2007 AKA Convention: Day 2

So just how did the day turn out after such dire predictions of rain, lightning storms and howling winds? Nowhere near as bad as had been predicted. When I woke up this moring, it was decidedly a little mixed, with half the sky showing the promise of some nice sunshine, but, the wind was coming in from the southwest, and that entire section of the sky was filled with some very ominous looking clouds…

Much like yesterday, the morning was made up workshops taking place over at The Shiloh. On the slate were well attended workshops looking at judging of handmade kites, which is meant to familiarize new competitors on how the judging process works. The Fighter Kite Symposium was held this morning, as was a class put on by Charlie Sotich on making miniature kites. Scott Spencer mounted a workshop specifically for first time visitors to the convention, covering all aspects of what happens in and around the various sites in use. And lastly, “Tell me How : NKM Activities” took a look at National Kite Month and some of the methods and approaches people can use to hold their own NKM event next April.

The Bag Raffle also slowly got underway this morning. As the week progresses, it becomes very worthwhile to take stroll through the area to see what new items have appeared since your last visit. If last year’s convention was any indication, by Friday there should be a large selection of items up for grabs and I have exactly zero doubt that Marla Miller will pull out all stops in order to ensure you have as many tickets as you feel you will need to get your own coveted piece.

As lunch time came around, competitors had begun to assemble down on the beach for the afternoon’s various sport kite competitions. Today’s events were Experienced Individual Ballet, Masters Individual Precision, Masters Multiline Precision, Masters Pairs Ballet and Team Train. As the pilots meeting began, the afternoon was pretty sunny, holding much better promise for the day than the weather forecast had predicted, but as competition got underway, a squall came howling onto the beach, sending all the flyers scrambling for their raingear and vented kites. It looked like it had tremendous potential to simply park itself directly on the beach and continue on drenching everyone, however, the worst of it really only lasted for about 10 minutes. While the first pilots that were out coped with some heavy, direction changing wind, by the time the second competitors had begun their routines, the winds dropped like a rok, to a much more manageable 8-10 mph range. And with this, the rains went away and the sun itself even made a few appearances throughout the afternoon. The entire time, the dark bank of clouds to the southwest simply hung out over the ocean and didn’t come back to the beach till after competition people had departed for dinner at one of the various restaurants scattered around Ocean Shores.

TBA Results:

Unfortunately fear of the potential weather meltdown forced the kitemakers competition into an awkward position, with all of today’s judging happening inside at the Convention Center. This made life a little tricky for those who have their feet both in the maker and sport kite and forced a few people to make the difficult choice to drop one or the other. Its also pushed some of the kitemaking judging onto Thursday as well but, hopefully some solutions will be worked out in the morning that will work better for the people with a lot to get done between the two areas. I briefly saw some pictures of what people have been entering and there is some truly stunning kites on display this year, including a massive Edo by Barry Poulter and the largest slug, escargot, snail you may even seen, debuted by Ron Gibian.

The last event for the day was the hotly anticipated AKA Membership Forum and Annual Meeting. Much of this is a fairly dry event (no disrespect is meant by this) that covers budget reports both for the year and the convention itself and various committee reports, all leading up to the moment that many people seemed to be very anxiously awaiting, the announcement of the hotly contested elections. Gary Engval has been declared the AKA President for 2008, capturing 55% of the vote. While Gary did announce who he will be having on board with him, I found myself without a pen and paper, so I promise to corner Gary and get the names tomorrow for the daily update.

Tomorrow weather? Well at the moment the forecast looks very much like what it was this morning, ie, large amounts of rain all afternoon with possible lightning storms as well. Whether or not this actually pans out to be the case tomorrow or we’ll get another afternoon like today is anybody’s guess but, me, I’m hoping for more su and I don’t suspect I’m alone in this wish.

Here’s to finding out what tomorrow will bring and thanks for reading again.

David Hathaway