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Successful Multiline Comps = better asset management!


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#1 TeeCee

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 10:57 AM

Hola y'all!

While I'm not a Rev flier, I AM a Sport Kite competitor. Therefore I want to see multiline competition become successful by both learning from the mistakes of dualline comps and adding some new wrinkles that will benefit ALL of Sport Kiting.

Here's what I think...

1. The days of competitors also serving as Staff at comps needs to go away... fast! Let's all relax a little, stand up some multiline-only Regionals, and train dualliners and SLKers how to judge multiline events and let THEM be Staff. This way, the only two things a competitor needs to be concerned with are showing up and flying.

2. Dave Gomberg at one time advocated that the AKA Conference Commissioners become extremely active in growing Sport Kiting events in their areas, and I agree with him. If you haven't dropped your RDs, SKC reps, or even your Conference Commissioners a line lately to push for more multiline comp opportunities then do it and do it often. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

3. Competition sells stuff! Work with your local kite pusher to challenge another local kite pusher to an informal bragging rights event, then help them publicize the heck out of it. There's a reason why a lot of kids have a skateboard instead of a Sport Kite, and there's a reason why Tony Hawk has a slew of video games while John Barresi doesn't. (Love ya, bro... see you at SPI!)

Let's talk about this.

Regards,

TeeCee

#2 Kitelife

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:19 AM

Hi TeeCee, great to see you back on the scene. ;)

1. The days of competitors also serving as Staff at comps needs to go away... fast! Let's all relax a little, stand up some multiline-only Regionals, and train dualliners and SLKers how to judge multiline events and let THEM be Staff. This way, the only two things a competitor needs to be concerned with are showing up and flying.

A sound concept in theory, but where will you/we/they find these dozens of people who are willing to go through sufficent training, and then stad on fields for hours on end, unpaid and axed out of significant flying time at events?

Again, I get the concept, but I don't believe the existing kiting populace can fill those staffing ideas.

2. Dave Gomberg at one time advocated that the AKA Conference Commissioners become extremely active in growing Sport Kiting events in their areas, and I agree with him. If you haven't dropped your RDs, SKC reps, or even your Conference Commissioners a line lately to push for more multiline comp opportunities then do it and do it often. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

I have learned and proven a few things during my times as a past AKA RD, SKC (Sport Kite Committee) chair and member, working with event organizers in my own efforts to promote multiline flying and competition (remember - iQuad petitioned multiline pairs into the AKA)...

Sport Kite Commissioners, RDs and SKC reps are not, and ultimately should not be responsible for petitioning events to include to promote certain categories of competition... The greater power, by far, lies with the pilots themselves, in communicating with their local organizers first (to set a precedent by majority) and through communication with their AKA reps to back up those implementations on the AKA side, with regard to rules, inclusion, etc.

The greatest strides ever made in ALL of sport kiting's history have been made by the infantry... You and me, out there on the field, out of our own desires, visions and needs... The AKA is administrative by nature, to support the kiting world as it develops itself, as it's been since the beginning.

3. Competition sells stuff! Work with your local kite pusher to challenge another local kite pusher to an informal bragging rights event, then help them publicize the heck out of it.

Agreed, completely.

There's a reason why a lot of kids have a skateboard instead of a Sport Kite, and there's a reason why Tony Hawk has a slew of video games while John Barresi doesn't. (Love ya, bro... see you at SPI!)

We play in a sport where 99.9% of the participants are ultimately wind-reliant outdoors, and those who are fully experienced enough to perform in any given venue are so few and geographically diverse that assembling en masse is impractical at best, given the monetary resources available in kiting.

We've already had Coca-Cola come in with thousands of dollars in years past, as well as major auto manufacturers and a number of other global companies... Bottom line, when they throw down that cash, we're not well equipped (on average) to honestly and effectively deliver an equal amount of promotion for their money. Not to say it's impossible to do, but we'd need to train and equip a larger group of "professional performers" who are prepared and capable of flying in large arenas indoors and out, turbulent wind, utter lack of wind, ballistic winds, etc.

==

As long as I've been in the sport, kiting has been straddling a very distinct line...

1. Kiting as family fun, "everybody gets a ribbon", everybody gets to play.
2. Kiting as a true sport, athletic, conscious of image and absolute skills.

Want a video game, corporate sponsorship, etc?

Then we've got to come to some sort of honest evaluation of these two facets, and build it into our plans.

Bear in mind, they aren't mutually exclusive, but they need to be measured and considered during planning.

==

The conclusion I've come to is that general promotion, demonstration and teaching is the horse... Competition is the cart.

Attention would be much better devoted to simply building the ranks of fliers... By pure percentages, when we have enough fliers, then competition will naturally recreate itself to satisfy the percentage of people who are interested in it... Research sport kiting's past 20-25 years, our track record will illustrate this quite clearly. Don Tabor and Team Top of the Line went out and promoted competition, and while they perhaps didn't invent it, they effectively solidified it through travel, education and bringing a sporty perception to it.

There's a quarter, I'll save 2 cents for a rainy day. ;)

John Barresi

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#3 Felix Mottram

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:59 AM

<snip>
There's a quarter, I'll save 2 cents for a rainy day. ;)


There has been a slow build of 'team' Revolution flying over the last 10 years.

I prefer collaboration to competition as it is more fun and probably even more demanding in many respects.

That is my 'somewhat devalued' 2 pennies worth!

Felix

#4 Sailor99

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 12:15 PM

A Quarter John? A whole dollar I think you will find ;). Exceptionally interesting and provokative thread, which is going to take a bit of thought.
Over - Jeremy

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#5 Kitelife

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 12:32 PM

I'll be especially interested in additional responses to this topic, considering the majority non-competitor populace of this forum.

John Barresi

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#6 Felix Mottram

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 12:44 PM

I'll be especially interested in additional responses to this topic, considering the majority non-competitor populace of this forum.


Collective ambition is not something that I could expand upon formally but just at the moment it might be somewhat significant as a concept.

I think that the project last year was a great success! <grins>

Felix

#7 TeeCee

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

Thank you for the greets, John; it's good to BE back! Avoidance therapy DOES have a certain advantage in that it gives you time to think.

Let me expound some on item 1.

1. Having seen the appreciation that the crowds have for Rev flying at Festivals, I would be among the first to say that should continue to be an outlet because it's fun and rewarding for both fliers and spectators. No points towards Nationals though, and no real validation that you're really as good as you THINK you are. That comes through judged head-to-head competition with and against your peers.

Forget trying to shoehorn comps into Festivals and focus instead on the Kite Club scrimmage-type Regional as the competition arm of Sport Kite flying. All of a sudden there are a lot more kiters from other disciplines available for staffing because not everybody is flying at the same time. Here's where the judging training and application practice gets done, it's really low-bucks to run, and I say again; all you'd have to worry about is getting there and flying.

TeeCee

#8 Felix Mottram

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:02 PM

<snip>
TeeCee


Hi TeeCee,

We have not met previously.

Did you see the Portsmouth Revolution Mega Team video?

Felix

#9 Felix Mottram

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:24 PM

<snip>

We now have spawned Rev teams all around the World and demonstrate our choreographed routines all over the World to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, and our Leader Stephen Hoath Lead the Revolution Birthday Mega Flys at Portsmouth & Bristol.

<snip>


Simon,

Portsmouth/Bristol events were a collaboration not the result of a competition.

The number of Rev teams is a matter of interest, especially those that are actively involved in competition.

(Reading Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable) <grins>

Felix

#10 Felix Mottram

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 02:29 PM

Hi Felix, sorry I didn't make that clear.

We haven't competed for many years, however as a Team we came together with a view to competition and I think that helped us develop faster. I think we try to manage our performance as if we were competing to give us the discipline [think that may just be me :-)].

I think the point re do we want competition or demonstrations, is very valid. - there are some competitions I would never take part in, and other I would want to judge rather than fly. Its all down to the individual.

I know some team will never compete, and others will - "you" cant force anyone to compete


Re Portsmouth & Bristol, I think most know the Histroy of how they came about - BTW Thank You. I was just bigging up Stephen for calling the moves, he did a fine job :-)

(Reading an Email by from Olga TV)


In 1992 The Decs decided not to pursue 2 line competition as flying Revs all day was much more interesting than a 5-10 minute 2 line competition slot.

I cannot envisage any 'competition' environment that would have any attraction in the face of flying creatively all day.

Felix

#11 Kitelife

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 03:42 PM

Based on my experiences in the "hey day" of sport kiting (early 90's), I feel that given enough quality pilots and a professionally run event (announcer, spectator education, displays), competition is roughly equal to a "demonstration" event with regard to spectator impact and entertainment value... But of course, the logistics of pulling off a top notch comp is more difficult than doing a festival.

Simply, the reason iQuad and it's members don't compete any longer is that we had to dedicate 4-6 hours of each day to cuing up in the staging area, judging, etc in order to fly for a measly 10 minutes... Figure in several members entered in different events, and you could pretty much write off the whole :kid_cussing: day.

Ridiculous, as we felt it to be far more important that the team be FLYING all that time, talking to the audience, appealing to potential new fliers.

John Barresi

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#12 TeeCee

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 10:10 PM

:) Uhhh, john... this is about us mere mortals and not about iQuad.

You guys go forth and do that voodoo that you do so well, and be an inspiration to us all. :)

#13 Kitelife

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:47 PM

Good funny TeeCee, but we're chumps like anyone else... Just got a foundation-based plan.

The key steps are within reach for anyone, giving lessons, doing demos, skill exchanges, mentoring, whatever it might be.

All I'm saying, at the heart of it, is that we don't have enough competitors to support much of anything at the moment.

It's hard to make competitors out of the gate, but it's far easier to make fliers, no matter how well you fly. ;)

It's a sore point for me, simply because I don't see this being thoroughly implemented at many festivals and comps.

John Barresi

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#14 Sailor99

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:05 AM

I have been thinking on this over night and comparing it to a sport I do know, yachting. I think there are some parallels. Yachting events come in all shapes and sizes. At one end you have the social fun racing of local clubs staffed by the competitors themselves on a rota basis. At the other end you have the obscenity of multi-million $ Americas cup campaigns with all the gentlemanly behaviour of a bunch of British football hooligans. And everything in between. In sailing, there is room for many levels of competition - the small, friendly and informal (similar to kiting competition now) and the professionally organised (absent from kiting now). The former attracts no sponsorship, no money, and certainly no video games. All these benefits are reserved for the professional events.

So the question for me is does kiting, and in this case quad line kiting in particular, have the ability to step up to the professional event plate. I am taken back to a comment that I heard a long while from a couple walking past us as we were flying. Husband - "Look at all those kites!". Wife "Yes, but they are all being flown by fat middle aged men". Not totally fair, but also not with out an element of truth. Now before anyone gets upset I know we have female fliers. And I know we have young fliers. But it has to be said that an awful lot of us are the wrong side of 40 and enjoy doughnuts - Mmmmm Doughnuts! While that is the image IMHO kiting, including quad lining, will remain a localised fun passtime.

So what can we do about it. Embrace the exciting side of the sport - power kiting and kite surfing come to mind. Should events be set up to include both in a much more upscale way (In UK events, I know nothing about US events yet, power kiters make an appearance but are "suffered" or tolerated by the SLKs, dual liners and quad liners). Kite surfing is absent even through some events are on the beach! Perhaps we should be building buggy racing into events - something rev could do BTW with the power kite range. Maybe we need to make more of tricking, and make it more public accessible (Better commentary?) - At all the UK events I went to last year I only saw it central ring featured once, yet the younger set seem attracted by it. I am sure there is more, but my point is that tinkering with the judging and RDs nagging organising committees for more quad time isn't going to get Wii to do a Steven Hoath video game IMHO.

While our sport focused on old fellas doing something that is not particularly physically challenging we will remain an friendly pastime (nothing particularly wrong with that of course). In that case we should IMHO concentrate on attracting new people into the fold - which means being friendly and letting them have a go - so well done Joe! IF we want a section of the sport to attract the big bucks then it needs to become way more exciting, glamourous and marketable. The two are not mutually exclusive, but the second may be unattainable.

Flame suit on.
Over - Jeremy

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#15 Kitelife

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:12 AM

Well said Jeremy, all in all. ;)

I've been researching getting iQuad demo space alongside kite surf events, as I think we'd be a nice match, and perhaps segue a new demographic into quad line kiting as we know it... No hard leads yet, but it's on my target list.

John Barresi

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#16 Sailor99

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:17 AM

perhaps segue a new demographic into quad line kiting as we know it...

Jonesey has had some success allbeit limited with his flying at Hill Head (where he took you to fly when you arrived here). Many kite surfers there, some of whom have plucked up the courage to have a go with Jonesey's kites!
Over - Jeremy

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#17 TeeCee

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:51 AM

I would agree with getting together with the Kiteboarders (or as we say in Florida, 'trolling for sharks...' :) ). Options are wonderful things to have. Good luck with it!

As you've just said, John, we DON'T have enough competitors to do the big comps anymore and that's why scaling back and refocusing on grassroots Regionals is what we need to do. If Beatrix wants to keep the format for MASKC and Wildwood, then that's fine and she'll likely keep getting competitors via the Eastern League. For the rest of the season though, isn't five or six itty-bitty little Regionals comps where we all have fun together a lot better than two or maybe three major comps where you wind up working your butt off and having little to no fun at all?

#18 Kitelife

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 01:05 AM

Yes, I'd agree with grassroots over "full bore" comps at this juncture in time, absolutely.

I still think you'll find it will continue to be driven by organizers and competitors however, as opposed to RDs and Commissioners.

John Barresi

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#19 Felix Mottram

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:35 PM

<snip>
Flame suit on.


Jeremy,

I do not think that you need the flame suit!

Most kite events in the UK, and indeed the ones I have been to in Europe as well, depend on 'middle aged folk' to provide the back drop of 'lots of quite large kites' in the sky for the duration of the event. Competition/Demonstration are interchangeable in terms of arena presentations as often as not.

What does strike me is the difference in spectator attendance at the European events compared to those in the USA.

A professional team will have to find as many events as are possible to attend in order to generate sufficient income and will have to 'perform', even if only for a short time, whatever the conditions. I have never felt comfortable with that and would prefer to turn up and fly all day. Many times at Berck-Plage we have had a local audience down the beach of hundreds of people in a V shape behind the team of such density and proximity that ground work became significantly more difficult.

This is slightly 'off topic' in some respects but I hope that it does, in some way, address the issue of the process of competition in a broad context. As far as I am concerned The Decorators have been 'winning' since we gave up formal competition.

Felix

#20 Kitelife

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:47 PM

As far as I am concerned The Decorators have been 'winning' since we gave up formal competition.

Felix, I think it's safe to say that iQuad mirrors your sentiments in this area, as we do have a few US quad team competitions under our belt... Although I know I speak for at least 4 or 5 of our members in saying that we also truly enjoy and thrive on performing in insanely difficult flying conditions as well, be it wind-related or space limitations... Something about the challenge, especially with an audience watching. <grin>

John Barresi

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