Welcome back to the AKA corner of the world! It is an honor and privilege to be allowed to send a message to all the readers of this wonderful on-line publication 6 times a year. Thanks so much for dropping in.
The hot days of summer are behind us now, well at least in the USA, and fall kiting events are in full swing, or should I say flight? The AKA delegation just returned from one of the largest and best events in the world, Dieppe, France. This event is held in even numbered years and attracts flyers from around the world.
This year, kites from 46 countries were displayed in booths that lined 2 flying fields devoted to single line kites. Arranged alphabetically beginning with Angleterra (England) and ending with USA and Vietnam, kites of every size and shape could be seen. The variety of materials used was overwhelming. Of course, paper and bamboo, nylon and carbon, but palm fibers? Large leaves?
Cellophane and wood slats? Phone book pages? And much more that couldn’t be easily identified. Dieppe is as much a kite exhibition as a festival. Attendance over the 10 days was estimated in the range of 500,000 people.
At the other end, across from the acrobatique fields, sport kites and fighters, was the AKA tent along with other clubs mostly focusing on fighter kites. We were treated to all day long displays of flying by some of the best 2- line and quad line flyers in the world, including our own Ray Bethel.
Did I mention fighter kites? The children of the city spent the week rescuing fighter kites that had been cut out of the sky! On Saturday, 80 fighters from around the world met for the manja world cup challenge. Some competitors went thru 30 kites as the battles raged on.
Throughout the week, AKA members from around the world expressed their appreciation for our association. Some went as far as to wear their membership card as a name badge! We are unique in welcoming kiters from around the world. Our quarterly publication, Kiting, attracts readers from around the world with event coverage spanning the globe.
Dieppe France is an event every kiter should attend at least once. Start saving vacation time and money for 2012.
For those who just can’t wait for 2012 to attend a gathering of kiters from around the world, put the festival in Dieppe Canada on the calendar. It is held yearly during the second week of August. My plans now include the Canadian festival and then flying directly to Washington State for WSKIF the following week. Hope to see you at one or both!
Not a member yet? Check out the non-member monthly update. Simply go to the AKA website, www.aka.kite.org, find the square that says “Not a member yet?” and sign up. It’s free to all, and always contains pictures, information, and a calendar of upcoming events.
Don’t miss out on a chance to win some cool prizes in the Great Kite Raffle! For only a $5 ticket, you could be the proud owner of some great items. The most recent item is a giant butterfly canopy/banner donated by Martin Blais and New Tech Kites. The question was asked; “Do you have to be a member of the AKA to purchase a ticket?” The answer, “No, anyone can purchase a ticket.
Log onto the AKA web site (http://www.aka.kite.org/?GKRaffle.shtml) and purchase a ticket today. It only takes one ticket to win, but the odds do increase with more!
The annual convention in Seaside OR opens on October 11. Although the on-line registration has closed, walk-ins are welcome. Lots of fun events are planned along with the sport kite, kitemakers, and fighter kite competitions. Only the sport kite competition requires pre-qualification. All other events are open to all those registered for convention. Wide beaches allow room for everyone to fly. A special art kite fly will be held Friday afternoon. Bring out those special, unique kites and join in the exhibition. Oh, and did I mention workshops? A new workshop has just been added to the schedule, all you ever wanted to know about copyrights and patents as they apply to kites. Come and take notes!
The project to scan all back issues of Kiting magazine is well underway. Special thanks go out to Mike Kory for taking a huge stack to scan. Our goal is to have every issue going back to volume 1, issue 1 from 1979 in digital format and available to all AKA members to download and print. Our stash included volume 1, issue 2.
Does anyone have issue 1, or should I keep looking? A complete list of missing issues will be generated and a plea sent out for help later. Look for more back issues to be gradually added to the members only section of the AKA website with all to be available within the next 2 months.
The American Kitefliers Association is a member based organization. Programs depend on volunteer time and effort to take place. Your help is appreciated and needed to continue these programs and add more. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via email.
Until next time, it’s time to fly!