No Arvo Flight Yesterday, Responsibilities are beginning to creep in on my flying time
Well I Joined up to KiteLife… Very Happy about that. I feel that the Contribution that KiteLife makes to the Community needs to be supported.
And all those Sweet Tutorials are Pretty good too
I have been Downloading them onto My Ipod Touch.
To Paraphrase SparkieRob, I have a John Barresi In my Pocket.
This morning was nice, Light to Moderate winds when I set up the STD with 3 Wrap and 80# lines
I got in about an hour of Side Slides and Hover Position Practice.
Also doing some Power Dives too, that sudden stop is so sweet.
I was about to pack up when the wind dropped right down, A smile came across my face as I remembered my recently created 50# X 50’ lines.
Away went the regular lines, Out came the 50’s, Frame change on the standard to 2 wrap all round.
In under 5min I was ready to go.
My First though when I was standing there, handles at the ready, “Hey the Rev Looks bigger up closer”
Then it was only a matter of remembering all the Light Wind and Sail Loading stuff from John’s vids....
With A couple of Refresh looks at the Vids (Go go Pocket JB!) I was away.
I was able to Power up to a good height with 4 steps backwards and do Inverted Glides with 9 steps forward. Easily making up Ground.. Yeh!
I got the Side-Side climb going a few times too. All in about 3-5km/h (2-3mph) Ok not super light but Much lighter than my Previous flying efforts.
Awesome Morning. Two Great winds.
I would like to take a moment to talk about my Rev Kit.
B Series Blue/Black STD (3 Wrap)
B Series Purple/Black VTD (4 Wrap)
2 Wrap Frame
Second 3 Wrap frame
2 x Standard Handles with the B series Leaders
50# x 50’ Lines
80# x 85’ LPG Lines
150# x 85’ LPG lines
2 x Weight sets for the B’s
Golf Ball stake (Given to me by SparkieRob, thanks again)
(Soon a Mid vent Lime/Black will pop itself in there on the spare 3 wrap, Sail only on the way)
All of this is kept in a Hard case from a Dual line kite I have had for ages.
One thing that is awesome about this is, I can fly with my Kit slung across my back like a quiver.
I even have my Wind meter on the Strap. I can walk around as I fly without needing to stay close to my stuff. If anyone needs the Area I am in I can walk the kite elsewhwer and not need to go back for anything. I highly recommend keeping your kit easily portable if you can.
Of course if You bring a dozen Rev kites with you that’s great too.
The forecast was not promising for today and although we had a good hour flying from 9:00am the rain then set in. The wind was WNW so not very consistent. Soon after 12 the sun began to break through. We began to set up to fly with Team For Fun but it became clear that it would not be viable so ‘went for lunch’.
From bagno 111 we watched the clouds burn off and the wind turn to the NE. From 2:00 to 3:00 pm we flew in the arena with a little encouragement from Lupo. A great session with some surprise tracks from the Decs ‘back catalogue’ thrown in for good measures…
Soon after 4:30pm we headed back to the arena to find that the late afternoon wind shift was under way. We flew a couple of times in very low wind and then individually just to demonstrate what was possible.
Team For Fun took advantage of the offshore breeze that had then set in and finally we put together a mini mega-team of 9 fliers.
The forecast was for rain today. We had decided to head for the beach for 9:00am regardless and were ‘rewarded’ with a period without rain and a NW breeze which was momentarily strong enough for us to set the standard sails with normal race rods and try the vented kites with green race.
Before the first rain arrived we had gone back to the standard sails with diamond rods in order to cope with the lulls.
We flew 11 in a mini ‘mega’ team before lunch and that was the point that the rain set in initially.
We did get to spend time in the arena during the afternoon and Lupo selected some of our favored tracks but the turbulence from the pine forest along the beach sometimes left us with no means of recovery. All good experience ahead of Weymouth of course where the prevailing wind is over the town. <grins>
We arrived on the beach at about 9:00am to find that there was a very light c1mph onshore ‘breeze’. As the morning progressed this breeze gradually increased. The afternoon session saw enough wind speed to switch to the vented sails with green race rods.
We flew with Team For Fun in a 9 and 10 person format in preparation for the 4:00pm expected presentation in the main arena. The approaching wet weather, however, sent the audience packing and the rain actually arrived at about 4:30pm.
Along the way today we did manage to run through a number of our ‘formal’ routines so it was a productive day in that respect <grins>
The clouds did not clear until about 12:30 today so the onshore breeze did not cut in until about 1:00pm.
We spent some time in the arena this morning and Lupo put ‘Take Five’ out on the PA. Occasionally the breeze was very light and we resorted to free flying.
Late afternoon was very crowded and we moved back to the arena ahead of the allotted time but were quite quickly involved. Alternate performances followed and we ended flying with Team-4-Fun in a ‘mini mega-team’.
Sunny all day today (c23 degrees celcius) and the wind turned onshore at about 10:30am. We flew Robertshaw and Zen kites against the 1.5 sails with Diamond rods all on 100ft lines initially today. The preference was for the latter in the light breezes. We went into the arena c11:15am and had some good flying ahead of the presentation of the fliers at 12.
Lunch was 12:30 at bagno 111 which was very busy with the first sunny day crowds.
We were back in the arena in the run up to the UK presentation in the afternoon at 3:00pm and then a formal two routines close to 5:00pm.
It was quite a frenetic day on the beach today but the weather may calm things down over the weekend.
It has been a stunning first day. Light WNW breeze to start with so a bit bumpy over the trees. We took a break at about 11:30am and within a short time the sea breeze cut in as smooth as we like. Not much more than 3-4 miles an hour but plenty for the 1.5 sails and the Diamond rods.
We did take lunch at bagno 111 and continued flying through the afternoon.
We were due to do an arena turn at 5:00pm and arrived to find that the breeze was dropping.
The event was formally closed but we stayed in the arena and after a few minutes there was just enough to get airborne. Lupo spotted this and cued up ‘Come Together’. We got through just fine and after Carl Robertshaw did a number we finished with Moby… <grins>
Getting to Berck on Thursday 17th April in the evening proved to be quite difficult. Delays in London meant that we would have missed our booked time on the Channel Tunnel. 5 hour delays at the tunnel meant that rather than arriving at Rang-du-Fliers at Midnight we got there at 5:00am on Friday morning! (This was the late contingent, 5 of the team were in Berck earlier in the day on Thursday.)
Despite the difficult start it proved to be a great weekend in the Berck style; team flying early in the day, some ‘run-through’ opportunities for the mega-team late morning, followed by lunch in the tent.
Afternoons started with Mega flies, two line and four line and then demos by the various teams.
Along the way the Decs flew the standard 1.5 sails with Diamond rods in full team for the first time. It will take a while for the team to get used to the responsiveness of these spars but I am sure that they will be used to great effect. <grins>
The flight case will be prepared tomorrow for the Cervia trip.
Hello my fellow dark siders.
It's been a while since my last entry. Well what can i say.
Just over 10 months since my first quad line flight. I did improved a lot (i guess), it just needs a fair bit of fine tuning that will last a lifetime.....
A bit late, but i did my first real steps in team flight on the "just-4-fun" recipe and indeed it's so much fun.
A big thx to Roelof and Will for their big effort in spreading "the virus"
I must admit, it's the next step in the learning curve and a quit addictive one too.
What a great way to meet in my case, friendly people, empty the mind, enjoying nature in a active way.
No it's not a fase... It's an discovery i treasure.
The London Marathon took over Blackheath today, hence the change of venue.
The field to the west of the River Lea and the Velodrome is in the shadow of the media building but clear of obstructions in other directions. As luck would have it the NW breeze today was affected by thermals as well as the building so occasionally we were well and truly becalmed or subject to rolling turbulence and down draft which is not good when flying four line kites…
That being said we had a relaxed couple of hours flying ahead of the events in the next few weeks.
We will be at Berck Friday 18th – Sunday 20th April then at Cervia Thursday 24th April – Thursday 1st May and finally at Weymouth Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th May.
I may decide to join Jacob’s SE London Cycle Group for a ride on Sunday 11th May which will be a c50 Mile ride for me just to keep in practice. I may be tempted to do the Dunwich Dynamo again this year… <grins>
Another, post clock change, late start today. Heavy rain at about 8:30am didn’t exactly help matters.
Soon after 11:00am the question was whether to go Xtra Vent with green race or Full Vent with 4 wrap. We went with the latter option and flew some slow, no calls, close, rolling patterns.
The greening of the Greenwich Park trees was in contrast to the low grey clouds today. We’ll not be on Blackheath next weekend as the London Marathon takes over the whole site. We may go to Victoria Park or possibly the newly opened park on the Olympic site in the Lea Valley.
Hazy and grey today with a variable light SE breeze. With the temperature hitting 20 degrees C it was almost T shirt weather.
It certainly was a treat to fly the 1.5 full sails with Diamond Rods again today. The ‘two turn’ pull to the top of the window and the long, long downwind walk are just great.
We dropped in and out of formal team flying as conditions dictated today and saw some fluent close form free flying albeit with the occasional snagged line or stalled sail. Sometimes it is possible to ‘catch’ the kite on the lines as it falls from the sky…
A close family relative passed away early this morning so it has been a reflective day.
I did get to Blackheath today but only to see if any of the team were still there. It appeared that the thundery showers had sent them packing.
I was on my way home after taking part in a bicycle ride from SE23 (Devonshire Road Nature Reserve to be precise) on the 23rd March led by Jacob who had estimated the ride as 23 miles. It turned out to be 28 miles (with a coffee break in Orpington).
My total for the day was 52 ¼ miles. The new set of wheels, a Genesis Equilibrium 20, worked a treat on this first longer trip. The daily commute in 2014 has been somewhat transformed. <grins>
A sharp clear blue sky today, almost cloudless at c10:15, wind from WNW so the sun was not in the middle of the wind window. Similar temperature to last weekend but felt cooler occasionally given the relative direction of sun and wind. <grins>
Mid vented with Race Rods only occasionally felt over powered.
We took advantage of the mild conditions to do a kit check ahead of the Berck, Cervia and Weymouth events. Ferrules, spar sets, leading edge mesh and lines were reviewed and various components were set aside for further attention, as in TLC. Given that the main team kites arrived in 2008 they are still in very good shape.
It appears that the Turkmenistan event will not happen in 2014. We also learned that Bristol will be a biennial event, next occurring in 2015. We may have to dream up some alternative ‘pop up’ events to fill the gaps! Super 16 anyone?
Some of us didn’t quite manage to arrive at 10:00am but it was not by much <grins>.
Who would not want to be out flying on this spring like day with the temperature approaching 20C?
Vented kites with race rods worked for most of the session but we switched to full sails with race in order to do some ‘team’ flying including the six person ‘sprocket’. (Rowan was the exception here, he just flew his mid-vent with race) The sunny conditions meant that there were plenty of visitors to the Heath and we frequently had appreciative audiences.
A slightly early close today as Maggie had to prepare for an event at Hackney Attic; The Second Sunday Salon…
It was bright to start c11:45am but the low cloud gradually thickened and the variable breeze rose incrementally.
Xtra Vent kites again but because of the lulls we went for green race which mostly coped except for some of the more sustained gusts.
The GB Foreign Office and USA State Department seem to be in concert regarding Turkmenistan so it looks like we will pursue the possibility of attending the event at the beginning of August subject to ongoing political issues in the region.
Interesting to hear of the kite event in Alor Setar. Our visit there was a long time ago. I think that we should try to travel further east again in the near future…
22mph gusting to 38mph* is not really very comfortable for team flying so we did not attempt too much today with the Xtra Vents and 4 wrap rods. However, a neat rolling ball materialized at one point before a gust prompted a quick but elegant un-winding fire drill…
The Xtra Vents ‘side slide’ and ‘reverse fly’ very smoothly and some outward facing counter ‘pendulums’ looked very neat as well as the close knit rolling rotations that have become central to our ‘not called’ flying.
That 'indicator light' issue in the car from the beginning of the month on leaving Blackheath proved to be expensive. Driving back to Hackney today the Thames cable crossing was still operating so maybe it was not all that windy after all!
*Met Office figures
Clear blue skies today with a few ‘fluffy white clouds’ in contrast to the gales and torrential rain up to yesterday and meant full 1.5 sails and race rods.
The occasionally shifting breeze allowed us to ‘perform’ for the passing Blackheath audience who were particularly vocal today. It is strange, though, to have to tell someone that, yes, we have been flying on Blackheath with these kites since 1989.
We did get to test the initial ‘pass by’ of the ‘free flying’ project but Rowan suggested that he would try to document the moves for the individual fliers. There is an interesting level of abstraction involved when the shape that is to be invoked is ‘completely’ transitional, as in, moving! <grins>
Xtra Vents with 4 wrap rods today for most of us but Maggie flew her vented Rev 2. It was blustery but not quite as extreme as at Washington Tyne and Wear one year when almost all of the single line kites had been brought down but we still went ahead with a demo…
In difficult conditions ‘free flying’ can be the most viable option and watched closely can produce some excellent interaction provided that the fliers are suitably attuned.
Figuring out how to direct fliers who are all flying individual trajectories may be the latest challenge. You have flown the ‘grid’ and maybe the sprocket (grinder?) or ‘Dutch Windmill’ so what comes next? <grins>
Didn’t travel last Sunday as the rain was due to start at 10am and continue until 3pm. The forecast was correct.
Mid Vents with Race Rods seemed appropriate today initially but the increasingly blustery airflow eventually meant that we switched to Full Vents, still with Race Rods. The low cumulus built up gradually while we were on the ‘heath’, no doubt reflecting the turbulence at ground level. The cloudscape was curiously three-dimensional today.
Driving home one of those ‘warning’ indicator lights in the car illuminated and the manual stated that the vehicle should be taken to a diagnostic facility without delay. Who needs that?
Another 10:45am arrival today but it was warmer and drier than last weekend in the light, fairly steady, westerly breeze. Full 1.5 sails with race rods worked fine except for one short interlude. We ran through some of the four person routines in anticipation of the Cervia event.
Blackheath is great for watching the clouds and we were treated to some long regular bands of cumulus today appearing from the SW apparently heading N and E.
Having finalized the line-up for Cervia today I went on-line to find that our preferred flight times/routes were almost fully booked. A couple of quick calls later we managed to get everything arranged but it did feel like a close call. Making travel arrangements with the team has always been a challenge <grins>
I Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year.
I am getting back out there and flying.
Well I actually got a chance to fly twice in my 2 week Christmas Holidays.
MGower was out there with me both times, always great company.
Both times were super light winds. SparkieRob had his Rev Indoor outdoors on the day he joined me.
Even though conditions were light it was great to get out there.
Back into It:
I am going to do something different to cover my First week back. Because each day had very similar conditions and the same kites were flown in them I will give the general mood of the week and point out the highlights.
Each morning I hit the field about 5am and stayed there till about 8am. The Flying week started on Tuesday, as Monday was still part of my Holidays. MGower joined me on field every morning. We got in about 12 hours of field time, and got to fly a selection of kites day. Does it get any better than that?
Every day was Zero to Very light wind at the start, but after about an hour the breeze would start up. Enough for the Zen and the SUL. This would slowly build more, and change direction to give us enough to fly the Standard Rev B’s.
It was very interesting conditions. With the slow build up each day, it meant there were no sudden changes that had to be dealt with. It was a slow predictable build with not many gusts. The First day was a little worrying. The wind was almost non-existent, but as it built up, the kites and our spirits rose.
Each following morning was started off on Gliders, but the Zen and SUL were staked out in preparation for the winds to come. As the winds picked up I would take turns on MGower’s Zen and my SUL. I find them to be very interesting together. The Zen is a little easier for me to float in the lighter winds but it stears a bit slower than the SUL. Feeling the difference in performance between the 2 light wind Revs each day was very interesting. The light winds push my skill to keep the Rev moving slowly and carefully, to just keep flying. I do get tired with light wind flying after a while so It was good that the wind offered more every day.
When the wind got high enough the Standard B’s were brought out onto the field. There really only was just enough wind to keep the Standard Rev Sail full. It was good though, Floating and Catch & Throw were the order of the day.
One of the days we busted out the Masterpiece kites. These kites of MGower’s are awesome. They can be a bit visually distracting though. I caught myself just watching the Sizzle hover.
I went a bit crazy on friday and flew the Rev 1 instead of my B series.
It was a great week, of mild wind and excellent company.
Thanks for reading, comments are appreciated (they are my reward for all that typing)
It was a bright frosty start in Hackney but by the time we arrived on Blackheath c10:45 the grass was frost free. On the way the flags were hanging down but the forecast breeze cut in as we walked onto the field. Mid vents with race and full vents with race worked today.
Rowan flew his new sail* and eventually found that inverted hovers were a bit difficult with the gradually increasing wind speed. An extra ¾ inch brake step made the kite much more controllable for him. We went on to run through Plan A and also did some repeated UK and EU ‘roundabouts’ as a ‘warm-up’ exercise towards the end of the session.
The intermittent low cloud had gradually become more persistent and thickened so there was no further prospect of warming sunshine…
*picture attached FJM
We did not fly on New Years Day but flew six today from soon after 10:30am.
Full sail 1.5s with Race Rods and 3 wrap worked most of the time but there were lulls when the Diamond Rods might have helped keep the team work going in the southerly breeze. The darkness of the weather front approaching from the west, dampness in the air and increasing wind speed led to an early end to the session today but not before Rowan was introduced to the six person sprocket.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to quit while you’re ahead…