2004 AKA Convention – Day 4

Finally, a day off… After being tied to the sport kite competition fields for my own events and those I have been judging, Thursday provided respite and was purely devoted to workshops, meetings, comprehensive kite making competition and evening functions.

You will find yesterday’s TBA’s and scores below, for ETB, NIB, EIP, EMB and MPB… With great showings in each of these events!

The morning schedule included “AKA Convention: Past, Present and Future”, a great team flying workshop by Jim Barber, and a number of other interesting presentations… Also held today was the 14th annual Sport Kite Symposium where competitors have the chance to meet the Sport Kite Committee and address their concerns with them directly.

Some topics that were brought up by attendees were possibly adding more precision compulsories for event organizers to choose from, integrating Hot Tricks as a true ranked category and standardizing the scoring methods therein, as well as the ongoing debate over allowing or inviting international competitors to participate the AKA Grand Nationals… Quite interesting, and you should be able to obtain more information from your next issue of the AKA’s Kiting Magazine or from their web site before long.

One noteworthy announcement was the appointment of Mike Gillard as the head of our sport kite committee… Many of you remember Mike as the founder of Kitelife, and his role as a head judge at the World Team Championships and past role as head of the committee.

Breaking away from the seriousness of meetings and workshops, the weather was beautiful as I hit the beach for a more leisurely day… Dodd Gross held his “Hot Tricks for Chicks” seminar, quite a few more giant inflatables were lofted into the air and spectators were given even more to look at than previous days.

Peter Lynn’s flag kite seems to be a recurring theme this year, with a number of variations on display.

Ray Bethell stayed out with his three Kestrels for the better part of the day, demonstrating the skills that earned him a place in the World Kite Museum Hall of Fame earlier this year at WSIKF.

While I did not watch closely or track results, the comprehensive kite making events clearly featured a wonderful array of hand made creations from around the country.

A number of builders have come back or revamped this year, in a focused attempt to challenge Jose Sainz who is well known for his quality and passion for creating flying works of art… In good fun, he’s hearing “No way Jose” quite a bit this year.

A fairly quick moving fog started to slip around the end of the beach as the day went on, eventually shrouding us completely by around 3pm, and bringing with it significantly lighter winds and the threat of wet weather… While it hasn’t rained yet (knock on wood), there was an occasional mist as the evening activities got into full swing.

After leaving the beach, fliers gathered once again at the Convention center for cocktails, and appetizers which were provided courtesy of the Drachen Foundation… Also being held was the annual fly mart, where merchants set up shop and offer up some of the very coolest kites and toys available.

Also prominently displayed were Robert Trepanier’s unique collection of art kites… Using a beautiful painting or dying style, his kites really stand apart with their own style.

Tomorrow’s events include the last sport kite categories of the event: EPP, MTP, MTB, OIF, and two events which I will be judging in – MIB and EMP… With some of the best held for last, I am really looking forward to seeing what the day has in store for us.

I’m out of midnight oil, and it’s time to turn in for another big day and hopefully some better weather… Thanks for reading, good night and good flight!

John Barresi