Windscape Kite Festival 2010
Posted by bartman, 22 June 2010 · 113 views
I'm not sure how the organizers pulled this off, but over the last 50 days here 40 of them have had either snow or rain, but the festival weekend was rain free during the day! Winds were up and down, but overall more kites were in the air than on the ground so that's always great and the nice weather also brought out record crowds!
Friday before the kite festival there is usually a night fly during the music festival that runs in conjunction with Windscape. Friday was still wet and cold, but Paul and his family and myself did go out for a couple hours in 28 mph winds to give it a go. We had a few spectators and someone doing some tracking on my kite with a green laser who I found out the next day was Gary Mark who had been invited to bring some big kites to the festival.
Saturday started out cloudy, but warm and by the actual start time of the festival we had blue sky and nice puffy clouds! We set up on the multi-line field where the 180Go! guys were staging their kites. We pretty much had that whole area to ourselves as other dual line flyers were in short supply this year. Unfortunately, people tramping through multiple lines and over kites were not in short supply dispite multiple reminders on the PA system and requests from flyers to please not walk on our kites or run through the lines. The last couple years this has been a worse and worse problem mostly by little kids where one cuts them some slack, but now it is extending to adults who should know better. This would be the only negative of the entire festival from my perspective.
Of course the pros in attendance all did an excellent job in their demos. Noteable pro Rev flyers were 180Go! and Lam Hoac. Lam also did some amazing two line work as well.
It was exceptionally nice of 180Go! members to use some of their time away from the demo field to fly with Paul's wife Candace and myself to help us get a better feel for sharing the same air space with others and controlling air speed at the same time. Many figure 8's and follow the leader during that process. I think we only took down one kite each in the process... sorry...
Saturday evening was my annual Windscape BBQ where I round up all the Rev flyers I can along with friends and new friends to fill up the attendance card and head to my place. Once again, great weather for the majority of the evening before we had to retreat into the garage when a little rain shower came along. It was an interesting venue to share stories and have a lot of laughs, but so much fun! Sometimes the little things like a simple beer and a hamburger with friends are just the best part of it. (flying and exploding pigs not withstanding - sorry, inside joke)
As was last year the evening wind on Saturday was not suitable for any evening or night flying. Maybe next year!
Sunday was another great day at the Windscape field. I felt my flying was improving and was impressed with how much better Candace was doing after our lesson time on Saturday. The two of us worked more on follow the leader and would occassionally be joined by Cowboy Paul who had is own agenda of screwing ours up! I think it is just his way of saying he likes us.
Mid afternoon on Sunday Mike Kory decided it was time for the mega-fly. We had the potential of 12 Revs for this, but not everyone felt up to speed on joining in and I totally get that feeling as it took a lot from me personally last year to get involved in it and even this year with the wind so variable I was very nervous about. When we got ourselves organized with nine pilots and when the wind was in a good direction for both us and the crowd and we started with the figure 8 trying to make it as tight as possible. We moved onto some ball bursts and unlike last year this year the ball was actually mostly round not... abstract... I'm not sure there was much of a crowd reaction this time out, but really that wasn't as important as what some of us got out of it which was more self confidence to take part in the bigger pictures that are possible. I was nervous, but much more focused on staying in position this time out instead of worring about what the big picture was looking like.
I'm not sure how many Revs were sold that day, but I know my card was given to a number of people who inquired about Rev flying so I am hoping for at least one person to contact me about a flying lesson in the days to come. One of these years it has to happen!
When it was all officially over Paul, Candace and myself spent a few more minutes with 180Go! flying without the added pressure of a crowd. Probably some of the best wind of the festival at that time. Very smooth and strong enough to make flying easier. The flight was not without incident, but nothing serious.
The wind up for the flyers was also successful with a lot of laughs and more sharing of stories and knowledge. I have half a dozen tips to work on incorporating in my practice time including some really good low wind tips from Mike Stephenson of 180go! and some tuning ideas from Lam Hoac.
Easily this was the best festival yet. Past festivals have seen days with rain and days with zero wind all day, but none of that this year and a record number of celebrity flyers were brought in to entertain and amaze the crowd.
On a personal level it helped to remind me, after so much dreary weather the past two months, that my friends, old and new, are still out there waiting to fly together and that kite festivals really are a wonderful time and worth the post festival feelings of depression when it is all over. WSIKF is looking better all the time now and my nerves are far more settled regarding getting there and sharing air space with old and new friends again!
The two official photographers for the festival were my sister-in-law and a co-worker so I expect to be able to add photos and links to this entry soon. I know one photo exists that is a real keeper!
Some links (more to be added as they are aquired):
Southwest TV News report (35 seconds in):
Mike Stobb's (photographer) take on things:
180go!'s video on the candy drop:
The mini mega-fly from Gary Mark's Facebook page:
My friend's son took these: