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A measure of success


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#1 kwmf

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:12 AM

This weekend I once again had to opportunity to fly for Windsong Kites at the Durban International Boat and Lifestyle Show (http://www.durbanboatshow.co.za/). Last year was the first time we did this and I had a great time, so I didn't hesitate to do it again this year.

The flight location is in a section of reclaimed land inside the harbour itself which normally one would not have access to just go and fly at. It has a reasonable range that the wind can come from and still be flyable so it's nice to be able to get on there and fly. If you take a look at https://maps.google.....00327&t=h&z=19 you can see them actually in the process of reclaiming and building that section.

Last year the Saterday had big wind (I was on my B2 vented) and Sunday was wind so low that I was the only one flying :blue-cool:

This year we had super low wind on Saterday (thank goodness for a years worth of skills development, but even the Zen struggled at times) and low to flyable wind on Sunday. The whole weekend was spent on the full sail with a bit of Zen thrown in on Saterday at times. The best fit for line length both last year and this year was 30' lines to allow me to get close to the people and not have to worry about space issues as the winds shift and the show kites now take up part of my window or block my wind. The 30's also allow for lots of 3D work, quick figures in the sky and lets you talk to people while you play with them.

The Saterday weather was a bit bleak and while the rain mostly stayed away, so did the people. Sunday was another story - the crowds were out in full force. In addition to what show kites Greg from Windsong could get in the air (Saterday was almost an exclusive 'Steve on a Rev' day), my Rev Padawan Johnny was able to join me for his first taste of show kites and flying at an event. He's only been at it since December and he was trying to use 50' lines most of the day to give himself more time across the window, but he did well for being thrown in the deep end. It was his first application of the skills learned at our private practice environment so he was learning lots.

Coming back to the point of the post, I got to play with a lot of kids and parents on the Sunday. The wind was challenging at times, but the overall elements of pilot, wind, equipment, etc allowed me to safely engage the crowd at will. Many were actually comfortable with me doing leading edge landings on their heads, tapping them on the shoulder, etc ... either they're all brave or my flying was reasonable enough for them to trust me. The kids had a great time chasing the kite (well, I had a great time of it as well) and the parents seemed amused as well.

I engaged with so many people that I don't recall the faces at all, but the highlight of my day came after playing with one set of kids for 20 minutes and hearing the little girl proclaim rather loudly as they left - "I like kites" B)

That right there was a measure of a job well done .... people were smiling and the little girls day had been made. Aside from that rather touching moment, most of the kids I played with seemed to insist that their parents buy them a kite :devil:

I know JB has spoken of this before, but getting onto 30' lines and getting in with the people is good for kiting and is a very rewarding experience for the pilot as well. I love my 30's for solo work and I love them even more when I get to interact with people. For those that try this, please remember this is a zero tolerance for errors endevour ... you cannot afford one single mistake when you are millimeters from the head of general public - they will not understand or care about the challenges of what just happen, they only know it hurt like hell.

Anyway, thats story for one aspect that made for a very successful weekend. As luck would have it, an organizer for a different event has invited Windsong Kites (along with me and Johnny) to come fly at an event of theirs in August ... can I get a whoop whoop :P

#2 SparkieRob

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 04:31 AM

Whoop Whoop!!

Great story and well done.
Rob.

"Inbetween heaven and earth, there are kites."


#3 kwmf

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:38 AM

Someone even commented about how parents should hire me and my kite to run their kids tired .... I told them they should see what I can do with dogs :devil: :blue-cool: ... wonder if I can drum up enough business that way to fly for a living :P

#4 stroke survivor

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:14 AM

Sounds like a promising business venture!! I hear you on the public's awe and fascination with our Revs! Get any group of fliers to form a line and the first words I hear, aren't real words, but sounds of magic!! Then they wonder how things don't get all tangled up when we wrap lines!!! Yes, it happens, but we fix it and continue!! Part of the learning curve!! But it is nice to be recognized for all that you've learned and worked at for a while!!

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#5 kwmf

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:24 AM

I'm working on getting a line, but I think poor johnny was processing the event environment more than worrying about formation flying. One day I'll get there though ... one addict at a time.

Until then I'll do what I can with the skills I've got

#6 SkyPuppet

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

Excellent! I'm totally jealous of your experience. Sounds like you rocked the house!
I love how kids can't hide their enthusiasm :)

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#7 mbro

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:34 AM

Sounds like a good time! I love playing with the kids, had three boys standing next to me on sat. just watching, I was watching my kite talking to them all of a sudden the littlest one ( probably 5) steps in front of me and grabs the handles,"let me try", so I proceded with a lesson. :lol: Good times.
Michael
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#8 beach

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

You do a great job my friend and never give up, remember it's the dark side but we do have
milk and cookies..... BenPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#9 Theresa

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:15 PM

You do a great job my friend and never give up, remember it's the dark side but we do have
milk and cookies..... BenPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Yes, Ben, we will have milk and cookies at WSIKF. The Bakery is awesome!




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