Monday, 31 July 2017

Dunstable Kite Festival

And back at the Dunstable Downs we were, after the hot and mostly windless Nationals. Unlike then, the weather gave us intermittent showers and a rather variable wind. More on that later ...

Besides Flying Fish, the festival saw pair/team performances from Team Spectrum (with Georgina taking another kite-flying lesson; did we witness the birth of a new UK dual-line pair?):

The Airheads were present as a pair, and flew their new 'Sunday Morning' routine on Sunday morning:

The DDOGs (Dunstable Downs Old Gents) performed a smooth flowing routine (if you saw them fly, don't you feel they're ready for flying competition next year?):

And of course, The Flying Squad (do they really need further introduction?):

On to Flying Fish! We were keen to try and fly a few specialised routines, wind-permitting. We flew our main 'Chariots of Fire' routine in all our slots, and 'Adiemus' a few times as well. All those using our Airdynamics T5 Taipans, either Standards or V1s (with brakes on occasion). 

On Saturday, the wind just about allowed us to fly our Superman and Lois Lane routine, using the unique pair of customised Spin-Offs we have for this. Second time after Portsmouth last year that we flew them in public.

And on Sunday, picture this ... In the half hour before our first arena slot of the day, the wind is pretty strong, and we decide to get our Peter Powells out for the second routine in the slot. First routine flown with V1s, with brakes. During that first routine, the wind starts to drop a bit, but still plenty of wind for the PPs. Ground crew switches the kites over after the first routine; Peter Powells now on the lines. Music starts. We launch. Guess what? Yes, wind dies down rapidly, and we're really struggling to keep the Peter Powells in the air, let alone fly anything that looks like a halfway decent routine. Running out of arena due to the constant walking back, kites come down. Ground crew pick kites up again and run back. We try to launch again, virtually no wind ... Our struggles were recorded for posterity (thanks Mike!):

Several video clips were made of us flying, one of which is 30 seconds of our Superman routine. I've merged the four clips together; the Superman clip is right at the end.

More pictures, featuring kites from Gill and Jon Bloom, David Ellison, Nick James, Paul and Helen Morgan, and Carl Robertshaw can be found here.

Credits: Carl Wright (us with T5s), Mike Palmer (us with Superman & Lois Lane, and struggling to fly Peter Powells), Neil Lover (video clips of us flying)

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