Friday, 17 August 2018

Portsmouth Kite Festival

Where did time go this summer? It's already Portsmouth, which, for us, usually signifies the end, or at least a winding down of the festival season (we still have two events after Portsmouth this year).

Forecast was for decent weather and light winds on Saturday, and for heavy rain and very strong and gusty winds on Sunday. Turned out the forecast was correct for one of the days, and wrong for the other. Fortunately, that worked in our favour! Saturday indeed gave us smooth light winds, and although Sunday was wet and windy most of the day, the predicted heavy rains and 40mph gusts never materialised.

Good number of pairs/team-flying at Portsmouth: seven pairs and one or two team (depending on how you count). Some of the usual suspects, but also two foreign pairs new to Portsmouth. In no particular order, the pairs flying at Portsmouth were:

Team Spectrum - Carl and Bryan flying their usual set. You can always trust them to deliver a solid performance, no matter the weather.

Fenix Pair - new to Portsmouth, Stephan from Belgium and Ingeborg from the Netherlands flew Nirvanas for their routines, which featured some nice cascades and refuels.

Twisted Bridle - not officially on the programme, but squeezed in with general consent. Fun for them to be back at the festival where their journey basically started.

Flying Fish - back at Portsmouth for the 6th time. We flew routines to 'Chariots of Fire' (our competition ballet for the last three years), 'Ruthless Queen' and 'Adiemus' (and we managed the double catch at the end!)

One more routine we flew on Saturday, when the wind was deliciously light and smooth. This was a make-up-as-we-go-along routine with the 'Decorator Phantoms'. Their official festival debut under our custodianship, and good opportunity to fly them with their previous owners watching! Music we flew them to was Kayak - Phantom of the Night (I had to find some music with a phantom link!)

On to quad line pairs!

Amalgamation - in the old line-up, featuring Tom and Josh.

Dunstable Downs Old Gents - Bill and Graham, with their very laid-back routines, are becoming a fixed feature of Portsmouth.

Viento Sur - new to Portsmouth, from Spain (and having to get used to flying in the rain!), flying several routines. Especially Juan Miguel and Rafa's 'Tango' was sublime, really capturing the attraction and repulsion that's so characteristic for a tango. 

I did mention one team, and if you've been paying attention, you'll know that that team was The Decorators, featuring a line-up of seven flyers this time.

So what about that second team I mentioned earlier? A special slot we participated in was one in which STACK celebrated its 30 year existence. This slot started off with TC flying a Peter Powell Stunter (one from my collection), followed by a Top of the Line Hawaiian (also from my collection, flown by me on Saturday and by Irma on Sunday) and then a 9-strong mega-team flying North Shore Radicals (basically involving members from Flame, Airheads, Flying Fish and Twisted Bridle, with Andy and Josh thrown in as well).

It really was exhilarating flying, especially because not all North Shores were flying at the same speed ... Judge for yourself in the video below!

More pictures of the festival are here, and, as usual, I highlight one further aspect of Portsmouth: Viento Sur winning 'Portsmouth' as part of the STACK Festival League (more on that in a future blog post).

Picture credits: Carl Wright (Twisted Bridle, Flying Fish, STACK mega-team), Franca Perletti (Flying Fish), Andy Taylor (STACK mega-team); video credit: Bill Final

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