2005 World Sport Kite Championships – Day 3

Thursday broke bright and clear – and without a whisper of wind! We went showered, dressed, and through our morning coffee ritual and then made lunch sandwiches and headed for the field. It’s nice to be early to events like this, and we were in plenty of time for the 10:00 am start time. We’d already noted that the World Sport Kite Championships was exactly 50% completed, with two Ballets and one Precision session in the bag for each team. As before, the morning would be all Precision events, with the afternoon dedicated to Ballet, just as we’d seen on Wednesday.

By the time 10:00 am rolled around we had an acceptable 2-4 mph of wind. More importantly, it was out of the North – which means clearing weather, sunshine, and increasing wind speeds for this part of the Pacific coast. Good enough to get underway, with a strong promise of more wind to come. We were underway within a few minutes of 10:00 am, and all Precision events went off like clockwork.

By 11:00 am the winds were in the mid-teens and would reach the low to mid 20s in the afternoon. The big competition for the top two spots didn’t change much, with Cutting Edge (US) flying their usual dominant style despite the high winds, and Tame Bird (FR) also flew quite well considering.

As we expected, team rankings remained relatively the same after all 15 teams had flown, with only one difficulty – a sprained ankle for Alex Savell of Team Flame, the last team to fly Precision today. Since the afternoon Ballet events were to be flown in inverse order of the morning sessions, the judges decided to reschedule Team Flame at the end of the Ballets to allow Alex time for a trip to the local clinic to inspect his sprain. See below for today’s Precision scores.

The morning’s flights went off so efficiently that the event staff found themselves with about a half hour to fill before lunchtime, so John Barresi flew his “Bugs Bunny” quad-line routine, followed by two separate pairs demos by Mark and Jeanette Lummas (Pairs team “Bi-Dance”) – a wonderful slow, emotional quad-line routine, immediately followed by a dual-line routine that was equally wondrous. Then Carl Robertshaw took the field for a couple of demos, using his new, smaller, Fury .85, and put on quite a show.

With the afternoon Ballet sessions, we were in for some delightful surprises, however. I say “delightful,” even though the wind was extremely “bumpy,” with several dead spots, and a layer of strange air right near the ground that defied all understanding. One wag said “Those aren’t bumps – They’re MOGULS!” obviously referring to the huge mountains of snow that skiers experience. My notes on each team’s Ballet performance contain two sets of words for nearly every performance – “wind challenged” and “muffed landings.” Precision wasn’t totally lost, but clean routines were rare, and mid-air collision “ticks” were very common – sometimes 3-4 per session… Landings were even more difficult, with very few teams completing successful landings.

All teams flew vented kites, usually with attached “wind brakes” in addition – sometimes with unfortunate results. Team Air Zone had an “Air Brake” come loose at the start of their ballet routine, fouling another kite and breaking the spectra flight line. The second kite restarted and flew, but the kite with the broken flight line could not fly within the 45 second re-start limit, so Air Zone scored a zero for this event.

Team Tatoueurs du Ciel (FR) experienced such “bumpiness” that one of their kites flew BETWEEN another kite’s lines, with both kites falling to the ground. Team Air-Rex (JP) was “spotting” for Tatoueurs du Ciel, and managed to disconnect all lines and free both kites. One kite relaunched on it’s own, but the other had hopelessly twisted lines. Then Ms. Rie Tamura of Air-Rex RAN the full 130’ or so of the lines, all the way back to the pilot to quickly untangle them – beating the 45 second re-start limit by mere seconds. What Sportsmanship – proving yet again that kiting is about heart and comraderie!!!

Still the REAL delights came from unexpected places. Yes, Cutting Edge kept it’s “edge” with a high score using their Quantum Pros, and Tame Bird in a VERY close second with their kites from L’Atelier. No – it was back in the pack that the unexpected advances occurred.

Team K3P (MY) at the bottom of the pack flew a very nice routine with their STX’s, experienced a mid-air “tick” resulting in a broken wing-tip – and flew the kite to a complete finish anyway in nearly impossible wind. Great Job, K3P!!!

Team Watnu (DR) had been the “hard-luck kid” of the more experienced teams up until today’s Ballet. This time they put it all together and flew a solid routine in today’s Ballet event. Super Effort, Watnu!

Yes, Alex Savell and Team Flame flew their Fury kites last in the flight order, and earned for the best Ballet score they’ve received all week.

And Team Atemoc (CO), brand new to international competition, somehow put it all together in an almost impossible display – especially when you consider the fact that that they flew six STX 2.3s for this Ballet. Following the flight, Atemoc knew they’d done very well, with smiles all around – and the judges later confirmed it! No “ticks” and “no “Crashes!” The only team to do that this afternoon! BRAVO, Atemoc!!!

Precision Competition – Round 2 of 3

Place
Country
Team Name
Score
1
USA
Team Cutting Edge
79.220
2
France
Tame Bird
74.780
3
France
Elément’Air
64.020
4
Japan
Air-Rex
63.080
5
USA
AirZone Flight Team
62.320
6
Japan
Kamikaze
61.520
7
Japan
Neo
59.460
8
United Kingdom
Scratch Bunnies
56.680
9
Germany
Watnu
52.140
10
Germany
Team Garuda
51.660
11
USA
6th Sense
50.400
12
United Kingdom
Flame
47.680
13
France
Tatoueurs du Ciel
42.260
14
Colombia
Atemoc
40.180
15
Malaysia
K3P
25.640


Ballet Competition – Round 3 of 3

Place
Country
Team Name
Score
1
USA
Team Cutting Edge
73.280
2
France
Tame Bird
73.000
3
Germany
Watnu
65.960
4
United Kingdom
Flame
65.720
5
Germany
Team Garuda
65.240
6
Colombia
Atemoc
62.360
7
United Kingdom
Scratch Bunnies
61.680
8
Japan
Air-Rex
54.600
9
France
Tatoueurs du Ciel
51.960
10
Japan
Neo
50.840
11
USA
6th Sense
50.800
12
Japan
Kamikaze
49.600
13
France
Elément’Air
48.160
14
Malaysia
K3P
34.640
15
USA
AirZone Flight Team
00.000


Yes, we’ve paid a fair amount of attention to the top of the heap, but there’s some real strength in the rest of the field, too! Take Air-Rex (JP) for instance. While I don’t have the combined scores in front of me at the moment, Air-Rex is either solidly in third place or poised to take it with a solid performance tomorrow. That’s a team that’s only been flying in international competition for a few years, while there are people on that same field that have been flying on international teams now for 15 years straight. This international event is changing pretty rapidly, folks. Pay attention – and hang onto your scorecards… Teams such as these may very well lead us into the next era!

While the overall conditions today were very difficult all in all with gusts up to 35kph and giant holes throughout the window (giving as little as 10kph or less at times), the sun was out all day and kept spirits high.

After the day’s competition ended, a good number of fliers and staff met up at the Casino lounge for drinks and a bit of of rabble rousing, definitely a great time had by all.  Following, John and I found ourselves back at the Sea Horse Motel with Team Atemoc for more drinks, excellent kite discussions and comraderie.

Thanks for reading, and we’re looking forward to bringing you news on the final Friday showdown!

Fair winds and good friends,

Dave “Geezer” Shattuck

(Editorial assistance by John Barresi)

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Author:Dave Shattuck

As one of our regular and most prolific contributors, Dave "Geezer" Shattuck is a driving force here at Kitelife and a regular at many NW events as well as other locations throughout the year.

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