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Issue 9 (May/Jun 1999): Berck sur Mer Kite Festival

report berck kite festival

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#1 Ed Shenk

Ed Shenk


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Posted 01 June 1999 - 04:00 AM

The Berck-sur-Mer kite festival in France was my first kite adventure abroad. I was invited by David Gomberg to be part of the American team, consisting of Carolyn Weir, Cinda and Kevin Shannon, Peter Dolphin, Jack Rogers, Gary Engvall and Charles Dunton.

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We all met at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. From there we toured by bus for 3 hours, directly north to the town of Berck, which is located right on the English Channel. This beach is twice as wide as Wildwood, NJ. When the tide went out, there was what seemed to be a quarter mile of extra beach. The buggiers and wind surfers had unlimited packed sand to play on. We had a lockable shed on the beach. This was where we would store our kites overnight. The storage shed was very much appreciated, because our hotel was 2 blocks from the beach and then 4 more blocks down to the flying area.

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Most of the French people we met were very friendly and helpful with the language and some spoke English better than we could speak French. I carried a pocket dictionary just in case.

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The Mega Ray was the largest kite there. It was really impressive. The Trilobite collection established a world record for most Trilobites at one event.

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The nicest thing about this festival was the people. There we were, on the beach with so many different nationalities, the French, Germans, Belgians, Italians, people from the UK, China and Japan. When we were talking about kites, somehow you knew what the other person was saying. Sometimes we would draw pictures in the sand to get the idea across.

It's simply amazing how this hobby can draw so many people together. As you can see by the photographs, the people would come out and sit on the seawall and just watch the kites for hours.
Ed Shenk

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