May 31, 2007
Wildwood: Moments of Splendor

Wildwood View

At Wildwood last weekend, we had a great time. Winds were up and down which meant we had to work. It was poor flying, interrupted with moments of splendor. Because when everything was in the air, the show was incredible!

Jeff and Bob

The problem with flying larger kites is that you donít get to wander the festival checking out everything else. Most of us stayed pretty close to our anchors -- ready to send kites up when the winds stopped teasing, or ready to untangle them when breezes dropped away.

What that means is that there were lots of things I didnít get good pictures of.

  • Down the beach, a couple of dozen sport kite fliers competed.

  • Learn to fly fields were active for dual and four liners.
  • Fighter kites engaged all weekend and the rok battles were spirited.
  • Quad pilots hovered their sails just above the boardwalk, mesmerizing by-passers.
  • A wonderful night fly filled the sky with color and movement.
  • I Quad continued to dominate the performance fields.
  • Art kites and hand crafted treasures were well worth a close look.
  • Fliers bid big at the auction, dressed up as pirates for the banquet, and then danced the night away to music from an all-flier band
Dennis and Crabby

So those are a few of the things I didnít get good pictures of.

Early each morning, we dug our anchors in deep and spread fabric around the field. Then Al Sparling, Mike Agner, Pete Dolphin, Tim Maruzack, Jeff Burka, Gary Engval, Kelly Mayhew / Dennis Hawley and I launched a big pile of Octopus.

Octo from Above
Octo from Above Octo from Above

More often then not, the half-inflated kites lay on the ground waiting for wind.

Octo Up Close
Octo Up Close Octo Up Close
Big Kites
Big Kites Big Kites

But when they went up, the sky was filled! All together, there were eleven Octopus on the beach with as many as ten in the sky at any given time. That included three of the Over-Large Octopus (OLO) which stretch 20 feet wide and 130 feet long. That's twice the volume of a standard giant Octopus.

Big Kites
Big Kites Big Kites Big Kites
Ground Display
Ground Display

Closer to the boardwalk, banners and ground displays jockeyed for the attention of visitors walking by. Huge red, white, and blue exhibits commutated the Memorial Day Holiday.

Bag of Wind

By some measures, Wildwood is shrinking. Certainly, there were fewer competitors than several years ago. The banquets are smaller. And by my count, there were fewer fliers on the field.

But anyone walking by would be hard pressed to say that there wasnít a grand festival going on!

So hats off to Roger, Beatrix, and all the workers and volunteers who made Wildwood a success again. Thanks for a fine time and a fine event! Iíve been attending since 1990 and plan on going back next May.

Thanks also to Kelly, Dennis, and Pete for some great photos. Aerial shots courtesy of Pete Dolphin.

Next stop: Ocean Shores, Washington. Susie and I will drive up Friday afternoon. The flying weather looks spectacular. Come join us!!

Giant Caterpillars -- Sale Extended to June 9:

So if you liked the looks of those Caterpillars up there, maybe youíd like one of your own. Big pile of fabric for the money Ė and nice place to get out of the wind. Major kiddie pleasers too!

They are 10 feet tall and 50 feet long. Huge!!

List price, as you know, is $1400. But order one between now and the end of May, and weíll give you a 25% credit -- $350 to spend on anything else you buy.

You get to choose the colors too! For more details, click here.

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