2004 AKA Convention – Day 5

After finding some much needed coffee, I wandered over to the convention center yet again to sit in on Lam Hoac’s indoor workshop… Well attended, the seminar covered many of the basics and provided a keen sense of encouragement to those who attended.

While this and other workshops were going on, fliers were still browsing the fly mart and checking out a few last minute goodies… Just name a few of those who had booths set up – Gomberg, Guildworks, Designs by Bazzer, and the Kitelines Bookstore.

Since I was scheduled to judge MIB and EMP today, I made my way down the beach boardwalk, pausing briefly to chat with Martin Lester (famous for his “inflatable legs” kites) who I had not seen in a couple of years.

Despite the still heavy fog and slight chill in the air, a fair number of fliers were already gathering around the promenade and socializing.

Picture just below and left, Reid Wolcott and Josh Gordon – two of the premier teenage masters class fliers in the country, Reid hails from Washington and Josh from Illinois… Give us a dozen more like them, look out ESPN!

Masters class individual ballet was a hotly contested event, with particularly outstanding performances (in my eyes) from Josh Gordon and Ron Graziano… Both flew incredibly well.  Josh did a Cascade in the middle of his routine that was so fast and accurate, a number of people had seriously mistaken it for a Comet.

I was judging EMP during the team events, so unfortunately I missed out on seeing any of it… I did however hear that 6th Sense, Cutting Edge and AirZone Flight Team all had very competitive routines. Also held today was EPP and Freestyle, you can find TBA scores for all of today’s categories below.

The annual AKA loud and silent auctions featured some truly beautiful items, and will no doubt have fetched top dollar bids from those attending this year’s AKA Convention… Since I was not bidding on anything, I found myself back at the Shilo lounge with a number of old friends and great debates.

Darrin Skinner, Mike Gillard, Dave Hansen, Jim Barber, Ron Graziano, Stephanie Heibert, myself and a couple of others had a great time talking at length (well into the wee hours) about sport kite league organization and the state of affairs in sport kiting today… Talk about an experienced table of kite people, very stimulating!

With sport kite competitions being finished yesterday and all TBAs posted, Saturday will be the grand finally for this amazing event… Hot Tricks, kite making comprehensives, Rokkaku battles and the much anticipated awards banquet where the top three winners in each discipline (both single line and sport kite) will be announced.

Stay tuned, and thanks again for reading!

John Barresi