Issue 44: Steveston SKC

It’s our one trip up and over the border to our Canadian friends for the last competition of the season. This is where those fliers who have been fighting for blue jackets will know whether or not they knocked out the person in first or if they stay back and have to wait yet another year to fight for the jacket. Many travel up on Friday just so they don’t have to deal with the border on Saturday morning, but those who came up on Saturday said they were the only cars at the crossing. On Saturday morning, people arrived at the park to help set up the field and then get started with the pilots meeting. We got started on schedule this time which was nice because we flew through our first few events and had time for Team Cutting Edge to do a demo for the news crew when they arrived. This happened to be during Novice Individual Precision but the first flier had not started, so Cutting Edge took the field and flew their routine for the news and then we resumed our originally scheduled events.

The day went by pretty smoothly after a morning of light winds until they picked up and were fair and steady hovering between 5-10 mph. We didn’t stop for a lunch break so people moseyed on over to the concession stand for fish and chips and those who were lucky enough to be drinking a Pepsi got pulled over by the Pepsi Crew and won a prize. People won anything from another Pepsi to an I-Pod. I personally won a CD so I was happy. We finished around 3 which was pretty early for us so we decided to put on some demos. Since John Barresi was already on the field after flying his astounding dog stake routine in Open Individual Freestyle, we volunteered him to fly his famous and favorite Bugs Bunny routine for us. If you would like to watch John fly his dog stake routine, check out the videos section of Kitelife.

After John flew his demo, Egan Davis came onto the field and flew a demo followed by Team Cutting Edge. Cutting Edge won the World Championships this year held in the U.S. for the first time in eight years and it was the first time in 11 years that a U.S. team has won the competition. We are very proud to have them in our region and praise them for the work they did to bring the 1 st place prize not only to the U.S. but to the Northwest corner and our hometown. After Cutting Edge flew for us, we broke down the field and people headed to their hotel rooms to clean up and get ready for dinner and the indoor competition held that night too.

During the indoor event, Egan Davis flew the indoor routine of his life!  Literally spanking his rear end while flying with one hand for portions of his flight, he left the audience and other fliers stunned and amazed… Having flown first, it really raised the bar for ever flier who would follow.

At dinner, awards were handed out and finally sealed the fate of the long fought competition for the blue jackets handed out by our league for first place in a discipline. After dinner, fliers headed over to the school building for the indoor competition. We had quite a few fliers competing and it was a very interesting night. Fliers placing in the top three were in no special order Jerry Cannon, Egan Davis, and Wayne Turner. Final results will be posted at the end. It was a very entertaining evening for everyone but eventually it was time to go back to rooms and get some sleep for the following morning with competitions still awaiting us.

Sunday morning came and the wind was not so nice. It was blowing pretty hard all day. Well, at least on this day we couldn’t complain about the lack of wind. The morning began with Experienced Individual Precision and I can tell you from flying in it, it was brutal dealing with the winds and trying to decide what line to use or what kite to bring on the field. After that discipline was over, we moved on throughout the day with yet again no lunch break but flying through the brutal winds just hoping to finish the day with as few broken rods as possible. Watching the Masters fly ballet is always a treat and they put on a great show for everyone. The day continued on with higher winds then wanted but fliers got through it and the competition day finished off with team events once again featuring Team Cutting Edge. As usual, they put on a great performance along with team 6th Sense, TKS Mid-Air and Snowbirds.

This was our last competition of the fiscal year sealing the fate of those vying for a spot at the national competition and fighting for blue championship league jackets. In the next few weeks, it will be decided who is traveling east for the national competition to represent the Northwest and who will for sure be receiving jackets. Certificates will be handed out along with jackets at Ocean Shores finally putting an end to 2004-2005 season. There are some people who need to be thanked for helping put on this event. Thanks to David Cimburek and Cal Yuen for providing sound and voice for the crowd. Thanks to Ron and Maryann Hardie for planning the event and making sure everything ran smoothly.

At Ocean Shores , the new season will start and the boards will be clear and everyone will be starting over fresh. Nationals next year is located in Des Moines Iowa , more of a central location where fliers from both the East and West will hopefully be joining together for the 29 th Annual AKA Convention. Although there is still nationals this year in Ocean City Maryland coming up in just about two weeks, fliers are already starting to think about next years nationals and whether or not they are planning on going. I know for one I am going no matter what. With some fliers moving up into their proper classes, some are still staying down for one more year wanting that little bit more experience before becoming a master flier.

For complete competition results, see the AKA site.

So as we wave goodbye to this season, we welcome the new season with open arms, many fliers enjoying a fresh start getting a chance to start at the top and qualify for Nationals ’06 and blue jackets. We have finished off this season with both extremes when it comes to wind. We have either had no wind, or too much wind, or sometimes if we were lucky hit just right wind. Some weekends we had a combination of all three. We have flown through rain, some of it vertical, hail, 90 degree weather, and again, some of this all in the same weekend. Who knows what next season will bring. All I know is that it will be another great year because whenever we are on the beach flying kites be it for fun or for competition, it is always a great place to be.

Andrew Cimburek