Wildwood has it all. After twenty years, this events boasts the granddaddy of US sport kite competitions, the largest indoor flying venue in the country, workshops and exhibitions, fighter and rokkakus, themed parties, an auction, and plenty of socializing. But for me, the real draw is the wide open beach filled with huge single-line showpieces.
This was my 15th trip to New Jersey on Memorial Weekend and the consensus was that it was the best sky show ever.
Looking around, it wasn't hard to understand why a Gomberg would be happy with the show in Wildwood. Check out some of these kites from the Wildwood Sky and tell me what they have in common...
I spent most of my time on the back side of the beach with Pete Dolphin, Al Sparling, Tim Maruszczak, and Mike Agner. Together we launched a stack of Manta Ray, a school of Fish, a gaggle of Gecko, and a throbbing pair of Spikey Balls.
Closer to the Boardwalk, Wayne Brooks lofted three color-coordinated trains of inflatables. Lehigh Valley and South Jersey flew a variety of art pieces, and Tim and Karen Waters popped up two huge Crowns. The Dahlmers inflated a ten foot Bug at their camp sight while the VanMeers erected dozens of banners in a huge red/white/blue display.
Here's a good sequence illustrating how we deflate the big pieces in strong winds. Disconnect the flying line and hang onto the bridle. Have someone reliable and careful grasp the back end of the kite and hold tight. Then release the bridle and let the entire kite swing around downwind. That's right -- completely let go!! Air pressure empties the inflatable. it is quick, dramatic, and fun!
Storms swirled around Wildwood but never really hit us. Late Saturday, a series of thunderheads rolled over, causing us to pack six big kites away in just half an hour. (Kite Triage - the ones going on airplanes get in bags first. If you are driving, it doesn't cost extra to carry home wet fabric!) But Sunday the wind turned from the west allowing everything to fly facing the Boardwalk.
Then Monday, the breeze and sky turned perfect. Instead of rolling into the holiday traffic -- a few diehards popped up smaller kites and flew together just for fun and each other. When Barry Poulter's Comet drifted close to Pete Dolphin's cellular Crown, people started to snicker. I'm not really sure why. They were saying something about 'fertilizing the sky....'
Monday night we drove back to Philly and then Tuesday, I flew the long route home.
For those of you concerned that this Update is late, remember that I've only had two days home this week. And tomorrow, we plan to drive up to Ocean Shores. That means flying on the Atlantic one day and the Pacific two days later. What a crazy and wonderful life....
Fish Comparisons We've been getting questions about the Peter Lynn Fish and the one introduced this year by Premier. Both are about twenty feet long. So why is the one we make more expensive??
Well, one answer is that even though the length is similar, we are twice as big. That means double the fabric costs.
We also have a lot more detail. And with all due respect, I think our Fish looks better. But decide for your self! The important thing is to have fun!!
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