April 11
World Sport Kite Championship -- Day 2

All day Wednesday, the winds blew an average of eighteen miles-per-hour. A low of nine, and a high of twenty-seven, divided by two is eighteen. Everyone performed well – no one flew great.


Set Up



O Flyers from Malaysia

The real heroes out there are the officials. Judges Peter Fieldler and Mike Emery (Stack), Mike Gillard and Chuck Sigal (AKA) and Hideo Wakuzawa (AJSKA), plus Field Director Kathy Jarvis (STACK) and Scorekeepers David and Ginny Hansen (AKA) have been on the field and in the wind endlessly. And they have done a masterful job both technically and organizationally. I have never been to such a large and important event with so few questions and an absolute absence of controversy.

Keep in mind that final results are based on both Precision and Ballet, using the two best scores from three performances. I've been watching Ballet closely, but can't bring myself to observe a dozen Team Cascade maneuvers each day. My overall impression is that Precision scores are fairly close, and that Ballet will determine the winners.

On Day Two, Overdrive was again the best. But the wind dropped as they entered the field and it looked to me that their kites may have been over-vented for the conditions. Their performance was not as sharp as the day before. So instead of being ten points up, they may have been only two points ahead today. But as one competitor observed, everyone else was worse too, so maybe the ten point lead was still there….

After Overdrive, the two teams to watch were Garuda of Germany and Tame Bird of France. Both flew strong performances filled with bold tricks and well timed choreography.

Speed continued to suffer bad luck. This time it was a line break which brought two kites tangled to the ground. Whether they were disqualified under the '45 second rule', drifted out of bounds, or simply disrupted their performance for being down too long, the damage was done.

Legend hit the ground twice but continued to fly. Because of their proximity to New York and Liberty Park, they were featured I the local paper the day before. But no one on the team can read the interview. Sponsor jackets were presented to all competitors Monday and Lou Behrman is the only flier here that they couldn't fit.

6th Sense turned in a purposefully conservative performance. I joked that their kites were never less than 50 yards apart. But they never touched each other or the ground making this American team probably the only one to suffer no penalties all day.

The conditions are difficult and everyone is learning. Yesterday Overdrive surprised everyone by asking the field crew to turn kites over during a leading edge landing and relaunch. Today, everyone did the same…

Spirits are high and the teams are bonding on and off the field. The three-day venue is working well. Let's hope the winds drop tomorrow.

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