2003 AKA Convention and Grand Nationals (Day 2)

As things are winding down I find myself glowing from a full day of excellent kiting with representatives in attendance from all over the country… It’s been a long one, so bear with my second report.

In progress as I headed out to the air strip were the first workshops of this year’s convention, including Charlie Sotich on kite making and Marla Miller with a “Fund Raising for Dummies” seminar.

Sport kite competition began today with Novice and Experienced Dual Line, Open Individual Freestyle and Open Team Train… With veteran Mike Gillard acting as head judge all events were completed on time, with fliers managing a variable 5-10mph breeze throughout the day.

With the first TBA’s (to be announced) posted, we’ll be watching closely to have final results linked as soon as possible on Saturday, or in issue 32 at the latest.

Steve Santos and crew kept a steady run of sport kite demonstrations running in one of the five fields, featuring past and current masters from all across the country.

Not too long after noon the Rokkaku mass ascension went into full tilt, with dozens of entrants present to receive one of the free pins being handed out by AKA president David Gomberg and other staff… Surprisingly, only one kite was seen floating off the field and across the small access road between the grass and museum.

Peter Lynn had two of his new giant soft kites up high overhead most of the day, complimented on the ground by two large huge red Bols with black spikes that kids were allowed surpervised play under the soft inflatables while they rolled back and forth over them.

Despite somewhat choppy winds nearer to the ground, everyone seemed to make the best of the incredible space available to us here at Wright Patterson AFB all day long.

Dennis Smith assumed most of the announcing duties, applying his adequate knowledge of the fliers and unique sense to humor to introduce each flier and entertain spectators between performances.

As the evening came to a close people gathered in Packy’s to unwind after a long day, and to bathe in nostalgia… Veteran fliers regaled extravagant stories of past events while newcomers listened raptly. Nowhere else will you find such a rich tapestry of experience to draw on, from so many different places.

Until tomorrow,

John Barresi