Issue 67: AKA Corner

May this find you well and thinking about, or doing things with, kites. Here in northeast USA we are in high summer. It has been unusually rainy, but that makes the occasional beautiful kite day all that much better. Here is the latest from the AKA.

The AKA now has a Facebook page. It has 447 fans. If you are not already a fan of the AKA Facebook page, please stop by and visit us. Most people who are fans have also posted pictures, which of course are links to their Facebook pages and their friends on Facebook. It is a great way to see who’s who in the AKA. It is also a great place to find links to AKA resources, find out about happenings in the AKA, find links to other people’s blog entries and kite reference material. There are also frequent random musings by and among the participants. Come visit the AKA Facebook page or just type “American Kitefliers Association” in your Facebook Search box. If there is anything you think should be on our Facebook page that is not there already, please let us know.

CafePress: Have you seen the AKA CafePress site lately? Thanks to the efforts of Region 9 Director Amy ‘Mousie’ Doran and AKA Secretary Sherri Pigeon, the Store has taken on a whole new look. Hats off and many thanks to Amy and Sherri for their efforts.

Elections: Believe it or not, it’s Election time again. The AKA is well in to its election process. Requests for Nominations were sent out in the last issue of Kiting and announced on the Kite Talk Forum and thru bulk email to AKA Members. Regional Directors in regions 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 are up for re-election or open to election. The President is up for election every year. Nominations for these positions are due back to Kathy Brinnehl at by August 8.
Ballots will be in the mail August 22. If you have not received yours by September 1, call Mel at 800-252-2550 and he will try to get you one in time.

Convention is October 5-10 in Rochester, Minnesota. The first Early Registration period ends in two weeks. Register early and save! It is less expensive to register early. Convention is a 5-day party with the best kite fliers from around the world. Some people seem to think that Convention is all about competitions. Most people who attend Convention don’t compete at all. Last year there were 300 people at Convention and less than 70 competed in the Nationals. Most people who go to Convention are there for the friends and the sharing and the learning and meeting new people.

Bag Raffle: No description of Convention is complete without talking about the Great Convention Bag Raffle. Somewhere at the hotel there will be a room, jam-packed, floor to ceiling with kites, books, apparel, accessories of all kinds. Tickets can be bought at (nearly) all times and there is no limit to how many tickets you can buy or how many can be dropped in any bag for any item. There is great stuff to be had!

Two little known aspects of Convention are the Board Meeting on Tuesday morning at 9 AM and the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday night. Both meetings are open to everyone, but ALL AKA Members are very much encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday night. The Annual Business Meeting is where AKA Members get to decide policy, including the Officer positions on the Board.

Let’s not forget the Auction. The AKA Auction on Friday night is a wonderful opportunity to obtain unique kites, collector kites, interesting accessories, hapi coats and much more! Auction donations are being accepted now. If you have an item for the Auction, contact Maggie Engvall at

Raffle tickets are on sale for a Full Registration to the Rochester Convention. A $1.00 ticket could get you a paid registration to the 2009 Convention in Rochester, MN. Contact your Regional Director or your favorite Director at Large now to get as many tickets as you like! You can’t win if you don’t play! The winner of the Full Registration to the Rochester Convention will be drawn at the Washington International Kite Festival, August 17 to 23. All money and tickets need to get to Marla Miller before she leaves for the Festival.

But wait, there’s more! The Great 2009 Convention Lodging Raffle. Win six nights at the Kahler Grand Hotel! The Kahler will host all of our meetings and indoor events with the exception of the Indoor Fly. The Kahler Grand has direct access to the downtown area via a climate controlled pedestrian skyway and subway. The skyway also connects you to over 60 boutiques, novelty shops, and restaurants. Room nights are October 5-10, 2009. Raffle tickets are $5.00 each and are available from the AKA office at or 800-252-2550. You can purchase your tickets using checks, all the major credit cards, or PayPal. You can also arrange for tickets by grabbing hold of any AKA Officer or Regional Director you might meet on a flight field near you. Our thanks to the Kahler Grand Hotel for making this raffle possible.

Sport Kite Rules Change

Following a unanimous vote by the AKA Sport Kite Committee, the International Rulebook Committee has revised the scoring method for precision compulsories. Rather than the 30-30-40 method for breaking down a figure’s score into key components, each figure will now be scored as a complete entity, using a 0 to 100 scale. This is a return to the scoring method that was used for most of our sport’s history, and we believe this method will result in more consistent scoring across judges and disciplines.

The updated rulebook is already up on the AKA Web Site (Thanks, Chuck!), and will be in effect for the 2010 AKA season, which begins August 1, 2009. AKA Grand Nationals will be run under the rules editions that governed the 2009 season (including v2.3 of the international rulebook), which means we plan for the 30-30-40 scoring method to be in effect in Minnesota. A thread has been created in the AKA Kite Talk Forum under Sport Kite Competition Rules where questions on this change can be addressed. Additionally, the Sport Kite Symposium at convention is a great venue to discuss this rule and other aspects of sport kiting and competition.


Board Meetings: The next AKA Board Meeting is September 16 at 9 PM eastern. We do 9 PM eastern because it is 3 hours earlier on the west coast. Four Regional Directors on the west coast need to be on the conference by 6 PM their time. Board Meetings are open to all AKA Members. Information for joining the meeting is on the AKA Web Site in the Club House. If you have Skype installed on your computer, you can call in for no cost.

Finances: Some folks are very concerned that AKA finances are not where they think they should be. There was a very cooperative and productive meeting of the Ways & Means Committee on July 30. The good news is that the AKA should finish in the black this year, projections say we will take in more than we spend.

Our Cash Position changes year to year in any given month because we either pre-pay things earlier, or the date of Convention means Convention revenue comes in later. Prepaid expenses are payments for goods and services to be received in the near future. Our cash position has been low at times, not because we are spending more, but because we are spending it earlier.

Even with that, July was a very good month compared to last year.  Net income for July, 2009, was $5,023.89 compared to $1,108.98 for July, 2008.  Granted, part of that (as always) is related to timing of expenses and income, but we were down $1,875.82 in expenses and up $2,039.09 in income.

Thanks for listening. See you out there somewhere.

good heavens;

Gary Engvall