Issue 43: Westport Windriders Festival

After this weekend, there will only be one competition left in the competition year and everyone is vying for a spot at nationals and for the coveted blue jacket that every flyer goes after for each discipline. This is the time when even the smallest mistake can mess up your whole year of flying perfect routines. When flyers are so close on your behind, wanting it so bad they can taste it, you have to pick up on your own game. So with that, what happened this weekend?

Saturday started off beautiful. The wind was light but the sun was out and it was quite warm. For the first year, the sport kite field was right next to the entrance to the beach which brought us more spectators and our background was a bunch of beautiful single line kites provided by the Westport Windriders. The morning was filled with precision events starting of with Masters Individual Precision. It was a good competition for the light wind and the top three included John Barresi, Dan Haigh, and Cal Yuen. Next was Open Multi-line Precision, then Novice Individual Precision. Instead of stopping for lunch, we flew straight through and our next event was Experienced Individual Ballet. This was the first ballet event of the day which brought a few spectators to the field watching all our experienced flyers do their best to take first place.

This is one of our disciplines where first place is not yet decided. The top three positions are up for grabs between James Thompson, Brian Davis, and Andrew Cimburek. Everyone in the discipline flew their hearts out but the top three were in no particular order, Brian Davis, James Thompson, and Andrew Cimburek. The point spread between the top three was .87 between first and third. It was a great event for all the fliers.

The next events were the pairs events, both precision and ballet. The three pairs that placed in ballet were Wing ‘N A Prayer, Fly By Night, and Abstract Mayhem. In precision, the three pairs who placed were Abstract Mayhem, Last Flight Out and Fly By Night. These pairs are listed in no particular order.

After the pairs flew, there was one last event of the day with one flyer in it… Before this year, Open Freestyle has had very few Northwest flyers in it since Ray Bethell.  One of the first to bring it back, John puts on an awesome dog-stake routine which involves putting the kite lines through a stake in the ground and standing downwind with the kite. He flies a Rev for his routine, wears a wolf mask and flies to a medley of “Werewolves in London” and “Little Red Riding Hood”. The crowd even has a chance to get involved because each judge goes and finds someone in the audience to come onto the field and score based on the entertainment value of the performance. This is great because it gets people closer to kite flying and could possibly get them interested enough to try it.

On Saturday night we had a potluck banquet where everyone attending would take a salad or dessert and the meat was provided by the Windriders. I must say, this event every year has some of the greatest food because the people in the kitchen spend a couple hours cooking the meat and it always turns out so tender and juicy and everyone always goes back for seconds. After dinner, the awards are handed out to the sport kite flyers, single liners, and fighter kites. After the awards, the bag raffle and auction starts. People generally buy lots of tickets to put in to win items like kites, or little accessories for their home or kite bag. As the raffle finished, people headed back to their rooms for the night to get a good night’s sleep for Sunday when the teams would fly, and there would be a TV news crew from Evening Magazine there to cover the number one team in the world, and won it right here in the Northwest USA.

Sunday started off the same as Saturday, with nice weather and low winds. Everyone arrived at the beach ready to fly. The first event for Sunday was Experienced Individual Precision. The winds were fluctuating up and down during this event, making it difficult for competitors to choose the right kite and equipment for their time in the flight order… The three flyers in EIP who managed in the tough conditions were Jim Landers, James Thompson, and Brian Davis. After this event was Open Multi-line Ballet, the Novice Individual Ballet then Open Team Ballet. Usually team events finish off the day, but because of the special media opportunity we had, teams flew a little earlier.

Evening Magazine was in Westport doing a report on Team Cutting Edge for a show that will air sometime in September to November. Keep checking back for an update on when the show will air… Possibly on the the NWSKL web site.

Because of the news crew being there to film, the team events were moved up to before Masters Individual Ballet, and it was a good choice because after the teams finished, it started pouring rain.

All the teams put on a great show and the top three were Team Cutting Edge, Sixth Sense, and TKS Mid-Air in both ballet and precision.  After teams, the Masters came out onto the field for Individual Ballet to finish off the day. Even in the poring rain, all the masters still put on a great performance and the top three flyers were Cal Yuen, Wayne Turner, and John Barresi. It was a great weekend and now with only one event to go in this season, Steveston in Canada, everyone will be flying their hearts out to take the number one position for a blue jacket and the top three for an invite to nationals.

An event could not be put on without the help of all the sponsors, starting with the Westport Windriders who set up the fields and put on a great dinner for everyone. Our other sponsors include, Ted’s Red Apple, Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill, Little Richard’s House of Donuts, LeMay Inc., Wolfe Construction Inc., The Breakers Motel, Sound Building Supply, Twin Harbor Drug, Hi-Flyers Kites Pacific Beach, Ocean Spray Motel, Cutting Edge Kites, Deer Creek Awards, Westport Shipyard Inc., and Joseph Simon and Sons. We could not put on such a great event like this without the help of all our sponsors, so please whenever you are in Westport, support them by just saying thank you for all they do.

Did I mention the dinner we had on Saturday night? Well, we need to thank Susie Christiansen and Eli Williams and everyone else who worked hard in the kitchen cooking such good food for everyone. Thanks to Robin Haas and Neil Parker for taking care of all the sound for the event. All the flyers commented on how we could actually hear the music in the pits this weekend. Thank you to Terri Huff and Jeanette Rogers for helping with all the scoring for the weekend so we actually knew who won. Thanks again to everyone.

Andrew Cimburek