We’re officially underway! Unlike yesterday’s conditions and despite scary forecasts for the last few days, we awoke to crystal blue skies and beautiful sunny weather… Winds started off inland again, but worked around to come off the ocean around noon and gave fliers a very smooth 6-10 mph throughout most of the day.
With the majority of attendees arriving last night and this morning, the sky was filled with a good variety of different kites and skills… Charles “Stoney” Stonestreet was on the south field practicing 2 and 3 kite flying, Paul LaMasters flew his Tirips (modified Spirit) and Revs all day and was joined by both Sam and Ann Ritter who consistantly drew spectators off the boardwalk their Revolution stacks.
Aside from being one the premier events in the country, Wildwood is simply the single largest annual gathering of sport kite fliers on the East Coast… The overall caliber of flying we saw today was absolutely incredible! Ron Graziano, Lam Hoac, Rob Autrey, Alex Mason and a bevy of other fliers were tearing up the sky with their slack line skills… Coming fresh off the Freestyle World Cup in France, they had a lot to share with the other fliers sharing the field.
If today was any indication, we can look forward to some outstanding performances on the sport kite competition fields tomorrow.
The single line fields featured Ron and Sandy Gibian, Barry “Bazzer” Poulter, Kathy Goodwind and a whole mess of other wonderful kite makers who brought their latest creations to share with the public… Also being “media day”, there were quite a few journalists and even a nice lady who wandered around gathering interviews from some of the performers.
With no scheduled events on the beach today, everything was very laid back… A great deal of skill exchange, reuinions with old friends, and the beautiful weather to bring it all together.
The international guests this year are Au Pair, one of the top pairs teams from France… True to form, they spent the better part of the day practicing their routine and drilling compulsories in preparation for the coming competitions over the weekend.
If this weather keeps up, we’re in for some seriously good competitions tomorrow… Let’s hope so, I’m entered in 3 events tomorrow and 3 events on Saturday.
Check in/registration ran from 4 pm to 9 pm today, giving everyone a chance to register before the Tricks Party meeting. Chaired by Stephanie Heibert and Ron Graziano, the European tricks format was shown to many attendees for the first time and offered as a viable direction which sport kiting could support, and perhaps even benfit from… Later this year, the NJSKC will be the first American event to ever offer this style of competition on US soil.
Closing out the evening at the Oceanic Hotel bar, a dozen or so fliers kept at it well into the evening – hence our 3am update.
Ron Gibian took over the bar band’s drums for a spell, and according to Barry “Bazzer” Poulter… “Today is the day John Barresi got old“, prefaced by my noting that the “fogies” seemed to going to the upstairs portion of the bar and “the kids” were hanging out downstairs.
Maybe you had to be there… Anyway, it’s a pleasure to bringing Wildwod to you all live, and here’s looking forward to tomorrow’s report.
Good night and good flight,