September 11
Bristol England

Bristol is the quintessential British kite event. There are others that are arguably just as good, but none that are better.

Peter Lynn joined Martin Lester and Marco Casadio in launching the largest kites. And the local English clubs lofted enormous cooperative projects. Susie and I added a few pieces of our own. The result was a sky was filled with huge inflatables. There were octopus, squid, giant whales, divers and mermaids everywhere. And just for variety, a swimming teddy bear joined the show

Big Kites in Bristol

Martin Lester was one of the original organizers of the event fifteen years ago. Now he assists Avril Baker with the task. But his work is, of course, very much in evidence. Check out some of the custom scuba divers made especially for the Midlands Kite Fliers. GKPI features al of Martin's kites as part of our KiteMaster's Guild

Divers Divers Divers

This trip we also decided to air out a set of four stacked rokkakus that we commissioned from Stretch Tucker several years ago. The kites still look fantastic and will be featured in Dieppe next week.

Gomberg Roks Gomberg Roks

Here are a few more kites that caught our attention. One is a unique dyed design from Steve Brockett of Wales. The second is an giant Cody, easily 25 feet wide, and finally one of the famous bare-breasted mermaids of Marco Casadio. Do you think anyone would object if we flew one of these at the Smithsonian?? BTW - if you want a mermaid, we can arrange to have Marco ship one in.

Steve Brockett Giant Cody Flying Mermaid

Bristol attracted guests from as far as New Zealand and South Africa. Here are Wolfgang and Robert Grimsel of Germany. We have Wolfgang's kites in the Guild as well. Also featured at the event were the Bay Area Sundowners. The team was joined by Mark and Jeanette Lumas who are in the process of relocating to California. And finally, we shared a few beers and ideas for new kites with the indomitable Peter Lynn.

Wolfgang and Roberg Grimsel Bay Area Sundowners Peter Lynn

We spent the balance of the week touring Northern England and Scotland. We climbed Hadrian's Wall, visited the battlefields of Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge, explored a dozen romantic or imposing castles, and discovered a delightful Scotch pastime -- whiskey sampling. Then we rushed south to attend a historic reenactment from the War of the Roses near Hastings. Tonight we are in London with Paul and Natalie Reynolds. Paul chairs the International Sport Kite Rule Committee, and Natalie is famous for the special Lester Legs she inspired a few years back.

Tomorrow, Susie flies home and I take the ferry to Dieppe. Hope they don't run out of gas!!

Meanwhile, we are bringing a few treats home with us. That includes a half dozen Pyro or "Ghost" deltas by Frank Schwiemann and a bag of extended wing Codys. We'll have all of them for sale at the AKA convention in two weeks. But if you want to beat the crowd, we'll take 15% off either between now and the 20th. Just let us know....

*Back to the Update Index

*Back to Gomberg Kite Productions International