Wednesday 11 June 2014

Basingstoke Kite Festival

Basingstoke Kite Festival started rather 'interesting': thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. Fortunately, the bad weather started to clear towards the end of Saturday morning, and the rest of the weekend gave us glorious sunshine. Winds were typical for Basingstoke: up and down, full of holes, changing direction a lot.

On both days, we flew our routine twice. On Saturday, using only our Cubans, while we could move up to our T5 SULs on Sunday morning, going back to Cubans again for the afternoon. Our flying on Sunday was clearly better than on Saturday. Like the other pairs, we did what we could given the finicky wind.

And which were those other pairs? First of all, Team Spectrum, flying on both days. They also struggled with the wind, and had to switch kites or tails more than once.

Ex-Grads (or, I should say Airheads, given that Keith and Vee have retired their pairs name when they retired from competition this year) flew on Sunday only. Like us, they flew Airdynamics T5 kites, and, flying immediately after us, tried to fly a routine which had a really different 'feel' from ours.

Yet more Airdynamics T5s were in the air thanks to Josh Mitcheson flying his three gorgeous black 'n' fire kites.

Doubling the number of lines brings us to The Flying Squad. I don't think I've ever gone to Basingstoke Kite Festival and not see them perform. Prior to flying their routine using their trademark white/blue Revs, they warmed up with Cuban Revs, which I hadn't seen them fly before.

A mega-team concluded the Sunday programme, combining Barry Savell (of Flame), the Airheads (now including Peter Taylor) and us. Or, at least, that was the plan. The wind had dropped down to almost nothing by 4.30 on Sunday afternoon, and after trying a few patterns, we were forced to give up. Especially our Cubans were really struggling; most likely due to ours not having been properly 'run in' yet compared to the others.

As always when I blog about a kite festival, I focus on the pair- and team-flying. Lots more happened, and more photos are here. I do want to highlight one event though: the mass butterfly-ing, in memory of Kelvin Woods.

Credit for the pictures of us flying: Carl Wright (Team Spectrum)

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