2012 AKA Grand Nationals – Day 4

[box type=”alert” style=”rounded” border=”full”]EDITOR’S NOTE: All apologies… In my last report with results from the business meeting, I neglected to include Region 13 Director (intl) – this position was handily won and retained by Linda Sanders.[/box]

No respite this morning as my day kicked off in the Word on the Field workshop with 27-28 people in attendance (plus myself as moderator), we lined the walls and had a “square table” discussion on the current state of kiting in terms of fliers, festivals, clubs, stores, and manufacturers, as well as some of the economical, sociological and technological dynamics that we’re dealing with in this era – tons of good ideas and information flowing with this group!

I was a little surprised as folks kept walking in the door at the beginning, at least a few of whom I’m sure came to observe the new president elect but by the time we were finished it seemed like folks were really keen on the topic and may have taken a lot out of the workshop, heavily thanks to the collective contributions of their fellow attendees.

Other workshops included Kite Retreats and Why They Are So Much Fun by Rob Pratt, Drachen Foundation Online Resources by Scott Skinner and Make a Mini Heart Sled by Susan Skinner – registration and auction receiving were up and running all morning for late arrivals and Fly Mart set up was also open throughout the day… After the workshops ended, the kitemakers competition started in the convention center with nine categories on the schedule from 11am to 4pm.

With judging duties on my slate today, we again made the 5 minute drive over to our convention field behind the Autrey Technology Center – the sky was overcast, winds were probably in the high teens to low twenties and it was noticeably colder… There was open flying all day, fun activities included a How to Fly Power Kites workshop by Corey Jensen as well as Mass Ascension (Soft and Flexible Kites), Kites That Make Noise or Fit in Your Pocket, Kites and/or Tails with Moving Parts and Your Favorite Kite, and the fighter kite group was at it all day too with their skills competition for both novice and experienced.

In the sport kite field, there were seven categories on the schedule (I judged Masters Multiline Ballet) and even with just total 17 competitors, spirits were excellent and folks made the best of it with some solid performances – no shortage of wind, although it was a little gusty and somewhat choppy at ground level… Alas, I didn’t see any new TBA results posted – again, I will capture and add them to the updates as I find them.

I also spent some time on my short line Rev in-between fields, chatting with other folks who had their own Revs out, exchanging tips and lessons… A good warm up for the Learn to Fly Quad Line Kites workshop scheduled for tomorrow morning!

Having worked up a healthy appetite, we left the field early (around 4:30pm) and grabbed an early dinner at Callahan’s Pub before making our way back to the convention center where the evening’s activities would be held.

The cocktail reception started at 6pm with cheese, crackers and a cash bar, 30 minutes later and we were off and running with the opening of the bag raffle, challenges for miniature kites, pins and patches, a show and tell display from the kitemakers and the grand opening of the Fly Mart where vendors had their kite wares available for sale, often at a really great price – if I remember correctly, there were booths from Robert Brasington (TONS of his custom kites for sale), Barbara Meyer (jewelry and hapi coats), Ron & Charm Linder (kite store goods) and Con Engels (kite store goods)… Just four vendors in all, but the room was fairly busy and there were definitely some treasures to be had.

It was kind of a quiet day and this brings me to the end of my daily update, looks like I may actually get to bed before 2am (yay) and will be a little more bright-eyed for a radio interview (representing the AKA in Enid) before hitting the field for the 2nd to last day of AKAGN).

Until then, sleep well and dream of kites.

John Barresi