2005 AKA Convention and Grand Nationals – Day 2

Welcome back to another daily update folks, and in all directness, I’ll ask you to bear with me as it’s going on 4:30am as I even start to write this but I feel it’s important to upload what I can from Tuesday.

Competitions are officially underway, as are the single line mass ascensions and workshops, and you can definitely feel the inertia beginning… One of my stand outs for the day was watching big Sam Ritter’s graceful dogstake (“Solo”) flying with his Rev I! Running his lines through a caribeener attached to a huge sand bag, Sam used the classic and challenging method without handles… Instead he was cycling a short length of heavy duty knotted line back and forth through his fingers, using them to control the kite, ala Lee Sedgwick.

There might be one or two others besides Sam and myself who still solo fly their Revs and it was pretty cool to see someone bringing this twenty year old art to life and doing it with style… Nice work Sam!

Serving as Chief Judge for this year’s AKAGN, Mike Huff brought the pilots meeting to order at just about twelve-thirty this afternoon, ensuring that everyone was on the same page as the day went on.

For the six or seven events held today, winds were again on the high side with ranges starting around 12mph and eventually building up to 19mph during the Novice precision event… While obviously challenged by the conditions, the Novice fliers especially showed heart by going out there and giving it their all at this national championship level.

Despite the hefty winds, we had plenty of sun all day and I think everyone found the weather to be quite comfortable even in a t-shirt.

With the indoor event coming up a short time after the outdoor comps, only three TBA results were posted by the time I left the beach in preparation for a run down to the convention center… You’ll find them shown below, with final TBA details being announced and uploaded on Saturday night.

The indoor competition was excellent yet again, featuring a few new tricks that I hadn’t seen before.

Scott Weider affirmed his reputation as an outstanding indoor flier by doing up and overs with his Rev, but keeping it directly over his head while covering roughly 75′ or so of the 125′ floor at a time… With indoor flying traditionally involving the idea of essentially pulling away from the kite in order to create lift, Scott just sailed it along overhead which is no easy feat.

Another first time sight for me was when Steve Santos lauched TWO Deca quad line kites at the same time, following one with the other through a number of 360s, and eventually flying one of them entirely from his mouth through another series of 360s! Unfortunately Steve crossed out of bounds during his performance which is cause for a DQ, but his routine will certainly go down as one to remember.

The judging panel had their work cut out for them tonight with a number of stellar routines flown by the dozen or so fliers who qualified to represent their home conferences at AKAGN this year… Results will be uploaded with the next update, or as they become available.

While I found myself on a couple of judging panels today (Experienced Individual), tomorrow brings more assignments and a shot on the field for my experienced class team… Also, Masters Individual Ballet! There is an amazing list of individual pilots signed up this year, and it should be quite the showdown with expected winds of 8-9 mph.

I know this update is a tad brief, but 5am is upon me and I’ll be headed to breakfast in three hours… Thanks for enjoying this with me, and I look forward to bring you tomorrow’s report.

Good night, good flight!

John Barresi