April 16, 2008
Sunday in Berck: Monday at Work

The bus left Berck at 4:30 am headed for the airport in Paris.

I won’t tell you which well-known kite personality had a flight booked three hours ahead of everyone else. Some things are better left unsaid….

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We’d enjoyed a delightful week on the coast of France. Considering that the predictions had been heavy winds, sleet and rain, the weather had been quite gracious with several days of near-perfect flying. Competition had run smoothly and teams were satisfied with the results. Spreading the trophies over three continents left everyone feeling included.

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While not the enormous show of 2007, Berck still reigns as the best show kite event anywhere. South on the beach, a larger field dominated by Peter Lynn and the German Teams of Zimmerman, AufWind, and Dortmund filled the sky with large inflatables.

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In the center arena, sport kites demos dominated between competitions. That included mega flies and massed revolutions shows.

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And finally, further north where we were camped, large cellulars and smaller artistic pieces darted around. Aerial photography aficionados wove in and out of the action. And everywhere, mobs of spectators pressed against the seawall or field boundaries.

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Berck is a town of about 15,000. So the arrival of half a million guests over the course of a week is a pretty big deal. That would be a big deal anywhere and is incredible for a kite festival. But the town handled it well. We never ran out of food, hot water, or toilet paper. And the warm welcome never seemed to wear thin either.

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Rather than post reviews of all the kites, I like to show small hints from Berck. Check out the thumbnails, use your imagination, and then click for the larger image.

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By the way, our YouTube postings of team videos have now generated 3500 hits. Check out http://www.youtube.com/user/NeoKiteGuy to see the entiure collection and some great team flying!

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We finished Berck with a gala banquet attended by the Mayor and many local dignitaries. Trophies were awarded, speeches were made, and lots of good French wine was drunk. Dancing went on until after two. The next day, not everyone was on the beach early.

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So Sunday I flew in Berck. And Monday night I was home for work. Actually, I was wading through emails that required some follow-up and preparing for shipments due in the next morning.

We’re home for a few weeks, having decided to pass on Weifang this year. Watch for news of some new arrivals and designs in the coming weeks.

Sharky Sale! Here's another great Europen kite. Ludovico Bertozzi of Italy came up with this whimsical flying fish with the sad eyes and big toothy grin. He inflates through a small meshed vent in the nose and once filled, will hold shape effectively even in lighter winds.

Sharky is big too – about 18 feet long. He is priced to fly at $350. But through May 1, we'll take off 20% and you can fly one for $280.

Choose red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple body with either gray or white underside.

Sharky

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