Issue 53: Mid-Florida Regional SKC

If you judge the success of a comp only by the number of flyers entered, then you’d probably be inclined to think that MFRSKC tanked. My particular criteria for a successful comp include such intangibles as the number of smiles you see during the day, and at Sand Key there were smiles by the cartload!

The kite gods certainly smiled on MFRSKC; a beautiful Florida day, nice Gulf breezes through most of the day (we DID have a 20-min lull that forced cancelling NMP), and two VERY enthusiastic first-time competitors. Along with this being an inaugural event there were three newbies filling key staff roles; Steve Pigeon was the full-time Field Director, Kathy Cornell covered the hectic task of Scorekeeper, and Sherri Pigeon certainly earned her title of “Voice of the Sunset Flyers”. Spelling Sherri at the mic so that she could fly was TeeCee doing his very best Terry Murray/Dennis Smith imitations.

Eastern League Sport Kite Association regulars Ted Goodman and Rob Autrey (Master’s Class individual fliers and Master’s Class Pair Rainman Forrest), Robbie Boerth and Terry (TeeCee) Cornell (Experienced Class individual fliers and Experienced Class Pair Flight Risk), and Dave Meeks (NIB/NIP, EMB) took turns lighting up the field with their bodacious flying. Ever hear applause from the crowd after a particularly well-executed figure? Ask Ted Goodman what it feels like.

First time competitors are what MFRSKC was all about, and for the inaugural event we were gifted with the presence of two true Novice fliers.

First, let me introduce you to Mohammed Abdul Kareem. This young fella (13 years old) came up from Miami with his Mother and older sister having no idea about what to do. We all welcomed him warmly, TeeCee fronted him a Mamba ultralight and a set of lines, and from then on there was no way to keep him away from the action on the field. Flying, shadow judging, crewing; he did it all. At the end of the day we sent him home with an STX 2.3 and one of those big smiles I mentioned earlier.

Next up, let me point in the direction of Sherri Pigeon. Sherri comes from a big, active kiting family and is certainly no stranger to the Dark Side through having Jay Nunes for a brother. This was her first time competing period, and with a Rev to boot. Sherri turned in what by anyone’s standards would be a very respectable multiline ballet performance. As a reward for her escapades on the field, she now has a new kite of her very own; a Rev 1.5 with a custom Paul LeMasters bridle.

In accordance with Eastern League first-time competitor policy, both Sherri and Kareem have received a free one-year EL membership and a laminated set of figure cards.

A big shout out needs to go to Jay Nunes for running a really tight event. Field marking, keeping the judging panels on track, and running the first-timer briefs kept Jay out on the field most of the day, and he truly seemed to revel in it. Well done!

Sponsors are a big part of a kite competition, whether it be a major event or a simple little Regional competition. Helping MFRSKC stand up was Air Ouevre Kites, Sky Shark carbon rods, and Gomberg Kite Productions International.

Of particular interest to all other kite clubs interested in growing their own Regional sport kite competition would be the amount of cooperation, resources, and talent shared by the three kite clubs represented at MFRSKC.

The Sunset Flyers Kite Club of Clearwater was instrumental in acquiring the Sand Key County Park on some very short notice. Once that small detail was attended to, they made available their “Easy-Up City”, their collection of banners, and many other necessities such as tables, drinking water, and food. From St. Augustine, SASKC brought their most excellent battery-operated Fender PA system. The new kids on the block are the OK (Orlando Kite) Corral, and though they don’t have much kite club “stuff” to contribute yet, providing the labor for marking off the enormous 300 foot by 300 foot competition field was something that they COULD do to help out.

Here’s to next year’s edition of MFRSKC!

Terry “TeeCee” Cornell

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Author:Terry Cornell

TeeCee is a vocal supporter and organizer of "novice-friendly" Regional sport kite events, and he's been competing in Eastern League events since 2004... TeeCee is a member of the AKA Sport Kite Committee, and is sponsored by Air Ouevre Kites of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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