„Flying Dutchman“ wins Flying Finn!
The Netherlands are about to become an airguitar mekka: At the 10th World-Championships for Airguitar 2005 in Oulu, Finland, they had three contestants in the finals, and two „dark horses“ among the top-three – the heritage of the legendary „Flying Dutchmen“?
But that wasn’t the only remarkable incident at the anniversary-WM 2005. Never before so many women had entered the finals: the champions from Austria, Germany, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and defending champion MiRi „Sonyk-R.O.K” Park (USA) (defender Tarquin Keys, New Zealand, could not come to Oulu; a mistake in score-counting led 2004 to the Solomon-solution having two world champions).
The day before „Destroyer“ and „Pelvis Fenderbender“ from Holland used their last chance and scored high in the qualification round, where 15 airguitarists from seven nations struggled to become one of the five „dark horses“ to be in the finals.
There 16 champions from the USA, Norway, France, Austria, New Zealand, Japan, Finland, Australia, Germany, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands had to succeed with a track they chose themselves and a compulsory song. The latter was chosen by a raffle among the compulsory songs of previous years (e. g. „Smoke on the Water“ Deep Purple, „Smells Like Teen Spirit“ Nirvana and „Ace of Spades“ Motörhead). Among the Jury were also two national airguitar organizers and Amanda Griffiths, Salford University USA, who writes her dissertation on the airguitar phenomenon.
An exciting competition until the very end: „Gizzy Guitar“ from New Zealand and the Austrian „Funky Chicken“ outclassed many airguitar machos and the champions from Japan and Australia offered outstanding shows but „Destroyer“ Michael Heffels really destroyed his competitors. The heir of the „Flying Dutchman“ became anniversary airguitar champion and could fly home with a handmade Flying Finn guitar worth 2500 Euros and a Vox BM Special amplifier designed and donated by
Queen guitarist Brian May. Gisela Visser, New Zealand, became Vice-champion, followed by Gyuri „Fenderbender“ Vergouw (startfoto) who also organizes Airguitar-competitions in Holland.
Strong women: “Tarot Woman”
Yet music at the Finals wasn’t only playback: Magyar Posse, Poets of the Fall and Eläkeläiset, a truly Finnish phenomenon (their Finnish Country-versions of Rock-Classic are incredible!) had the crowd go crazy.
10. Airguitar World Championships 2005
1. Michael “Destroyer” Heffels (Holland) 34.3
2. Giesela “Gizzy Guitar” Visser (New Zealand) 34.1
3. Gyuri “Pelvis Fenderbender” Vergouw (Holland) 32.6
4. Takeshi Kongochi (Japan) 31.9
5. Heidi ” Funky Chicken” Leitner (Austria) 31.8
6. Darrin “Jimmy Dangles” Smith (Australia) 31.7
7. Miri “Sonyk-Rok” Park (The United States) 31.4
8. Dan “Björn Turoque” Crane (The United States)30.8.
9. Eero “Oulun oma poika” Ojala (Finland) 29.9
10. Andre Ulriksen (Norway) 29.8
11. Fatima “The Rockness Monster” Hoang (The United States)14.5
12. Katharina “Leni Krawitzkowsky” Tomaschek (Germany) 14.4
13. Antoine “Monkey Boy” Lebrun (France) 14.2
14. Theun “Tremelo Theun” de Jong (Holland) 14.0
15. Chaitanya “The Wickerlady” Vembar (United Arab Emirates) 14.0
16. Elina “Tarot Woman” Niiranen (Finland) 13.8.