Issue 42: Cutting Edge Spring Fling

One of three annual events put on by the folks at Cutting Edge Kites, the Spring Fling marked the first outdoor Northwest Sport Kite League event of 2005, drawing fliers from all over Oregon, Washington and Canada in search of points towards both NWSKL and AKA ranking.

There was an excellent turnout of fliers, considering weather reports for two weeks prior had been predicting rain most of the weekend… Instead, we were blessed with a good deal of sun, only a couple of very brief showers, and fairly reasonable winds.

As is common with Ocean Shores, morning winds tend to come over the dunes from an inland direction, only to turn around and come off the ocean by late morning or early afternoon… This weekend was no exception, with average speeds ranging from 4 to 10 miles per hour regardless of direction.

Each morning both competitors and staff joined forces to set up the field, tent and sound system… One of the very things I’ve found that bonds the NWSKL together is their sense of equality with regard to workload and cooperation, always a pleasure to watch and be a part of.

Not knowing the schedule beforehand, our new team TKS Mid-Air was one of the first to arrive in search of practice time at 7am on Saturday morning… This was to be our first competition as a team, and the very first for three of our members!  After being advised that team events would be held the following day, that left us free to practice and get ready for our solo events.

With 2005 being my first full-bore comp season in a couple of years, I found myself entered in 7 categories (MIB, MIP, MMP, MMB, OIF, ETP and ETB), plus crewing for and supporting my team mates… What a good time it was, another flying experience dearly missed in recent years.

Having so many team mates entered into Novice Class, that’s where most of my attention was for the weekend… All in their first competitions, Scott Ralston took home 3rd place in both NIP and NIB, Jim McPherson placed 2nd in NIP, and Todd Rudolph finished middle of the pack. Our other team mate Moon Kushner (not her first event) placed 2nd in Novice Individual Ballet just behind 12 year old Jennifer Brown.

Masters level competition was close, with Wayne Turner beating out Scott Davis and myself in MIB with a routine to Dragnet, and in precision it was Daniel Haigh in 2nd just behind me and Scott Davis in 3rd.

Due to a death in Jerry Cannon’s family, Team Cutting Edge (last year’s 3rd place team in the WSKC) was noticably absent… With them out of the picture, their Northwest rivals 6th Sense went uncontested in both MTP and MTB.

In Experienced team events, our own TKS Mid-Air beat out the Snowbirds in ETP only to be outdone by them in ETB. I cannot express how proud I am of our team and how well my teammates did over the weekend… Great job guys!

In the multiline events, I rolled out a new Bugs Bunny routine for the first time as the only masters pilot entered… In Experienced Class it was Moon Kushner who was the only entrant, taking first in both events.

Reprising a routine that I flew back in 1992, the Big Bad Wolf made a solo appearance in the Open Individual Freestyle event… Flying a red Revolution through a dog stake, I used a medley of “Werewolves of London” and “Little Red Riding Hood” while wearing a wolf mask. Not doing too badly with it, I was asked to demonstrate this routine again on Sunday.

After competitions were over, fliers packed up and made their way over to the Cutting Edge Kite Shop where awards were to be handed out… The first competition in the Spring is always interesting, seeing who’s been practicing hard enough over the winter to shake things up.

If you’d like to see the full results, click here.

A huge “well done” goes out to the folks at Cutting Edge, and to the hard working NWSKL staff that tirelessly organizes and runs these events… It’s no small task, and I never cease to be amazed by the sense of cooperation at every northwest event.

Until next time,

John Barresi