Third VAKE for our Finnish neighbours and Pallas Kite Enduro founders Jussi Tanskanen (1985) and Keijo Alila (1985) from Levi (only a six hour drive from Vadsø). When they don't burn holes in their kites, these guys challenge the top five.
Photo: Ekaterina Golitsyna / VAKE
We first met Jussi and Keijo in VAKE 2015 as Team Lappis. A bonfire at CP Stjernevann took a bite of one of their kites and their final standing was #23. In 2016 they returned with the more suitable team name Kites on Fire and made it to Vardø as team #5.
Jussi is a paramedic, whitewater kayaker, off-pist telemarker and kiter. He won the silver medal in the Finnish Whitewater Kayaking Championship in 2014. He's been kiting in the local hills for four years and try to spend as much time outside as possible.
Keijo has background from endurance sports such as cross-country skiing and orienteering. He competed and devoted his life to cross-country skiing for 14 years and won the Finnish junior Championships. Later he kept on skiing, but in long distance competitions like Artic Circle Ski Marathon of 100 kilometers. Keijo has been kiting for six years. He knew that kiting was something that he wanted to do more of the first time he tried it. Keijo is out every day perfecting his Arctic sports skills.
"Skiing 72 kilometers in one day with our VAKE gear, handling our kites in variable conditions and enjoying ourselves when things get rough".
"Last year we finished the course and learned a lot from the experience. Hopefully we return with better gear and plan and perform better".