May 30, 2006
Wildwood at 21

There is a certain irony that this granddaddy of American sport kite events is now old enough to drink. I’ve attended each year since 1989, which is also a bit hard to imagine.

Things change over the course of 20 years. Sport kiting is struggling and it was sad to see only 19 fliers registered. The Tricks Party event drew six contestants. There were more fliers on the fighter kite field. So lets hope and strive to see sport kiting bounce back in the near future.

Boardwalk View

Over on the festival field, attendance seemed thinner as well. But the difference wasn’t noticeable from the boardwalk. A huge assortment of inflatables filled the skyline.

OZ Kites OZ Kites OZ Kites

Of particular delight were the creations of Phil McConnachie visiting from Australia. He brought a large Mermaid, Neptune, and Frilly Neck Lizard. Phil’s Sharks, Orca, and Dolphin were also a big hit. It took a while for people to remember the S.S. Orca appliquéd on the “barrel” drogue being pulled behind the Shark. I thought a Martin Lester Bottom Half would have made an equally interesting drogue.

OZ Kites OZ Kites OZ Kites

We flew a three stack of Giant Fish, two Giant Gecko, and two Giant Manta Ray. Winds on Friday and Saturday were hard and bumpy, which meant a lot of crashes and a bit of damage.

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WW Kites WW Kites WW Kites

Lee Sedgewick danced his floating quadline discs along the edge of the field. He seemed able to make the kite do anything. Art kites from Ron Gibean, Jose Sainz, Cliff, Quinn, Barry Poulter, and Ed Shenk rounded out the show.

Sunday night, an Award Fiesta offered great food and fun. We were each issued sombreros. Inside was a “made in Mexico” sticker which we peeled off and stuck on Jose. Afterward, I collected the remaining balloon decorati0nbs and distributed them to children on the Boardwalk.

Organizer Roger Chewning has retired and is moving to Costa Rica. But he will remain involved in future Wildwoods along with his new business partner, Beatrice Pelton. And we’ll hope to see international kite events in South America soon too.

Sutton and Snake Tails

Snake Tail Sale: Put one of these great tails behind a solid SLK or on the flying line and dramatically increase your sky presence.

We've got the 60 foot snake in black and white with an end section in red, blue, purple, or yellow. The list price is $50 but we'll take off 20% through he month of June or until we run out of colors.

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