2005 AKA Convention and Grand Nationals – Day 6

Up and at ’em for the final day of this year’s nationals, I tumbled out of bed around 9am and headed to Flavors of Italy for their killer breakfast buffet (second morning in a row), then on the way back I stopped to chat with Paul and Barbara LaMasters who had been kind enough to pick up the Gibian Revolution kite from the auction on Friday night… I must say, tons of applique or not, it flew great.

On to the southern fields… Kicking things off, the Delta Mass Ascension gave me an opportunity to pick up my first ascension pin ever in ten years attending the AKAGN!  My teammate Jim and I flew our sport kites (Quantum Pro and Sea Devil) politely off in a corner, surrounded by delta single line kites, but hey… We’re deltas too!

Following the mass ascension, we started the hot tricks event where fliers let loose with their best tricks and trick combinations and are judged by their peers. Fifteen fliers from all over the USA and one from France went head to head in 4-7 mph winds, dueling two at a time through single elimination rounds until there were only two fliers remaining… Ron Graziano and myself.

I was having flashbacks of this past May in Wildwood when we ended up in the same position and had to refly… Ron proved himself the superior flier on this day however with an amazing repetoire of slack line tricks and the practiced skills to get them done in nearly any wind condition… It’s really not so bad to be beat by the best!

Fliers had already jumped in and brought the fields down, then the speakers as Hot Tricks finished up… It’s always nice to see kite people working together so efficiently!

On the way back to my room I saw Lee Sedgwick flying his Revolution stack around one of Jose Sainz’s creations, with the two of them almost performing an aerial dance of sorts… They were then joined by someone else flying a power foil, and it just struck me as really cool that I was seeing single line, sport kite and a traction kite all sharing the sky, even playing together… It says a lot about the kind of community we are particpating in.

At the awards banquet, we were surprised by a last minute visit from world renowned indoor performers Lee and Deb Park who put on a brief but beautiful indoor show for attendees in a neighboring banquet room… David Gomberg even jumped in afterwards, hoisting Deb Park onto his shoulders just as Lee does during many of their routines!

The selection of People’s Choice kites was not as broad as in some years past, but those that were on display really set the bar high… All kinds of different styles and motifs to choose from!

This banquet definitely proved to be one of the most sentimental I’ve seen in my ten years of attending, with many acknowledgments all around, and more than a tear or two being brought to eyes around the room… And to provide comic reflief, David Gomberg serenaded the room with several short songs about various people throughout the awards ceremony.

In turn, he received a standing ovation when he announced that this would be his last year serving as the AKA President… While we’ve benefited immeasurably from his presence and leadership in ten years of service, he made clear that it is time for new blood and new direction within the AKA, in the very best way.

Enough chatter, on to the results…

Individual Sport Kite Events

Novice Ind. Precision Novice Ind. Ballet
1st – Andy Burchfield
2nd – Dave Smith
3rd – Rudy Yueng
1st – Richard Mervine
2nd – Dave Smith
3rd – Jennifer Brown
Experienced Ind. Precision Experienced Ind. Ballet
1st – Rob Autrey
2nd – Doug Charleville
3rd – Paul Koepke
1st – Wayne Fu
2nd – Andrew Albosta
3rd – Rob Autrey
Masters Ind. Precision Masters Ind. Ballet
1st – Josh Gordon
2nd – Aaron Champie
3rd – Zach Gordon
1st – John Barresi
2nd – Ron Graziano
3rd – Shawn Tinkham
Experienced Multiline Precision Experienced Multiline Ballet
1st – Karl Berg
2nd – Doug Coates
3rd – Aaron Champie
1st – Karl Berg
2nd – Mike Mosman
3rd – Doug Coates
Masters Multiline Precision Masters Multiline Ballet
1st – John Barresi
2nd – Zach Gordon
3rd – Shawn Tinkham
1st – Shawn Tinkham
2nd – Scott Weider
3rd – Zach Gordon
Open Freestyle Open Indoor
1st – Andrew Albosta
2nd – John Barresi
3rd – Paul LaMasters
1st – Scott Weider
2nd – Jerry Cannon
3rd – Wayne Turner
Hot Tricks ..

1st – Ron Graziano
2nd – John Barresi

Pairs Sport Kite Events

Experienced Pairs Precision Experienced Pairs Ballet
1st – Rainman Forrest
2nd – Fire & Ice
3rd – Wing Nuts
1st – Rainman Forrest
2nd – Fire & Ice
3rd – Sky Jester
Masters Pairs Precision Masters Pairs Ballet
1st – Siberia
2nd – Fly By Nite
3rd – Abstract Mayhem
1st – EOS
2nd – Fly By Nite
3rd – Air Therapy

Team Sport Kite Events

Experienced Team Precision Experienced Team Ballet
1st – TKS Mid-Air
1st – TKS Mid-Air
Masters Team Precision Masters Team Ballet
1st – 6th Sense
2nd – Air Zone
3rd – Cutting Edge
1st – Cutting Edge
2nd – 6th Sense
3rd – Air Zone
Open Team Train ..

1st – That’s My Line
2nd – Heaven Help Us
3rd – Old & New

People’s Choice

Best Kite
Cliff Quinn
Best Accessory
Steven Ensign
Best Aerial Photo 
Craig Wilson

Kitemaking Grand Champion

Cliff Quinn

Special AKA Awards

Volunteer of the Year
Russ Faulk / Steve & Chris Hall
Regional Director of the Year 
Marla Miller
Kite Club of the Year 
Bay Area Sport Kite League
Lee Toy Award 
Randy Tom
Bob Ingraham Award 
Susan Gomberg
Steve Edeiken Award 
Pete Dolphin

Another amazing year… Great flying, great friends… It’s always sad when it comes time to go home, but I take comfort in knowing that I will get see many of these wonderful people and even more new creations next year in Des Moines, Iowa… And you’re invited!

Thanks to all for checking in with our daily updates from here in Ocean City, Maryland.  It’s been a lot of work, and very little sleep… But it’s been my distinct pleasure to bring this service to you for the fourth year in a row, and I hope to hear from each and every one of you in the near future.

Good night, good flight!

John Barresi