Monday 22 July 2013

Malmesbury Kite Festival

We'd not been to Malmesbury Kite Festival before, so this was the first time we flew at a festival without having attended it a few years prior as member of the public. Weather was pretty hot, with 5-12mph winds on Saturday, whereas on Sunday, the day started with winds of 2-10mph, which gradually died down to about 1-6mph.

What was especially nice for us about coming to fly at Malmesbury was meeting a whole bunch of kite flyers we'd not met before. As you might expect, I'll focus on pair/team flying in this blog post, but there will be a link to more general photos at the end.

First up in terms of 'kite flyers we'd not met before' are David and Angela Green. Husband-and-wife pair, like Irma and myself, who flew their pair routine both on Saturday and on Sunday.

Now before you remind me that a pair means two, and there are clearly three kites in the sky in the picture, let me explain that 'the Greenies' fly their pair routine with David flying two kites and Angela the third one. As far as I'm aware, they're unique in the UK in that respect. Nice moves involving wraps and multi-directional threads.

Sky Symphony only flew on Sunday and their extended sequence of demos culminated in a 3-man routine.

Big slow flowing moves appear to be their trademark. In many ways (including their calling style), their flying reminded me of the Top of the Line team in the 1980s.

So what about our own flying? We flew our pair routine twice on the Saturday, using our Azur kites. On Sunday, we warmed up with our Northshores, then flew our first routine of the day with our Cheetahs, and the second routine with our SUL T5 Taipans; just goes to show how the wind dropped during the day ... In general, we were pretty pleased with our routines; not perfect, but no major mistakes either. As far as I'm aware, no one took pictures of us flying our pair routine, so you'll have to make do with our Azur kites ready for launch on Saturday morning, against Malmesbury Abbey in the background.

Prior to the festival, Jon had asked me if we could maybe do something with quad kites on Saturday, given that Sky Symphony include a quad kite in their sequence of demos. Now that was the perfect opportunity to fly my VampDevil routine!

Unfortunately, the wind was just a bit too light when I flew to give consistent pressure on the sail, so I had to spend most of the routine fighting to keep the kite in the sky (and running out of arena in the process), rather than fly to the music. So definitely room for improvement there.

Besides the three dual-line pairs and team, other invited (single-line) kite flyers included Stafford Wallace, Karen and Godfrey Gamble, Jerry and Carolyn Swift, and John Dobson. More photos of their, and other kites can be found here.

I want to finish this blog post with a big public thank you to Jon and the people of Malmesbury for wining and dining us and for the very warm welcome in general; we definitely hope to be back next year!

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