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Brighton kite festival 2009

Posted by Yrna, 13 July 2009 · 263 views

Despite the forecast Sunday morning looked quite promising as we loaded up the car and set off for Brighton. Only an hour and a half to Brighton and I actually quite enjoyed that drive. Going towards the kite festival surely had nothing to do with it! We pitched our little beach shelter in a corner out of way when Jonesey turned up and stated he's parking himself right in the middle of the field, with the rest of the guys following this trend. I couldn't be bothered to move all the stuff, so we just stayed where we were and set up the kites. The wind was quite strong and gusty and I decided to swap my race rods out and go with the SLE (my only other set). Even so, a full sail kite was a challenge to fly and I gave up, resigning myself to mainly watching that day.

I went over to say hello to the Hamsphire crew and I was only there for 2 minutes when Kev offered me to try his fully vented B. Needless to say, it flew like a bird in that wind - so smooth, not feeling the gusts at all. I fell in love with it there and then. Jonesey immediatelly offered me his spare vented when Simon came over and said I should borrow some 120' lines as well as we're doing a mini-mega fly later. I can't remember whose rods and lines and handles I ended up flying with in the end, but before I knew it I had a complete vented B in the air.

And what a wonderful kite to fly. Everything was suddenly so easy to do, vented doesn't seem to feel the gusts nearly as much. Getting used to the longer lines was funny - it felt like going from broadband communication with my kite down to telegraph. I could almost feel my signals travelling up the line and the kite then slowly turning where I wanted it to. A funny feeling to get used to, but so useful when flying with other people. And before I knew it, that was exactly what I was doing. Kev, Jade, Jonesey, Les and Mike quite happily just set up right next to each other and I wasn't going to be left out. Luckily, they didn't mind me getting in their way and we had a lot of fun practicing some innovative crashing and tangling. I exaggarate, actually. Sure, there were some tangles and crashes, but not nearly as many as I expected. I very quickly learned not to panic when my lines crossed with other people and soon enough I was following the leader, swapping places and kissing kites. And as I know hubby reads this blog, it was only kites, honest!

So, the next highlight of the day was a little bit later when I decided to catch up with hubby. We had a little walk around, with me excitedly telling him all about how wonderful it is to fly a fully vented B and he said "So, you're getting one then?" Now, I have to state straight away I was a good girl and left my wallet at home. I did not expect, plan or anticipate to buy any kites. In fact, I was adamant I wasn't going to. So it's all his fault, he's the devil who talked me into it. :devil: Not that it took much. About 5 miliseconds, to be precise. Kev, Jonesey and Les then took me shopping (ok, so the truth is the 5 of us were going to ambush an unsuspecting kite dealer... ), introduced me to wonderful Mike from Kiteworld and a little bit later I became a proud owner of a fully vented purple B and a set of 120' lines. And here it is, lined up with everyone else's. Apart from Mr. Jones who decided to take off just as I was getting my camera ready.

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A lot of fun was had for the rest of the day. Flying with others was so very different. Everything is so much harder as people are in the way stealing your wind, but also everything is so much more satisfying. Just lining up 6 Revs in the air, or doing a wobbly potato and burst, it's simply not the sort of thing you can do on your own. Thanks again to everyone who was there. I know I'm only a beginner and I do a lot of stupid things, but because everyone was so patient I felt comfortable enough just to try stuff and not worry about what they will think. That counted for so much.

And in the end of the day, as the final show of the day, we did all go to the arena together. Simon joined us (but Mike didn't make it in time) and we had some fun. So it wasn't the most controlled display you've ever seen and some of the time my kite was everywhere apart from where it was supposed to be, but some of the time it was exactly where it was supposed to be. I was the best ever flying day for me. Can't wait for Portsmouth! (and until then practice, practice, practice... )

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