The weekend in a nutshell.
Friday evening, although not an official day of the festival had the most amazing steady wind I have ever seen for 9:30 pm and Island Quad and the Windjammers were playing around with their stuff while the music festival went on in the background under the tent. I didn't make use of these winds for a night fly and that was a mistake as it was the only evening with any wind. I admit I was a little intimidated to try flying at dusk and into the night with lights with the pros, but I will not let that happen again.
Instead of flying I hooked up with Kitecowboy (Paul) and we arranged a special surprise for his wife Candace the next day.
Saturday Paul and I were there a good two hours early to claim a piece of land for "Team iWobble". The winds were good for Saturday morning, but dimished throughout the day. Temps were high in the 28C range. When Candace arrived an hour later she had to set up her own equipment. We neglected to do it for her. She proceeded to remove a new B-Series purple from the sleeve where another kite had resided the night before. A little puzzlement, a little confusion and a couple tears when she realized the surprise Paul had come up with.
So we flew. The three of us had only shared the same airspace on one other occassion, but we did okay at not doing too much damage to each other. A couple near misses and a couple take-downs, but also a couple rough patterns and kisses so there was improvement from our last attempts.
Of course we also made time to watch Island Quad do their thing which was done very well. We tried to absorb as much as we could watching. Windjammers were also here for the first time ever and were also amazing. I had only seen there stuff via online video and the real thing was incredible. So, this year we were doubly lucky having two fantastic shows to watch.
This is the third year I've attended this event and the Saturday, easily, had the most people I had ever seen at it. There were a ton of kites in the sky and it got to the point where it was hard to have much room to fly for fear of being taken out by someone else. Hopefully next year they extend the field even further to make extra room.
Later in the day Terry and Mario from Island Quad helped Paul and I equalize our lines and Mario gave me some much needed tips on low wind flying. By that time it was low wind so I was able to practice right away. My useful wind window will be opened up a bit more now as a result. I'm still not sold on flying in the extremes however it is nice to have the basic skills for one of them to build on.
That evening I did have a BBQ for Island Quad, Windjammers and any other Rev flyers who happened along. Nothing fancy and I had help from friends and family bringing salads over however I take full responsibily for the burgers... good, bad or charred! The plan was to eat and get back to the field in time for the music festival and night flying, but mother nature said no way to this. Dead calm evening. Some went back to listen to the music anyway and others stuck around until feeling that perhaps it was time for bed if we were going to be at it again all day Sunday.
Sunday was pretty much the opposite of Saturday. There was more wind, but colder (about 15C with a cold wind) and a lot less people as a result. It was unfortunate since the stronger wind made for some of the best performances of the weekend. For the most part other than a bit of damp weather to make for some mud the really bad stuff held off most of the day.
The buggy guys had a better time today and Team iWobble continued wobbling for most of it only stopping for food and to watch the big boys (and girl) fascinate us yet again. The big weekend highlights were yet to come though.
Paul's son, six year old Joe, had is own moment alone at centre stage flying a two line 1 meter foil. No crashes and an astonished crowd. Windjammers have drafted him now. Oh to be a kid with no stage fright, just out flyin' his kite! I think if Paul's t-shirt would have had buttons they would have been popping off!
Mario and Terry floated their Rev's back over to iWobble's space and I got more instructions on hand positions and how to do a 180 turn without bouncing all over the sky. Amazing how all the theory in the world doesn't compare to seeing how it is done first hand and being able to ask questions. I did a true 180 on centre after only 5 minutes. This simple turn had eluded me for months! Terry, Mario and I also did a little follow the leader which was somewhat unnerving for me to see those lines cross over each other, but it was good to ease that fear and see that simple moves do not need to be horrific in scope. What was horrific was yet to come!
By this point the fog was starting to roll in and things were quickly getting damp again. More like wet. Island Quad and Windjammers set up a routine together that featured Revs chasing the tails of the Windjammer stacks and it was a sight! Terry underplayed it in his post. It really was great to watch and easily one of the highlights of the weekend. Both teams were clearly thrilled with the results.
Then we had the best and the worst (in terms of my nerves) unplanned event. The mega-fly. Between Island Quad, Windjammers and us novice wannabes, there were 11 Revs floated onto the main stage. If someone would have told me three years ago when iQuad made their first appearance that this little city would have 11 Revs in a mega-fly I wouldn't have believed it, but here they were sitting on the muddy ground, in the drizzle waiting to spring to life. Let's keep this simple boys!
So we went up, we formed a line, we formed two lines, we attempted a simple follow twice with not bad results until the bottom when some of us lost steam and/or paniced and bailed out and we tried a ball. The ball was more like a potato, but the burst was nice. My ab muscles were so tight they hurt and I think my hands were siezed to the handles. I remember Terry telling people to relax and breath and I have a vague recollection of applause. I learned a lot from that fly and I'm going to comment about it in my blog in more detail when I sort it out. Suffice to say for now that it had a big effect on my thinking.
Later I learned that a lot of people stepped out of the shelter of the tent to watch this first for Swift Current and were impressed by what they saw in the air. I really hope the pictures turn out!
Island Quad and Windjammers did another group chase, but added to it this time with the Revs hovering in a ball while the Jammers made circles around them. So impressive that I can't do it justice here.
That wrapped up the weekend. The rain started coming down shortly thereafter and most of us were soaked to the skin. At the wind up pizza party I learned that two people in the city had bought Revs, but an oversight on my part meant the guy selling didn't get any of my cards. He's going to try and track them down and point them in my direction, but it will be harder now. I'm still hoping that at least one will come forward and we can get something going here locally just to add to the fun and ease the learning curve. If you are reading this and are those guys in Swift Current - POST AND LET ME KNOW!
I can hardly wait for next year. Easily the best time I've ever had at the festival with people I truly consider friends. To quote Gary from Windjammers, "You meet the nicest people at the end of the line."
Edited by bartman, 23 June 2009 - 10:08 PM.