Issue 38: Steveston Sport Kite Competitions

Whew, what a weekend we had July 24th and 25th… After a few late glitches organizing the competition everything turned out great. We had lots of sun, wind and most importantly, competitors. We even had a special guest from Newmarket, Ontario: Lam Hoac. This was the second year for the competition in Steveston, BC. The number of competitors went from 27 last year to 33 this year. A few more next year would be great! The BCKA and our friends in the NWSKL have made this event possible. Hopefully there will be many more.

Steveston is located in the Vancouver area about 35 minutes north of the Washington/ British Columbia border. The flying field, Garry Point Park, is located at the far side of Steveston with two sides on the water. Garry Point is a “natural park” which means wild flowers and tall weedy grass. (not the green lawn variety.) Lucky for us the city came in and cut the area where we were flying. In the summer months the wind is usually light, starting from the south and switching to the west in the afternoon. For two weeks before the comp and a week after, the wind pounded us in the high teens. On both days the wind was way up in the morning; then calmed down in the afternoon. (at least we had wind coming from one direction!)

The winds made the masters work hard for their precision points to start off the competition. Good work to all the master class fliers. You earned your points! After some nice demos at lunch time the winds were calming down. Novice ballet was up and the best part, for me, was watching Tristan Underwood fly. This youngster is eight years old and he flies very well. He made his competition debut at this comp last year. Hopefully he continues to enjoy flying for many years to come!

We had five pairs entered in the ballet event. We saw great routines from them all. It sure was nice to see so many pairs flying. Hopefully they all continue. The really exciting event of the day turned out to be “hot tricks”. In the final round we had two Canadians, Egan Davis and Lam Hoac. Both these guys are master kite builders, flying kites of their own design and master fliers. We were treated to the best trick flying, period! We didn’t just see tricks but many trick combinations. Cal Yuen gave us a running description of the tricks being performed throughout the event. In the end it was our local flier Egan edging out Lam for the hot tricks title.

After everyone helped take down the field we had a short break before dinner at “The Old Spaghetti Factory”. After a good feed, the awards for the day were presented. For many of us the day wasn’t over. It was on to the indoor comp. We decided to hold the indoor comp only two weeks before the event. We found some indoor tennis courts to fly in. The competitors had some obstacles to contend with: nets, lighting and wires that separated the courts! Wayne Turner made the most of it and actually hung a kite over the wires on purpose!

The heat in the building was almost unbearable. I think the temperature was a record. We may have to rethink having indoor events in the heat of the summer. We supplied bottled water for those in need. We went through it all and forgot about the indoor fliers who probably needed it the most. Think about hot sun beating down on a steel building!

Sunday started the same with high winds. This time it was the experienced class who had to contend with the wind. Shortly after, the wind started to calm and the other events had some nice conditions to fly in. Multi line ballet was a real treat with John Barresi and Lam Hoac going head to head. John came out on top with his awesome “Bugs Bunny” routine. John even threw in a 360 just to keep the judges on their toes! They had to run out of the way in a hurry!

The wind really calmed down for the masters individual and team events. They worked the field to keep from backing into the rear boundary. A few more mph would have made for better conditions but… at least it did not die off all together!

In the end we had a few surprise results for the event. To see all the results you can go to the AKA website or visit:

http://www.nwskl.org/steveston_results2004.htm

Thanks to all the competitors who came to this event. Hopefully you all had a good time and we will see you here next year!

Special thanks also have to go to Cal Yuen. He worked to help organize the event and then worked as chief judge, announcer/soundman and more.

I would also like to thank John Barresi and Moon Kushner for staying with us for the weekend. Hearing all the kiting stories till the wee hours of the morning was just great. As someone who was introduced to kiting only a few years ago I found the history fascinating. Meeting new people and making new friends at these festivals is almost better than the competitions themselves.

See you in Steveston next year!

Ron Hardie

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Author:Ron Hardie

Ron is a past editor of the BCKA newsletter, and is very active in the Canadian kiting community... Go here for more info about the British Kitefliers Association: View Ron Hardie's Profile →

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