Issue 43: Northwest Stunt Kite Championships

What better way is there to finish off a week of team competition down in Lincoln City Oregon than to come up to Long Beach Washington and have another one of our seasonal Northwest Sport Kite League competitions. Generally in years past the weather has not been that great, and a couple times we were blown off the beach. This year started off about the same for the first hour and then the rain stopped, the wind picked up to a steady 8-10 mph and it turned out to be a great competition day. For some people, the day started off driving up to Long Beach from Lincoln City Oregon at around 5 O’clock.

Everyone was generally to the beach by 8:30, or 9:00 o’clock. A few people were surprised to see a flyer from the United Kingdom, Carl Robertshaw, who was down in Lincoln City, being one of the major kite makers there supporting those who flew his kite, the Fury in the competition. Carl was very pleased to be coming up to an American competition and we are glad he chose Long Beach. As soon as he got onto the beach with one of his kites, he had eyes watching him from all over. The first competition of the day was Masters Individual Precision which Carl flew in and took a top three spot. Also placing in the top three were Daniel Haigh and Wayne Turner. The next event that we got to see that Carl competed in was Open Quad Ballet where he also placed along with John Barresi and Wayne Turner. Everyone put on a good show in that event and gave the crowd something to watch.

During lunch, everyone who stuck around was treated to a performance by Team Cutting Edge, the number one team in the world. It was as though the wind gods knew what was happening because Cutting Edge received perfect winds, allowing them to put on an amazing show and enjoy the day instead of worrying about competing. They got a chance to enjoy flying and putting on a show for the crowd. Congratulations again guys!!! You worked hard all week and deserved to win.

After lunch, the novices flew precision, followed by Experienced Ballet. The wind was perfect for the afternoon and everyone put on a great show and the crowd loved it. At three o’clock, there was a moment of silence followed by John and Carl flying a routine in honor of Kay Buesing’s late husband, Jim Buesing, who died last week. After the tribute, Open Pairs Ballet continued, followed by Open Team Precision which finished off the judged events of the day.

The last thing to do was our hot tricks competition which pitted trickster against trickster in head to head competition and ended with John Barresi going head to head with Carl Robertshaw. Both fliers pulled tricks from out of no where and put up a fight. However only one could win, and that one was Carl. All fliers left every trick they had in their repertoire on the field in a hard fought battle. The real winners were those watching the event. A few people headed to Chico’s for dinner before heading back to their rooms for a good night’s sleep, getting ready for Sunday.

Sunday morning started with no wind, but nice weather. The clock in my hotel room was an hour fast, so when I thought I was waking up at ten minutes til eight, I was actually waking up at ten minutes til seven, so I got down to the beach by about 8:15. The few people who were there were standing around either waiting for wind to practice, or waiting for other people to arrive. The wind started picking up as the morning went on, along with a bit of a rain shower, but not too bad. The wind was not as good as Saturday as it was bumpy and fluctuating up and down. The first event of the day was experienced individual precision. The fliers didn’t have easy figures either, having to fly Axl

es, Lap and Snap, and Steps Down with a Landing. Everyone battled through the wind and finished up, being followed by Quad Precision. Already being about an hour behind, we went right through lunch and into novice ballet, then masters ballet. All of the masters put on a show including Carl Robertshaw. After watching John Barresi attempt a 360 in his quad routine, Carl decided to try one too but only made it about three quarters of the way. He gave it a good effort and finished his routine with a great performance. John came out and gave a great performance as well, along with the rest of the masters class. The afternoon finished off with pairs precision, and then team ballet. All the teams gave a great show, including team 6th Sense who also competed in the World Competition in Lincoln City all week. They put on a great show and closed out the weekend.

Now at this time another event was suppose to take place – mystery ballet. Usually in mystery ballet flyers sign up and go out onto the field ready to fly to music, but in mystery ballet, they don’t know what they will be flying to. However, this weekend it was too wet and everyone wanted to get home and no one really wanted to stand in the rain and judge when they didn’t have to. So instead of flying, Genny and a few other people set up a different version. Everyone who signed up had their name put on a sticky note and attached to a box with the names not showing. Then, the judges each had a shape on a sticky note and at random they put each shape on a sticky note. Each shape was determining what place the person would get. So it was all random this time. Kirstie Hayes took third place, Jim Landers took second, and in a surprise to everyone, I took first place. This is probably the only way I could win mystery ballet.

While the rain continued to come down, everyone crowded underneath the tent and the awards were given out. Carl took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies home this weekend from the U.S. and had a great time flying with us. Everyone enjoyed watching him fly and learned a few things from him. Hopefully it will not be the last time he is seen in the Northwest.

Everyone had a great week and weekend and went home happy and we want to thank those who helped out, because this event could not run without people working together to make it flow as easily as it did. Eric and Genny Forsberg work so hard every year to put this event on. This is the longest running event in the Northwest and it couldn’t continue going without Eric and Genny’s hard work. Thanks also go out to Linda Hayes who received lots of compliments on her field directing for the weekend. A few people even said she ran the field like the field director at the World Competition.

We also want to thank the sponsors for helping put on the vent. The Northwest Stunt Kite Championships would not be possible without the help of all of the sponsors, starting with Above It All Kites located in Long Beach along with Long Beach Kites, The Bank of the Pacific, Super 8 Motel, Sid’s Market, Ocean Kites, and the World Kite Museum.

The World Kite Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated strictly to kites. Kay Buesing works very hard to keep the museum running with the help of donations from the public.

If you would like information about the museum or to contact them about making a donation, please visit the kite museum online.

Another big thank you goes to the city of Long Beach who came out and set up all of the fields for us so all the fliers had to do was show up and fly. Hats off to Robin Haas and Neil Parker for running the sound system for the weekend. Many comments were made about how everyone could hear the sound clearly all around the field, unlike last year when it could barely be heard at all.

We are coming towards the end of the competition year with only two competitions left, Westport Kite Festival, and the Steveston Kite Festival. Everyone is flying their hearts out trying to earn an invite to nationals and trying to earn the blue championship jacket for the league. So called “rivalries” are heating up and everyone is trying their hardest to keep up with the other guys and girls. Remember, only the top three flyers get invites to nationals. Who will go this year? The next two events will decide.

As the rain continued to come down, everyone slowly dispersed from the beach except for John and Carl who stuck around and flew for a while. It was a great weekend to cap off the previous week with the World Competition being won by the Northwest’s own Team Cutting Edge. We will be back again next year in the last weekend of June on the same beach. If you get a chance, you should definitely come watch. Everyone always puts on a terrific show.

Andrew Cimburek