2004 Washington State International Kite Festival – Day 3

Wowee! Things are starting to build, showing even greater promise for the coming weekend.

Early in the morning Larry Kellis held a kite photography workshop for anyone who was interested. Today they also held the “Club Camps” competition, with the various camps being judged on overall banner and kites displays… The main field was filled with tubular kites and tails in the “Totally Tubular” event.

Yet again the Air Yo got quite a bit of play as we were setting up, even hooking on a second line for a little “anti-catch” whipping it back and forth between two people.

The general manager of New Tech Kites, Chris Shultz arrived late yesterday afternoon… Also the #2 flier on Team TKO, that gave us a bit more manpower to get up a wicked display of our own and the chance to fly some team sometime during the day.

While it wasn’t nearly in full gear, quite a few more spectators came out to observe and participate… I hear we’ll be seeing shoulder to shoulder crowds later in the week.

I managed to take off again for an hour or so down the beach to fly my Shiva for awhile… After running a bunch of 360s in the light winds, I paused to chat with some other fliers only to find the winds picking up to a reasonable amount around noon so off I go to jam out with an MP3 player plugged in!

Ray Bethell also arrived today, setting up his trademark Kestrels on the seaward side of the main field… Always a pleasure to watch, he demonstrated his incredible multiple kite flying (3 at once!) well into the afternoon.

Aside from the featured fliers, there were people flying EVERYWHERE… Including this little cutie who wandered by our ground display and caught the eye of my camera… Yeah, this one’s for you Rick Brown!

Right around 1:30pm it was Team TKO’s turn to take the demo field… Since their usual third (Jerry Hershey) isn’t arriving until tomorrow evening, we decided to fly a couple of ballet routines between the three of us that were there.

Chris Shultz opening up flying the Mirages that he was so well known for in his days as a top level Masters class competitor… Following was Troy Gunn who flew a Rev SLE on short lines with a bit of 3D, then switching to his own well known 2-kite routine.

Batting clean up, they let me squeak in with a dual line routine… And my classic Bugs Bunny ballet, all of which felt very good with the outstanding 6-8mph breezes that were coming nearly straight off the ocean smooth as glass!

As the day progressed, Rokakku teams took the field and entertained the audience with much whooping and hollarring while they tried to cut each other out of the sky.

As the day came to a close, the team and I felt the urge to take a stab at flying together… After only two stick practices, we wandered down the field with a set of New Tech Firestorms (10 foot wingspans!) to take a stab at learning me on their routine.

After only 3 or 4 flights through, we were pretty much locked in!  Having flown on a number of teams myself, and filling in on several more over the years, it came back to me as second nature… What a truly fulfilling experience flying with the guys!

After packing up our extensive ground display, we stopped over at the local Sports Boosters tent for a wonderful dinner featuring salmon or tuna, clam chowder, shrimp cocktails and cole slaw… With a few other fliers in attendance here, we spent a bit of time chatting before heading back to the hotel.

As Ray would say… Good stuff!

My deepest apologies for the overdue upload on today’s (Tuesday) story, the DSL internet connection in our hotel was on the fritz until sometime early in the AM.

Thanks for your patience!

John Barresi