2010 AKA Convention: Day 5

Our morning workshops consisted of “Traveling to Kite Festivals Outside the USA” by Cliff Quinn and Marla Miller, “Origami Kite Making” by Yukio Akiyama, and “Oodles of Revs – Anyone can Mega Fly” by myself and iQuad… The Fly Market continued with great deals, along with Tom McAlister’s kite art gallery.

The workshops are always interesting and varied, from simple informational presentations to hands-on creative projects with provided materials, the knowledge that comes together at AKAGN every year is one of the best collective representations of kiting we have in the United States throughout any given year.

With sunny weather in our favor, fliers broke up after the morning workshops to hit the beach for more competitive events in both single and multi line, as well as the ongoing group of fliers free flying near the promenade… Here are just a few of the representatives in comprehensive kite making this year:

With fliers and judges finishing up the last of the remaining events on our sport kite fields today, here are results from these final six disciplines:

As the day came to a close, more Rev fliers started gathering for open flying, especially as the competitions started to let out… Ben was giving lessons, and we were going through some team flying paces with an 8-pack in the sky, and for the first time this week, I saw a concentrated group of spectators (public) starting to gather and watch.

We didn’t have enough fliers to demonstrate any of the grid format we’d covered in the morning workshop, but there were a lot of new and intermediate faces, all following their learning curve through some maneuvers… Special recognition goes to Yuji Kujime from Japan, who despite speaking very little English conquered one team move after another through sheer focus and determination! It was getting late in the day however, and the winds seemed to keep climbing as our weather turned colder – albeit still sunny.

Having gotten our fill of wind today, we packed it in and headed off to the evening’s Great AKA Kite Auction and dinner where attendees were able to bid on both silent and loud auction items… David Gomberg served as auctioneer again (he is so good at it), and although I didn’t hear the final take from the loud auction, it sounded like the silent auction did quite well… Not quite the 30-page catalogs of auction items that we’ve seen years ago, but still some excellent treasures to be had for those on the hunt.

One of the special items auctioned was a signed special edition T-shirt from Connor Doran, our very own famous kite flier who has gained acclaim for his appearances on America’s Got Talent this year, and aside from this notable accomplishment, he’s just a good soul and deserves all the successes he’s seen.

From David directing a group of banner carriers through team formation maneuvers across the dining hall during bidding to the infamous Starfarker kite (above – pink), it was a good time… Always foreboding however, as auction night is always a sure sign that we’re just one more day away from closing the books on another year.

Tomorrow brings a four more workshops, additional mass ascensions, the bag raffle drawings, and rokakku competition, along with a few other daytime activities… In the evening, we’ll go into our final Awards Dinner.

Until tomorrow, same kite time, same kite channel…

John Barresi