July 23
Weekend in Brookings Harbor

The most important thing I have to say about Brookings is that the people there are really nice. The organizers are nice, the spectators are nice, and the other fliers are, of course, nice. For nine years, they have been operating a fine kite show and they have a system that works. This is undoubtedly the best kite show in Oregon. After being invited for the past three years, we decided to return to Brookings and their well choreographed kiteshow system.

Brooking Arena

Now this system involves a field that is much smaller than it looks here. The overall size is about 200 feet long and 75 wide, nestled between an RV park and the small harbor. Spectators line up along one side with their coolers and lawn chairs; fliers line up along the other side with their cabanas and banners. Then, one-by-one, performers are invited to take the field for a brief performance or "walk through".

GKPI Banners

Giant Kite Walk Through

Crown Demo

It looks like a constant kite parade marching through and the crowd loves it. The sport kite fliers enjoy the extra attention, the opportunity to fly several times each day before an appreciative audience, and an all-too-rare chance to be treated to travel, rooms, and meals instead of paying registration fees. Regional kitemakers also enjoyed some well deserved attention. But I have to tell you that as much as we appreciated the invitation and the great hospitality, the Brooking system didn't work well for us.

Dragging three giant kites onto the field for a five minute flight, and then pulling them down just as quickly, deflating them, and packing them out of the way is really hard work! The light and changing winds, plus ground that was too hard and rocky to set anchors, made for difficult flying. Sport kites and lines were everywhere in the set-up area. And the possibility of stronger wind gusts could have turned the situation dangerous.

We got about ten minutes notice before our performance and recruited "human anchors" from among our friends in the Rogue Valley Windchasers. Then we walked two of the five kites we brought through the arena. We launched two crowns, which in this case actually happened to belong to Rod and Cindy Thrall. The announcer thanked us and asked us to move aside for the next flier. All together, we spent one minute on the field for every hour we had driven to get there....

Now I want to emphasize again, this is a fine event organized by great people. New people are exposed to kiting and all the fliers are treated right. I sincerely appreciated the invitation. If you are invited next time, you should go. But if they ask you to come specifically to fly big kites, well, think about it.

Next week we are off to Berkeley. See you there!!

We've decided to sell our Peter Lynn Slug.

This kite is well flown and well fixed too. There are yards of repair patches. But the colors are still crisp and it has plenty of life left in it. Besides, it is the only one of its kind.

This is the giant size Lynn creation The body measures about 40 feet with a matching single bucket tail stretching another 40 feet. The original price was $4200. It looks super in the air. But considering how it looks up close, we'll part with it for $1500.

Slug

Click on the photo
to see the entire body

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