A Frenchman has strummed his way to glory for the second year in a row at Finland’s fifteenth annual air guitar championships. Sylvain Quimene “out aired” Canadian Cole ‘Johnny Utah’ Manson and compatriot Soraya ‘Eva Gina’ Runner in the final stage of the prestigious competition in Oulu this past week.
Quimene, who was presented with a real guitar for his energetic efforts, battled against wannabe musicians and their imaginary instruments from the USA, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Britain, Canada and Brazil. Ten-year-old Aapo ‘Little Angus’ Rautio and 17-year-old Eero ‘Oulu’s own’ Ojala also rocked out for Finland in the final but failed to make the ultimate guitaring grade.
Each would-be rocker performed a strum-along of their choice in the first round of the final before attempting to pick out a compulsory unheard second piece. This year, Jimmy Hendrix’s Foxy Lady was the anthem that had windmill arms at the ready.
Finland’s Juha Torvinen sat on the competition’s judging panel, along with Raphael Monnanteuil of Belgium and Zac Monro from the UK. The first air guitar championships took place in 1996 when Oikku Ylinen of Ilmajoki claimed the rock king crown.