Well, that sort of snuck up on everyone....
56 kites in a stable grid for an extended period of time.
The record is now broken so everything else now is all gravy folks!!!!
So that bit of news is out of the way how did it get there?
We started out the day with two grids. One of 25 and one of 16. Just more working on the basics, but today there were a few people who hadn't been in a practice grid yet. All this work in the little grids is starting to pay off. You can see it in the stablility of the grid and everyone is feeling good about their performance. There are still a few crash and burn guys in there, but 95% of the flyers are stable enough to hold it. We're also seeing a lot of flyers who had initial problems with the grids improving to the point they can remain in formation with very minimal movement.
For myself I've noticed my hands have went from my ears to my waist where I normally fly so that tells me I'm getting more relaxed. Not so relaxed that I think I am above this practice, but relaxed to the point I can focus better and remember to breath.
There was a second practice about an hour later with 25 kites and that one I sat out of so a few others could now get some last minute help. Hopefully some photos/video to share later on, but it looked good and I had the chance to be in a position to hear some of the crowd. Basically, if it was a grid and moved even in a minimal plane (left/right threads, simple balls, etc) they were in awe. That told me that complex moves are not required to make this work and the K.I.S.S. method is he way to go. Better to keep it simple and neat then make it complex and crash it.
When the "big moment" arrived 56 kites got in a line quite quickly all considered and after making some small adjustments to keep those of us a little unsure of where we could fit in this a very organized launch happened that I think we picture perfect and very stress free. Basically the better pilots were on the top so in turn each row went from LE down to LE up to fly into the grid. This gave everyone time to ensure they were turned up and clear of most lines as it built and little chance of an inverted lauch going sour and taking out a few parked kites.
The formation was stable, the moves were simple and slow and the landing also went well with everyone back in a line across the field.
Everyone breath and burst into cheers. Hand shakes and hugs all around!
So how did this one feel? In a word, calm. The record was broke and the pressure was off. Anything on Friday and Saturday is now gravy.
We had perfect winds for it today and since the sun was shining it was dry and we weren't flying a bunch of sand around as well. Crossing our fingers for more of the same for the rest of the festival.
Am I happy I did it now? You bet! A mountain of fears have been washed away now. I say again that setting up specific times for actual practice to built this was brilliant and had that not happened this grid would never have worked out the way it did and how well it did. Kudos to those that have planned this for the past year or more!
It will take me a while to properly articulate how it all felt.
Edited by bartman, 19 August 2010 - 09:45 PM.