Kite Party 14 (2016)
Friday, March 11, 2016
I set off early in the morning with a fellow kiteflier on our 400 mile drive down to Huntington Beach for Kite Party 14, my first Kite Party. It was raining for most of the drive as a storm was moving south at the same time we were. When we reached the LA area, the rain was so heavy it was hard to believe that the forecast for the weekend called for sun and good kite flying wind. By the time we reached Huntington Beach though, there were slivers of blue sky poking through, and the rain had mostly let up. We paid a visit to Kite Connection on the Huntington Beach pier to meet the owner Dave, who is also the organizer of Kite Party, then said hi to the early arrival kitefliers who were still flying on the beach despite the rain that had passed through earlier. We finished off the day with dinner at Fred's Cantina, where we met more kitefliers who had arrived for Kite Party.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Saturday morning, I awoke to blue sky and light wind. What a difference from the day before.
Kitefliers began to gather on the beach for Kite Party. There were two roped off fields for the registered kitefliers to fly in, one for sport kites and one for single line kites. Fliers set up "camp" (chairs, banners, sunshades, assembled kites, etc.) along some of the edges of the fields. There was a fliers meeting where everyone gave a quick introduction, and then Kite Party was on. Since Kite Party was a party, and not a festival, the roped off fields were for everyone to fly in, and there was no schedule. There were always many people flying in a small space, so sharing space was important. In fact, lines were limited to 75' for sport kites. There was a lot of Rev team flying (yes, on 75' lines), which I participated in quite a bit.
I took a few opportunities to walk around to the single line field to take some pictures. Jose Sainz set up a banner display in one corner.
In the afternoon, we did a memorial fly for Ron Despojado. More than 30 Rev fliers participated, and the line of kites and pilots stretched from one side of the field to the other. We spelled "RON" and made a few balls. With that many pilots spread across the field, instructions had to be passed down the line from one end to the other.
After the sun set, we all migrated over to Lamppost Pizza for dinner and the kite auction.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
Sunday was much of the same, albeit with a slightly slower start due to the Daylight Savings Time time change. I decided to set up a dualie, but by the time I did and walked around looking for a place to fly, I was feeling claustrophobic with all the kites already flying. I can fly a Rev in close quarters no problem, but I am not quite comfortable enough with dualies to do that yet, so I left my WidowMaker by my kite bag and went off to fly my Rev again. I did find a brief opportunity around lunch time to fly my WidowMaker, so I didn't set it up for nothing.
One of the major attractions on the single line field on Sunday was this dragon.
I also took a walk on the Huntington Beach pier to get some pictures from a different angle.
Somehow most of the sport kites were on the ground when I took the next picture.
Kite Party ended with dinner right next to the beach at Zack's, where we said our goodbyes.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Monday morning, I looked out the hotel window and saw gray sky and wet ground once again. At least the drive back was mostly dry. We really lucked out with the weather during Kite Party. Ron must have been looking out for us from above.