Sunday was the final day of outdoor sport kite competition, and we’re headed into our last festival day as well as the indoor events for Monday.
The weather gods have continued to smile on us with sunny skies and moderate winds in the 6-10 mph range… The wind was coming from inland all day, but was also fairly stable for the most part.
Another set of workshops and seminars were held today, with tons of insightful techniques and information being given for those who were interested… Here’s the list of Sunday workshops:
Imagineering – Kite Design Concepts A-Z –
Presented by Ron Gibian, Jose Sainz, Barry Poulter and Kathy Goodwind
Mini Kite Workshop Presented by Glenn Davison
New-Sew Cody Workshop Presented by Wally & Jan
Peace Kite Workshop
Presented by Grego Kono
Or Pair’s Perfect Pairs Routine
Presented by Grego Kono
Mardi Gras Mask Making Workshop
Butterfly Kite Workshop
Presented by Kathy Goodwind
In addition to these workshops, the single line field offered kite making workshops on the beach and sport kite lessons were available all day on the demo field, thanks to the folks at Premier (Jim Cosca & Co.), New Tech (Dodd Gross, Chris Shultz & Co.), plus Go Fly A Kite (Ben Coleman & Co.).
Other activities on Sunday included candy drops, rokkaku battles, “Running of the Bols”, a kite club display challenge, and the line touch fighter kite competitions.
As one of the longest running events in the country, Wildwood seems to have an unusually high retention of return attendees… Lots of “old timers”, fliers that have been coming to the ECSKC for many years, or with 10+ years in the sport.
Veterans gave knowing smiles as an announcer would occasionally make references to the “pre-wisker” days, way back before sport kites were using stand offs… It’s really great to see so many people staying with us, as a part of the family, keeping the history alive.
Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the “kick off” for Wildwood’s tourist season, bringing generous crowds of spectators onto the beach and along the boardwalk… What a great venue for further exposing this great pastime to the general public!
Events like the ECSKC do and will continue to play a major role in keeping our sport alive, promoting it and helping us to keep growing.
Team events finished today with top Masters Class honors going to Dogs Playing Cards, followed closely by the Jones Beach 4, and representing Experienced Class was Smitty & The Girls… Masters Pairs competition was red hot in both ballet and precision with the Wright Brothers barely being beat out by the visiting French team, Or Paire, then not far behind was Air Therapy in 3rd.
The last half of the day saw very turbulent, higher winds as it turned a little and started to come in from the SW, putting a large hotel right in the path of our breeze, making ground wind and the edges of the window somewhat unpredictable… With winds going up and down significantly, it was hard to pick an ideal kite for the conditions and luck ended up playing more than a minor role in the outcome of competition events throughout the day.
The Open Freestyle event brought out the weird in fliers, with a few different themes and skits being performed as part of their show… I blundered into 1st for flying my red Rev I through a dogstake and wearing a wolf mask, Andrew Albosta finished in 2nd flying a wicked Star Wars routine complete with light sabers, and Paul LaMasters in 3rd flying his classic Beautiful Evil routine.
Freestyle might be making a come back, since it provides such a broad format in which to put on a show for the audience (some of whom are actually recruited to judge)… I found the routines at this event to be particularly creative and lots of fun.
Hot Tricks might very well have been the most exciting and fast-paced competition of the day. With 12 top trick fliers entered, we flew elimination heats to determine the line up for a final showdown with Matt Epstein excitedly announcing tricks by name as they were flown.
The very last round had Ron Graziano and myself going the extra mile with some great trick combinations and even a hard-won 360 from each of us in the 5-7 mph winds. Being judged by the other fliers who had been eliminated, Ron and I had to refly a second 30 showdown to determine the final winner (Ron Graziano).
Sunday evening closed with an awards banquet at the convention center, where we had dinner while beautiful plaques and special recognitions were made to all of the people who volunteer and contribute every year, making this event possible.
With our community having lost Sue Taft-Sedgwick recently, Sue Edison stepped up to the microphone and shared her memories of a dear friend… With our hearts already touched by the eulogy, a video of an old Sue Taft routine was played on the giant screen that left the room in a touching and reflective silence for 30 seconds or so after the film ended.
Moving on… An annual tradition at Wildwood, the Olan Turner award was given to Dodd Gross for his longstanding presence and contributions to the community… As one of the “godfathers” of modern sport kiting and the pioneer of “learn to fly” videos, he has done a great deal for our sport over the years, both directly and indirectly.
Friends, memories, good flying…