2004 AKA Convention – Day 2

Hello and welcome to another day of the AKA Convention!  Today we had the first full scheduled day of the event which prompted me to get up nice and and early to get a head start at 8am… After cleaning up and making a stop by the local coffee shop I walked the 4 blocks or so to the convention center in time for workshops which got rolling at 9am, including presentations from Mikio Toki on traditional Japanese kite making, Charlie Sotich’s Ultra Light Hata Kite (which was packed!), and “judging handmade kites – before the event” by Steve Ferrel, Barbara Meyer and Jon Burkhardt… Well attended all around, these a couple other workshops went on until around noon.

As the workshops were finishing up, the sport kite competitions were getting under way… While the sound system was a bit late in arriving, Dave Hansen held the pilots meeting and commenced precision events relatively on time.

Competitors qualified from their various conferences around the country for the chance to compete against their counterparts from other areas of the USA… Events led off with Masters Multiline Precision, one of the only two categories I entered this year, and on another field Masters Individual Precision had begun.  Since I was competing in quad today, I didn’t get much of a chance to watch any of the other categories, but I can say that multiline was hotly contested between Ron Despojado, Lam Hoac, myself and others in a class of 10 or so total fliers in steady 7-9 mph breezes!

Also held today was Masters Multiline Ballet (also a close battle), Open Team Trains, Experienced Individual Ballet, Novice Individual Precision, Experienced Team Ballet… No top three scores were posted this evening due to preparations for the indoor fly.

One of the standout Masters Multiline Ballet and Precision competitors of the day was 12 year old Zach Gordon from Illinois… For those that have not seen him fly yet, it’s a real treat!  I had the pleasure of flying with him for a spell on Monday… He was handling everything I threw at him, and left me taking a couple of notes to boot.  A young gentleman, and quite skilled, you can look forward to even more from him as years go on I’m sure.

After finishing the last event and packing up all my gear, I headed over to Norma’s Ocean Diner with some of my friends from the bay area for some dinner and then off to the convention center again for cocktails and the indoor competition… We were treated to an opening performance by Marc Ricketts (designer of the Synergy Deca), Jon Reinschreiber as well as Deb and Lee Park, all accomplished artists in their element!

Deb Park is well known for her gymnastics and fluidity, Lee equally as graceful with his 6 foot spinning cube, and the whole group with various indoor kites or art… They really make a sublime impact on the audience, blending dance, theater and choreography skills together in amazing fashion.

Then the indoor competition began… Around 13 fliers entered including Lam Hoac, Scott Davis, Jerry Cannon, Steve Santos, Wayne Turner, Mike Mosman and a bevy of other well known performers… A highlight of the evening was 8 year old Tristan Underwood’s performance, which brought the audience to a standing ovation – well flown, 8 years old or not!

Judges on hand were Bill Rogers, Ron Despojado, Gayle Woodul, Ron Graziano and Ruth Polifrone… With a number of outstanding routines, they surely had their work cut out for them!  No scores from today’s events have been posted yet, but I hope to have some “to be announced” top three candidates to report for tomorrow… With any luck, I might make it into one or two of of those top three slots myself.

Well, it’s far too late again… And although my competition events we finished today, I am slotted to judge the Experienced Multiline categories and Experienced Individual Precision tomorrow so I am due for some much needed rest.

Thanks for reading everyone, and while I am sorry many of you couldn’t make it this year we do hope you can vicariously visit with us through these pages.

Good night, good flight.

John Barresi