John Barresi

A modest proposal... (discussion)

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Ummm, yeah, so? How can I read it, before the mailman delivers my copy sometine, 2 weeks from now?

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Mr Freeman,

Great ideas!

I've been flying quads for about 10 years and I'm still bored by competition.

Moving the compulsories is a good idea.

The instant gratification and displaying of scores is even better.

Good announcers are hard to find, but worth their weight in gold. Someone describing the action, telling us how hard a particular move is and how well it was done would be a good way to go. Think of olympic ice skating, they tell us what the person is trying to do, how hard it is, what to look for in a good one, and how well it was executed. I didn't know what a "Left Handed Quadruple Three Toed Klutz " was 10 minutes ago, and now I'm on my feet cheering when the skater nails it.

Also, fewer inside jokes and comments that the rest of us who don't know the fliers dont get. Some competitions seem like they are for insiders only and feel exclusive rather than inclusive.

Keeping a quick pace going is essential. If there is a delay, send someone out in the field to expain what an axel is and what to look for. Again, like the olympics.

And how about somewhere for the non-competitor to fly? Folks watching get excited and want to try it out. I'm always willing to let people try my kites, but I need a space, preferably with wind ;) At one festival I was told the only place for me to fly was in the wind shadow of a building. The competition field was the only place with wind. And this was billed as a compeition and fun-fly/festival!

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Nice article!

There is a huge problem with getting spectators to comps. I like John's ideas but... what to do if your venue is too small for multiple flying fields? Moving the venue isn't always the answer.

Last year we held our 3rd comp and we did some local advertising. On Sunday we had a very large crowd for MIB and team ballet. If the crowd was kept in the loop and they could see how the competitors placed would keep em there.

Right after team ballet, we held a tricks event. You could see the crowd waiting for more and in a short time they started to leave. Tricks are fun for fliers who understand the wierd things we can do with our kites. It does nothing for the averarage spectator.

How do we get and keep crowds?

  • run presicion events in the morning
  • advertise the event
  • run events on time
  • show the scores right away - not at the end of the day
  • run ballet in the afternoon - team and pairs really draw the crowds
  • good announcing
  • order sunshine and nice winds

Without a hefty budget to work with, sport kite comps are going to be small be nature. The cost to put on an event can not be left on the shoulders of the competitors if we want large scale events. Right not costs are kept as low as possible because competitors are the ones paying the way.

Right now, in the north west, comps are well attended by fliers but not always by spectators. If we try to have larger events that are well sponsored and the sponsors dry up for one reason or another, the events may dry up too...

The question is:

Are we happy with the way the events are run right now?

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