May 1-3, 1998
During the week end of May 1 ( Labour day in Italy ) we ran team, pair and individual competitions in dual and quad line categories. We saw the participation of 7 top European teams, 8 individual 2 lines, 2 pairs and 4 quad line pilots.
The Teams were:
Extreme ( Italy ) Spectra Sport Kites
Flippaut ( Italy ) Spectra Sport Kites
Fun Unlimited (Germany) TOTL NSR
Kite o Holix ( Austria ) TOTL NSR
Garuda ( Germany ) X-act Kites
Lucky Landing Albatros (Switzerland ) self-made kites
As the Stack Italy National Director, event organizer, and team leader of “Extreme” I was on the field 4 days before the competition to make sure that everything was okay. The sky was cloudy, with very low wind conditions, but the flying area was just great ! A huge former WW2 military grass airfield was waiting for our kites to fly.
On Wednesday, we were setting up the flying field area, when my teammate Nr. 2 ( Lorenzo Bensi ) started having some serious abdominal pains. We went to the local first aid for a check up and after several X-rays something wrong was found in my wingman’s stomach. He underwent surgery that same evening. Luckily now he’s fine, flying his indoor kites inside the hospital corridors. Too bad, another chance to compete in this WCQ event gone with the wind, I guess it’s just bad luck ! ‘Extreme’ bad luck. Damn !!
Friday 1 May
The first day of the competition has finally arrived. The field is ready, the judging panel also. Helmut Georgi, John Mitchell, Hans Peter Shenck, Peter Fiedler and other STACK judges are ready on the field, the wind is approx. 9 km/h, just above the minimum.
After the compulsories and freestyle, the results are as follows: Kite o Holix first with 68.65 points followed by the team Flippaut with 61.90 points, a real “Bingo” for a very young Italian team. In individual precision, a lot of well executed routines with tons of tricks, fades, back flips and axle cascades fuelling the sky.
Unfortunately just before Pairs and quad precision, the competition is postponed due to several wind delays and a dramatic wind drop below the STACK minimum (5 km/h).
Saturday 2 May
The pilots’ meeting starts at 10:00 a.m. under a sunny sky and in a typically Italian relaxed style ( not so relaxed for me…) The festival is crowded, lots of single line kites in the air, line judges busily keeping people and their kites out of the flying field. I still haven’t had the chance to socialize with single line kite fliers, but it is also true that non acrobatic kite fliers just don’t care about teams compulsories or 540. In the distance, hidden from the audience, Dave Brittain is flying his train of 7 Rev’s and pulling up his Peel and the kite shops are making good business.
We want to complete the competitions today so that people can leave on Sunday at noon and avoid the return traffic. It’s time for Pair precision, and then individual quad where I perform with a good series of compulsories and a fast freestyle, wingtip axles and a well executed chain of mounting axles. John Mitchell flies excellently as usual, with his Rev. 1.5 vented and with 25/30 km/h winds.
Time for team ballet with an announcer who describes what is going on, nr. 3 of my team as the sound system man, while I film the routines. This is what I call “Pilots recycling “.
Flippaut flies first, to the music “Slave to the Rhythm,” by Grace Jones, and then the wind drops below zero definitively. It’s always a good idea to organize a 2 day competition with an extra day (Sunday ) just in case of bad weather. In the evening we will meet everybody at the dinner offered by the organizers of the event. Usually this is the time when kite fliers socialize.
Sunday 3 May
It’s a sunny day but VERY windy !
The competition starts immediately with Team Ballet. Some teams just repeat their freestyle routines to the sound of music, while others push their stunts hard, really flying the music. In general though, the type of music chosen for these ballets is not very innovative.
Fun Unlimited flies with great enthusiasm scoring lots of points, a great show also from Kite o Holix. All the teams are equipped with heavy lines and vented kites, to face the 30 / 35 km/h wind.
Time for the quad ballet,where I can finally express myself and get rid of all that built up energy which had remained stagnant from not being able to fly with my team. I flew to the “007– Tomorrow Never Dies” theme, and the audience seems to like it, hope the judges will like it even more. I was the last, after John and Jeanette first flying to “Quiet,” by Bjiork, and then to the “Lawrence of Arabia” theme.
The individual ballets close the competition and 45 minutes later I am ready to give some awards to the winners.
A loud “Yesss !!” fills the awards ceremony when the first place for Fun Unlimited is announced, then, some glory also for me, when the announcement is made that I’m second in 4 lines Ind., just 1.30 points from the first, obviously Mr. Revolution, John Mitchell. But the team who receives more cups than any other is Kite o Holix, with the team leader Markus Kofler, who is first in Ind. 2 lines, and the pair “Just for Fun” ( 2 pilots from Kite o Holix ) placing first in pairs.
Time to hit the road and go back home, already thinking about the next competition for my team that will be, hopefully , the Eurocup or the World Cup. So wish us good luck !! ( We need it ! )
See you in the sky !!
Stack Italy National Director