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Did You Know...

... that there was a battle for the 2nd place at the WTL meet in Helsinki?

2nd place behind Pro Team: Blackjack
posted Oct 4th, 2018 - The AAA Class competition at the first meet of the Finnish Tunnel League at the Fööni wind tunnel in Helsinki did not offer a battle for the 1st place. The Pro Team ran away from the field, as the NSL News reported on earlier this week.

However, a great battle took place right behind the Finnish indoor and outdoor 4-way champions, who have started their 2-year plan for the next FAI World Meet 2020 in Tanay, Russia.

The AAA Class leaderboard is showing that three teams finished within ten points and shared the highscores between each other: Blackjack, Tempo and Telakka. None of the three teams were able to tie or outscore the Pro Team, even though it was close in Round 8 when the winner suffered three point deductions.

Blackjack, Finland's national 4-way team of 1995 and 1997, eventually took the place right behind the country's current top team. Telakka had finished ahead of Blackjack at this year's national indoor championship and at the World Challenge 2018 before a recent slot scramble.

WTL September 2018 - Helsinki, Finland
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class O,18,17 6,L,14 D,7,3 5,21,A M,16,F,Q P,G,K,9 22,12,H 20,10,4 N,8,2 E,19,B,J Total Avg
1 Pro Team 22 -1 23 -1 23 -1 24 32 39 18 14 -3 19 -1 30 -3 244 24.4
2 Blackjack 17 16 -1 17 17 -1 27 -1 25 -1 11 -2 13 13 -2 27 183 18.3
3 Tempo 16 12 -4 15 -2 19 27 23 -2 12 -2 13 17 24 -2 178 17.8
4 Telakka 16 -1 18 -1 19 17 -1 25 -2 20 -6 13 -1 12 -1 14 19 -3 173 17.3
5 Tahma 7 -1 14 13 10 -2 16 -1 19 10 8 -1 11 -1 17 -2 125 12.5
Blackjack challenger: Tempo
Blackjack was actually facing the biggest challenge for the 2nd place from the newest team in the AAA Class. Tempo was carefully prepared for the AAA Class by Jorma Löfgren, one of the most experienced 4-way competitors in Finland, who joined Tempo in 2017 as a player coach and mentor.

He was an early member of Finland's national team Madway who finished in 4th place at the FAI World Meet 1993 in Eloy with a 14.9 average. Then he joined the Tigers in 2007 and eventually competed for Finland again at the FAI World Meet 2014 in Prostejov. He moved Tempo up into the AA Class competition at the end of the 2017 season, after the same lineup finished with a 20.7 average in the A Class at the national indoor championships.

Tempo started into the 2018 season with an 18.2 average on home turf in February and were pursuing the 20-average level in the AA Class at the World Challenge 2018, where Telakka and Blackjack posted their scores on the AAA Class leaderboard.

AAA battle after recent slot scramble: Telakka
Tempo took on the complete dive pool for the first time at the national outdoor championship and finished with a 10.1 average. The 17.8 indoor average a few months later confirms the consistent progression.

The first meet of the Finnish Tunnel League was also the first AAA Class competition for Tahma in 5th place. The Tahma lineup includes another former Finnish 4-way champion. Ari Laukkanen trained and competed with Mad Way who placed 4th at the FAI World Meet 1993 in Eloy. Tahma was formed in 2015 for the A Class competition and had different lineups over the following two years in the AA Class.

The current lineup (Merja Bauters, Susanna Raulio, Ari Laukkanen, Arttu Saari) started the 2018 season in the AA Class and moved up into the AAA Class at the Finnish Tunnel League meet.

There have never been five AAA Class teams in Finland at the same competition, and the same five teams will be able to enjoy more opportunities to challenge each other at the coming WTL meets.

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