May 3
One of the Best Bercks

The first week of May is normally scheduled for a trip to England or Japan. But with Berck running two weeks later than normal, we just couldn't handle three weeks on the road during your prime flying season here at home. After all, who would take your phone calls if Susie and I were traveling all the time??

I've been going to France each April for about a dozen years. This was one of the best Bercks ever.

Warm breezes, sunny skies, good friends, great kites and kite flying, and huge crowds made for a ten day treat that seems to go way too quickly.

The flying venue is now spread over a quarter mile with large kites framing the main arena in both directions.

Big Berck Sky

About 250 single-line performers spread out across the wide beaches.

Crowd of Spectators

Pete Dolphin and I worked the northern fields with Jurgen Eppinghaus, Peter Reileit, Karl Dambach, (Germany) Jos and Katje Valke (Belgium), Jon and Gill Bloom, Hugh and Lynn Blowers (UK), and the Molina Brothers (Spain).

Down at the southern end, Peter Lynn (New Zealand), Marco Casadio (Italy), Team No Limit, Rolf and Claudia Zimmerman, Frank Schwiemann and Christine Schwarting and Vleiger Team Dortmund (Germany) filled the sky.

In the center arena, seventeen teams made this the best World Sport Kite Championships so far. And each day, for two full weekends and the week days in between, the public came out to fill the promenade and take in the show.

Each of the featured fliers was given a small hut to store gear and use as a base of operations. Some of the performers used them carefully. Other stuffed in the kites "New Zealand style".

Stuffing the Hut Stuffing the Hut Stuffing the Hut

One of the joys of Berck is seeing new kites go into the air each day. I've already filled two updates with news and photos, but here are some new pieces that arrived the final weekend.

Weekend Show  Weekend Show Weekend Show  Weekend Show

Mid-week, I took a day off for some sightseeing. Northern France has suffered through a thousand years of conflict which is unfortunate, but provides for some fascinating historic education. Over the course of two trips this year, I visited Waterloo, Flanders Field, Agincourt, Crecy, and William the Conqueror's port city of St. Valerie. Amazing stuff!

Saturday we suffered a small mishap when the our Blue Meanie attacked and consumed two of our flying friends. The tragedy was followed by a distressing burping noise that put everyone off from lunch for about two minutes.

Attack of the Meanie

Safe Sex in France

Later in the day, Pete Dolphin actually succeeded in enticing two French woman into the sack. Rumors spread across the beach, but I'm confident Pete's partner back home would not have objected to the transgression. After all, this was carrying safe sex to extremes.

And you thought all we did was work on these overseas flying trips.

Click on the photo for a small surprise.

On Saturday, we were paged to the main arena for a rokkaku battle. Twenty kites lofted into the air and the melee commenced. I say melee because in France the object isn't to win but to amuse the crowd. Fliers pursue deadly tangles and the line they use simply can't be cut. Kites were sucked into the morass and spiraled to the ground one after another. We literally pulled knots down to the ground and cut ourselves free with knives. In the end, Pete and I were the last two left standing. That felt good!

A good week in France concluded with an exuberant award banquet.

Winners of the World Championships were named by our good friend, Gerard Clement. As you now know, they were Element Air of France in first, Tame Bird of France in second, Cutting Edge of the USA in third, and Kamikaze of Japan in fourth.

As late as I sat up typing results onto the net, you better know the results by now!!

Award Banquet  Award Banquet  Award Banquet

At 4 am Monday, we dragged our bags to the curb and boarded the bus for Paris and the flight home. There were memories and experiences, and plenty of good stories stuffed into the baggage as well.

Back in Oregon, there was plenty of work waiting for me. And of course, there was the next trip to prepare for as well! See you out there!!

Waving Hand

Waving Hand Socks: Need a hand on the flying field?? We've got the answer right here in our bag. Seven foot long Waving Hands are fun! Pick up two or three and get some applause going!

We've got blues and yellows here on the shelf and are marking them down for regular readers until the next Update comes out. So instead of $65, you can have one for just $52.

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