Saturday 30 April 2016

2016 event schedule

Quick overview of where Flying Fish will fly this year:

Weymouth Kite Festival - May 1/2
As usual, the opening of our festival season.

Streatham Common Kite Day - May 15
Flew there last year for the first time. Guess they liked what we did as we were invited back.

Basingstoke Kite Festival - June 4/5
We've been attending Basingstoke every year since we took up kite-flying in 2009, and this will be the 4th time we're part of the invited line-up.

STACK National Championships, southern leg, Dunstable - June 11/12
STACK National Championships, northern leg, Sunderland - July 2/3
Third year we're competing in the nationals, and this year over two legs. We've been working on a completely new competition routine over the winter; hope it results in a significant improvement of our scores!

Dunstable Kite Festival - July 30/31
Our 3rd time flying at this festival; hope the weather is better than last year!

Portsmouth Kite Festival - August 13/14
Another festival we're been going to from the start of our kite-flying life. This year will be the 3rd time we fly there as invited flyers.

Exmouth Kite Festival - August 27/28
Our 2nd time at Exmouth; again, they seem to have liked what we did last year, especially, so I heard, our impromptu 5-person tails display with Airheads.

There are one or two other events still in the pipeline potentially. And in case you're wondering why Brighton Kite Festival is missing from the list above: I have to work all that weekend, so Flying Fish can't be there (sadly, as Brighton gave us our first festival invite in 2012). Irma will be there though and hopefully fly with Neil as a 2-person L-katz.

Saturday 16 April 2016

Congratulations to Start'Air!

If you're into team-flying, you will know the 2016 World Championships dual-line team-flying took place last week in Berck-sur-Mer. Unfortunately, work made it impossible for us to be there ...

Line-up this year consisted of 13 teams, from France, USA, China, Malaysia, Russia, Colombia, and, of course, the UK (represented by Flame).

So, after the retirement of three times world champions the Scratch Bunnies, who would take their crown? Thanks to active posting on Facebook by many people, we could stay up to date as to what happened during the three days of competition. Wind was mostly light, and several wind recesses had to be called. And those three days of competitive flying resulted in the following ranking:

Congratulations to Start'Air!

And well done to Flame on becoming fifth in the world!

Below are videos of the routines of the bronze, silver, and gold medal winners. Enjoy!

Aerial photo credit: Garder Le Kap (?)
Start'Air photo credit: RICV Berck-sur-Mer

Monday 4 April 2016

Drone footage of practice

During a practice session last week, we took a bit of a break. Guy walks up to us, introduces himself as Ken, and asks if we would be ok with him flying a drone with camera above us, and capture the kites flying from up above. Bit of a chat to make sure he was aware that the propellers of the drone would rip the kite apart if they touched the sail, but he said he was fully aware, and his drone costs well over £1000, so he wasn't going to risk anything anyway!

So off flying we went, and up in the air the drone went. Ken was kind enough to share the footage, in two files; one lasting about 40 seconds, the other a minute and a half.

We didn't fly a specific routine, but combined infinities, wraps, jumps, waterfalls, etc in the hope of creating something that looked varied from above.

Judge for yourself; it certainly isn't every time you can see yourself fly from 80m up!

Video credit: Ken Spooner

Saturday 2 April 2016

Several pairs of vintage Peter Powells

You may have seen on our recently-created sister blog (Peter Powell kites collection) that we got our hands on a job lot of vintage Peter Powell Stunters.

Of course, we already have a pair of Peter Powell Mk III Stunters, customised for us by Mark and Paul, and signed by Peter himself.

But the job lot gave us the opportunity to add a few vintage Peter Powell Stunters to our team quiver. First of all, we now have a pair of black Mk I Stunters, with fibreglass frame.

We decided to attach new silver tube tails to these black kites, and especially when the sun catches the tails, the black and silver colour combination works really well!

A few more pics of these black Stunters are here.

And then the two yellow, one red and one blue Stunter you see in the picture above. Also Mk I, but with an aluminium frame and fibreglass cross spars. These were bridled and stacked as a 4-stack, and we decided to split them and so create two 2-stacks.

Flying these two 2-stacks together worked really well and they looked great together.

Go here for a few more pictures of these 2-stacks.

As this was the first time that we flew stacks with tails together, we had to get used to keeping enough distance on the ground as well as in the air, in order to avoid the front kite of the leading stack catching the tail of the back kite of the following stack. We almost got away with it, but did have a tail catch, which we managed to get out of quickly again.

Happy with the vintage additions to our pair quiver!