Issue 80: AKA Corner

Closing out the year and looking toward the next!

Hard to believe, but there are kiters that are not yet AKA members, or have let their membership lapse for more than 3 months. Introduce them to the joys of membership, at only $40 a year. Every person that signs up 5 new or renewing members by the end of the year will receive a personally handcrafted kite made by me as a thank you gift. Don’t tell me it’s too hard. Eight new members were signed up at the Dieppe festival alone. The South Jersey club will be receiving the kite. WACKOS is also on a mission to earn a kite. What about your club? Can you pool resources to earn a fabulous auction item that otherwise would not be donated?

The 2011 sport kite season has come to a successful conclusion with the top 5 finishers in each category competing now at the Grand Nationals in Wildwood.

Congratulations to all competitors, no matter their final place standings. Keep practicing for an even better 2012! Under the revised rule book, this year Program Precision is an acceptable alternative to the standard format.

The sport kite committee recommends that it not be used for Novice classes. No decision has been made as to the format of the Enid competition.

If you have an opinion or question, be sure to contact your conference commissioner. It seems appropriate for someone to fly a ballet routine to Oklahoma during the Enid competition. Will it be you?

The fiscal year 2011 for the American Kitefliers Association has also come to an end. Last year, a change was made to switch the fiscal year close from 12/31 to 8/31.

This allows all convention expenses and income to appear in the year incurred, instead of being carried over into the next year. Reports are much easier to understand. Those attending the annual business meeting will be able to see a full year of financial data before approving the next budget. Can’t attend the meeting? The complete balance sheet will be posted on the forum, or contact me to have it emailed directly to you.

Once again, the AKA closes out the year in the black, a profit of close to $1000! The overwhelming generosity of AKA members and kitefliers around the world made it possible to contribute over $5000 and 1200 kids’ kites to the people of Japan. National Kite Month was another highpoint with money going directly to those that did workshops across the country. A generous donation of fabric and the help of the Kite Studio in selling the entire yardage contributed to our financial success. Next year we will be contacting corporations who use kites in advertising and requesting support.

Insurance continues to be a major cost for the AKA. Sanctioning is a bargain at $150, and many festivals enjoy the coverage. Having insurance available is not a benefit if local festivals cannot afford to pay for sanctioning. The board has decided to offer a reduced rate of only $75 for small festivals in their first 3 years of operation, if they include a significant educational component. Add a learn to fly field, judge training, field director education or a kite making workshop to receive this special rate. Take this opportunity to help new flyers get a great start in our wonderful pastime, and encourage others to improve their skills at the same time.

The goal is that at least 1 new festival in each region will take place. Complete details can be found on the AKA website. This is a very low price to pay for the peace of mind that comes from extra insurance protection in case of an accident. Start planning for a new event in your area!

This is being written as the final details of the 2011 convention are being pulled together. You’ll be reading this while convention is happening. If I don’t see you on the beaches of Wildwood, maybe the next festival will find us on the same field. Renew your membership, sign up a couple of friends. Most of all keep flying and having fun. You can always contact me at

Time to fly!

Barbara Meyer
AKA president