April 11
World Sport Kite Championship -- Day 3

Speed came off the filed with tears in their eyes today. But they were tears of joy and exhilaration. Finally – finally after two mishaps, the Japanese team flew the routine that they came to France to fly. It was spellbinding with sharp well-timed turns, intricate weaves, and plenty of drama.

Speed Overdrive 6th Sense

On one close starburst pass, the #4 kite snagged a line and broke their leading edge. The kite continued through the routine – for almost two minutes, without missing a beat. That's fine flying when you need to compensate for response and overturn in one direction!

The routine include a five-kite landing. And showing the presence of mind and innovation that distinguish champions, the broken kite passed on the ground touch and instead hovered just above the sand in an extended stall. No sense risking a landing that might further damage the wing!

When the final musical note ended, the team dropped their handles and rushed into each other's arm. The tears were true! And I've never before seen a Japanese cry…

Whether Speed beat Overdrive today is difficult to say. The French were extremely strong as well. Does pounding choreography get more points than sophisticated and well-timed five kite execution? We'll know the results tonight.

Wondering what I mean by pounding choreography from Overdrive?? If you have a high speed connection, click here for a short video.

All week I've been reporting on the Berck winds. Today they were fickle – blessing some teams and cursing others. The Americans drew some of the best breezes and turned in their strongest performances of the week. But the winds would also drop suddenly or turn offshore and fill with turbulence without warning. Garuda and Tame Bird, who have flown well all week, did not enjoy their best day.

Speed

As I explained before, final standings will be based on the best two days of flying out of three performances. No scores have been released yet. The awards banquet tonight should be most interesting. I'll have rankings for you in the morning.

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