Back to home grass, back to where we had our festival debut last year. This year's Southampton Kite Festival really was a festival of two halves, yet again! On Saturday, the wind was extremely erratic: gusting up to well over 25mph, full of holes, and often dropping away unpredictably. Sunday saw very light (1-8mph) and relatively smooth winds. Some showers on Saturday, and drizzle on Sunday morning completed the weather picture.
As to us flying our pair and team routines, as far as I'm aware, there are no pictures, so you just have to do with a picture of Irma warming up with one of our North Shore VIP kites, testing the wind before the start of the festival.
As Flying Fish, we flew our mega-vented Matrix kites on Saturday and, despite the unpredictable and gusty winds (it dropped half a minute into our routine), we pulled it off. On Sunday, flying our Airdynamics T5 Taipan SUL kites, we flew what we regard as the best routine we've ever flown at a festival! Admittedly, not as good as the one we flew during our dress rehearsals, but pretty close, so we were well-chuffed.
Wings on Strings had to switch to unfamiliar kites at the very last moment on Saturday, and still managed to keep it together under really difficult conditions; they couldn't fly on Sunday.
With L-katz, we managed to deal with the challenging conditions on Saturday, flying our North Shore VIPs. On Sunday, with our Airdynamics T5 Taipan SULs, we flew a lot better.
Very happy to get good comments and compliments on our pair and team flying from Barry and Fran, two members of Team Flame!
Which brings me to the other teams flying at the festival, showing us we still have a lot to learn ...
The Ex-Grads (Keith and Vee) were present on Saturday, and flew several routines with their Airdynamics T5 Taipan V2s:
Team Flame in its full line-up was present on Sunday (Barry and Fran were present the entire weekend), and also flew several routines with their Fury kites:
I have to single out their final routine, though ... during a choreographed landing halfway into the routine, one lower spreader came loose on one kite, and another kite suffered a broken leading edge. Did it bother them? Of course not, and the vast majority of the public will not even have noticed that they flew with two damaged kites. They're not the reigning UK Champions for nothing ...
You can't fly at a festival where Barry is also flying and then not join in at least one mega-fly. So L-katz joined in with the other teams in several mega-flys over the weekend, with up to 9 kites in the sky. Always exhilarating!!
Few more pictures of the festival are here; keep in mind I didn't have much time to take pictures, as I was mostly either flying, ground crewing or otherwise engaged in helping run things in the arena.