix MFFR2925244059334527323134534.5
3Arizona AirspeedUS2924233559264324332832432.4
5ACM WeembiUK2421212948213621252326926.9
6Gavroche WeembiFR2317173146253521262626726.7
7ISR FireFlashBE2317202845273521252426526.5
10Odin Parachute SystemFR221918264423301923-22424.9
12HF Flying CircusCZ201717244020251720-20022.2
15Les Affranchis Flyzone FR171515243515281715-18120.1
15Jazz RepublicZA161515243018281619-18120.1
20Chicas RecycledDE1715142328182714--15619.5
21FlySpot Sky4FourPL1613172525192515--15519.4
23Le 4 CretinsFR1715122129152515--14918.6
25Pajama PumasUK1615152023182415--14618.3
25Aggrieved BucaneersUK1714132029162215--14618.3
30Skydive University SlovakiaSK1815102321171715--13617.0
34Salty JacksUK1112101622111811--11113.9
35White SquallFR11981418111211--9411.8
Blackjack at the FAI World Meet 1997
Both teams were back in 4-way action a year later in Bedford, and they did not compete in the same category any longer. Tempo moved up into the AA Class with the beginning of the 2018 season, while Blackjack left the same category behind after one meet in October 2017. Blackjack was aiming at a comeback in the AAA Class, which was eventually accomplished in February this year.

The World Challenge 2018 was the perfect opportunity for the NSL News to meet Finland's national 4-way team of 1997 and invite them for a new NSL Live Talk on World Challenge TV. It is a very interesting team story and might end up in the NSL News records as the reunion and comeback covering the longest time period. In fact, Blackjack is probably the longest standing active 4-way team by now.

Blackjack is far from being done after the World Challenge 2018. The event was only a stepping stone of the comeback, and the team members are highly motivated to increase training and competition efforts.

Blackjack is one of the teams and competitors in Finland who benefit much from a new wind tunnel in the center of Helsinki. The team members plan to train regularly and lift their performance levels to the current indoor and outdoor top standards.

World Challenge 2018
RankAAA Class10,H,F,1320,6,2212,1,114,M,G,J9,B,P,AN,C,8,3K,7,L,D18,19,145,Q,2115,16,OTotalAvg
Finnish Indoor Nationals 2018
RankAAA Class22,D,714,5,HE,3,K,2010,O,15C,B,L,1618,F,1217,9,J19,8,QA,M,4,6P,2,G,21TotalAvg
Sirius Indoor 2017
RankAA ClassN,6,2021,8H,15,F18,Q,EG,K,P,72,A,B4,M,2214,D,C9,19L,J,11TotalAvg
Finnish Indoor Nationals 2017
RankA Class6,OB,9M,8A,244,21K,J,LP,E,ND,C,G7,QF,19TotalAvg
FAI World Meet 1997
RankAAA Class13,Q,D,95,K,F,121,14,22H,M,11,7A,E,3,G15,18,320,L,23O,19,417,10,J6,C,2TotalAvg

Things have surely changed significantly between 1997 and 2017, even though Blackjack still applies some of the training techniques and analyzing programs that they used in the earlier days of 4-way competition.

Blackjack in 2018: Only a new beginning...
The progression of the competition performance indicates that Blackjack is on track to get to the scoring level that they are aiming for.

The 14.5 average at the first AAA Class competition in February this year was left in the dust with the 18.3 at the World Challenge.

Blackjack and Telakka both received only their scoring numbers through Round 8, as they missed the first cut.

However, Blackjack was familiar with cuts, which were a part of world meet competition 20 years ago. Blackjack made it to the semifinals in 1997 and missed only the final Round 10. The AAA Class competition in Bedford was stronger, and both AAA Class teams from Finland missed Round 9 and Round 10 on the leaderboard.

This is only a motivating factor for Blackjack. The team is aiming at the 20+ average level and at least a slot in the semifinals at the World Challenge 2019. There will be a lot of AAA Class competition in Finland this year...

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