June 30, 2008
21 Big Ones in Lincoln City!

The best story of the weekend was when Ben walked up and said, "You just cost me $100..."

Seems he had told his boss, Dave Hadzicki, that we couldn’t fit 21 giant Octopus onto the small Lincoln City beach. And Hadzicki apparently replied, "You don’t know Dave Gomberg!" So they bet $100 on the outcome.

I laughed at the story. "Don't bet against me, my friend." I told Ben.

Breaking the Octopus record in Lincoln City was ambitious! The flying space is notoriously small. And the D-River occasionally turns across the sand compressing things even more.

Octos in Oregon

The previous record was at the AKA convention in Ocean Shores. That gathering had the advantage of bringing fliers (and kites) from all around the country. So to match the feat, we’d had to import a few big bags.

Octos in Oregon

From North Carolina, we brought Jim Martin and Mike and Judy Agner. From Washington DC came Jeff Burka and Marc Berstein. Al Sparling flew in from Chicago.

Barry, Karen, and Will Ogletree came up from Texas. Phil and Barbara Burk brought an Octopus from Portland.

Mike North and Dave and Karleen Hoggan arrived with a huge pile of fabric from the Berkeley Kite Wranglers. Brian Champie and Burnett Lee came from Central California. And doubting Ben Dantonio brought his Octopus from San Diego.

The Lincoln City event, like most festivals, historically featured a sport kite show in the main arena. So it took some negotiations to shift the maneuverable kites off-center and fill up the main space with large inflatables.

Double Click

Double Click

Winds were ideal and low tide was scheduled for mid–afternoon so that helped too. And the result was that we built a show through the course of the day that stopped traffic on nearby Highway 101.

For those of you interested in the technical side, we used super sand anchors and split the bridles on each kite so they could be stacked three high. Some anchors held as many as six lines. In some cases, we used lifter loops attached to the lines of upper kites to minimize drift. That locked the entire pile together.

We started on the inland side of the field, launched a stack, added an anchor as the tide receded, and worked our way out. Kites were organized in two rows that eventually contained ten or eleven kites each.

Octos in Oregon
Octos in Oregon

The show included one OLO. We used the larger kite to support several below on each flying line.

After breaking the old record Saturday, the Octo Crew decided to take a break Sunday and only fly 15 kites. Only.

We rigged a strap to the flying line closest to the public and invited them to come in one-at-a-time to experience the pull on the line. Good fun! Kids -- and grown-ups were lined up for hours.

Then we packed everything to create a huge pile of baggge and lugged it off the beach.

This was one of the best Lincoln City festivals in many years. Saturday car counts in the wayside park were up from about 900 last September (traditionally the larger festival) to 3000 this year. But more important than the attendance, those of us on the beach genuinely had fun!

Susie and I are off to South Africa on the fifth and are working to get everything organized before we depart on a ten-day trip. Our Summer Kite Marathon continues!!

Check back next week for more news!

We're celebrating a new world record! Starting with six in Berkeley, we took twelve to Thailand and then nineteen to Berck. In Ocean Shores we flew twenty. And now twenty-one in our hometown of Lincoln City.

So let's put Octopus on sale!! Buy a standard 20 footer for $400, or a twelve foot mini for $70, and we'll drop the price 20%. Offer is good through July 15.

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