2006 Washington State Intl Kite Festival (WSIKF): Daily Updates – Day 1

Welcome to WSIKF! We arrived around 10pm on Sunday night, after driving up directly from the Summer Heat sport kite competition held in Ocean Shores over this past weekend… Checking into the Super 8, we settled in for what will undoubtedly be an amazing week of flying.

Monday morning found us off to a slow start, waking up around 8am and finally making our way to the beach around 9am. This of course meant parking in the side lot, since they close down beach access to vehicles at 9am on the dot. After hauling our gear down the vendor row, we found Theresa from The Kite Shoppe already set up with a tent, along with one of our iQuad team members, JD Fabich.

Sadly, winds were very light and had us really working to keep anything in the air… Much of Monday was spent chit-chatting, exchanging tips and generally shooting the breeze, if you’ll pardon the pun. Right around 4pm or so, the winds actually came up pretty quickly and found us finally getting our quad team off to a start with JD Fabich, Jennifer Brown, David Hathaway (late arrival in the day), Jim Foster and myself. Being late in the day, it also got to be quite chilly as the ocean brought the nightly mist ashore… Time to pack it in, and after an excellent dinner at the local Thai place, some much needed rest.

Tuesday morning rolled around with a much earlier start, and we made it to the beach around 7:30am or so… Taking full advantage, we got a great parking spot right on the beach access and I got to setting up the iQuad field. Amy Doran made a beautiful banner for the team, and our teammate Todd Rudolph whipped up a dozen 3′ banners so that we could mark off our flying area, for the safety of both our kites and spectators… Surprisingly, they successfully established a safe zone throughout the day.

Rotating members of today’s iQuad group including Ben D’Antonio, Jennifer Brown, Todd Rudolph, JD Fabich, David Hathaway, Cal Yuen, Penny Lingenfelter, Alex Herzog and myself… At one point, we had as many as seven Revs up and flying together at the same time, but spent most of the day in a configuration of four or six. As the festival builds through the week, we hope to add a great many more fliers into the mix. It was tough going much of the day, as winds were quite light (in the 1-3mph range) and not easy for an average Rev flier.

With so many kites grounded in the fickle winds, people gathered in the red and white tent around 9:30am for a kite photography workshop by noted local photographer Larry Kellis… With so much to take photos of at events such as these, it was no surprise that there was standing room only.

Set up “gallery style”, award winning kite maker John Pollock had his hand painted works of art on display at his camp… With a very distinct style and great deal of knowledge on kite painting, John’s creations are truly stunning.

Attending kite clubs put on their best faces, all vying for top honors in the “Club Camps” event in which ground displays are judged and awarded… Characteristics include banners, ground art, flags, tents and colorful members… Color coordination, artistic merit, innovation and overall presentation are all considered. We’ll try to come up with a complete list of winners in the final day’s report.

11am brought on the Ben Franklin event which celebrates this historic kite flier… Participants were encouraged to have a “1706 experience” by completing a variety of Ben Franklin activities, and deliver them to the museum tent for final evaluation. We didn’t get a chance to follow this very closely, but every year there is one standout for us… Larry Zilar… Quite probably a reincarnation of Ben himself, Larry really goes out his way with an authentic outfit, and he fits the bill to a tee.

The rokkaku battle was quite exciting with six or seven teams battling it out. When all was said and done, Ronda’s Rookies came out on top by only one point… Although, in the final round, it was quite close… As the two final kites were getting lower and lower, locked in mortal combat, one of the line handlers ended up on his back reeling in line as fast as he could to keep the kite airborne in the light winds, right up until one his teammates ran up and rescued the line from his fallen comrade. An entertaining round, to say the very least.

After the rokkaku battle, announcers Robin Haas and Bob Wendt invited iQuad to come into the center stage for the final show of the day… With Todd Rudolph sitting out to video, David Hathaway, JD Fabich, Cal Yuen and myself flew our Sedgwick Rev I’s to “What the world needs now is love”, doing bursts, threads and more, all made up right on the spot and fitting quite nicely to the music just as the winds had picked up into the 6-8mph range… A great finish to our first full team day at WSIKF. Afterwards, we changed up the dinner flavor a bit with a stop at the local seafood place, Dooger’s.

The next few days will bring even better times, with a greater number of participants on all fronts as more and more people arrive throughout the week… We’ll be here, bringing it to you “live”, straight from Long Beach Washington.

See you tomorrow!

Daily update by:

John Barresi
Dave “Geezer” Shattuck