Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • KiteLife

      Use of Forum

      Greetings, we've received notice of a few forum members soliciting other users for specifications on some of the Revolution kites... Please be advised, any such confirmed activity will result in immediate suspension of forum privileges. Making your own Rev style kite for artisitic purposes is admirable, but directly copying the patterns in use will not be encouraged here.
  • entries
    470
  • comments
    66
  • views
    136,849

About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

Felix

We arrived back in the UK today after a fairly intense 10 days travelling and kiting in Canada.

The first weekend was at Saint-Honore in Quebec.  The site for this event is a live airport.  Flying kites on or close to the third runway was a novel experience.  The other two runways were in use all the time, mostly light aircraft but also military and firefighting craft. 

There was some rain on the first day.  The second day was mostly sunny and ended with one of the best Rev Night Flies that I have experienced.  As the performance was ending the rain started and as the lights shut down with the kites landed there was an intense shower…

The final morning was mostly wet and towards the end of the drier afternoon a thunder storm approached.  We packed kites and then witnessed the formation of a supercell storm with the characteristic cloud formations and final deluge.

We then had three days wandering around Montreal enjoying some of the ‘cultural’ facilities <grins>

The second weekend was at Swift Current in Saskatchewan.  This event has a reputation for challenging wind conditions but we had two days of sunny conditions and fairly benign but changeable breezes.  The gopher holes and their occupants were very much in evidence on the flying field.

We had hoped to be six fliers for both events and we succeeded in finding a volunteer at each one to make the number…

Felix

Felix

A residual cold front passed over Blackheath around midday with some unusual cloud formations.  There was some hope, once we realized what was happening, that the blustery SW air stream would calm down.  It did not happen!

We were on full vented mostly with race rods which were definitely overstressed in the gusts.  At lighter moments we were able to keep the kites in the air without trouble.

All set, such as one can be, for the visits to Saint Honore and Swift Current… Watching the weather forecasts for both sites is a bit interesting at this stage!

Felix

Felix

Not so hot today but there was a mostly steady SW breeze so vented sails with race rods to cope with the lulls.  Typical summer Blackheath wind shifts were in evidence and the swifts were occasionally out in force again.

Nothing called today but we were set to prepare the kites for the Canada trip.  30 kites were duly checked and boxed along with spare spars and the ‘tent’.  Excess sand was discarded as well...

I am now 2 clear months in to my new regime.  It seems that the world at large is intent on upsetting my calm resolve but the absence of occupational stress has been significant!

Just need to get on that flight on the 15th June <grins>

Felix

Felix

The forecast was for 2mph switching from north to south or maybe the other way around at midday.  Not a great prospect…

The net result was predictable, no wind!

The thick high cloud kept the temperature a reasonable c23c and the swifts were putting on a fine display with the very occasional (once today) head height pass.

The thundery depression moving up from the Bay of Biscay lost its bite soon after passing the Channel Islands and did not appear to be very intense when it reached the Portsmouth area c2:00pm.

We will hope for good flying the next two weekends ahead of the Canada trip <grins>

Felix 

Felix

Another pre-11:00am start today.  The wind was from the south but variable in the summer Blackheath way with thermal effect moving through, from very light to ‘quite strong’ and 90 degree direction shifts within a short, c2 minute, interval.

Mostly full sails with diamond LE and race uprights.  One flier left diamond uprights in and lost one in a gust at the usual fail point…

Rowan opted for the mid vent and was able to use his rapidly expanding light wind skills and the extended handles to keep up with the rest of us…

A mostly called session today with Ashley refining the six flier thread to arcs and rotation with the ‘long’ get in.

Canada preparations are almost complete now!

Felix

Felix

Arrived just after 10:30am today as we had arranged to receive the team kites back from Cervia, courtesy Tom.

Bright and breezy from the west, 12 – 20 mph at a guess so we were on full vented sails with mostly race rods.  Six up for a while as Damon had joined us again.

A mostly called session once we got going and even when we were down to four Ashley kept up the pace.  We actually ran through one of the old prepared routines as well which seemed very short and un-demanding compared to some of the more recent efforts.

Four weeks now before the Canada trip.  Just need to agree who is going to do the driving!

Felix

Felix

We were late arriving today, c11:30am and found Maggie already flying with Damon and his brother Justin. 

I had to switch back to a 120ft line-set so as the beach events for the year are done I rolled out a new set of lines.

We flew six for a while with Damon and Justin but as they had been on the Heath since 8:30am they did not stay for long!

Some lazy free flying followed but as the northerly breeze was on the cool side we wrapped at about 1:00pm.

Felix

Felix

And then it was all over.  Monday started with a light onshore breeze.  All very encouraging.  We went to lunch hoping for a classic Cervia afternoon. 

What we got was a quickly increasing breeze which was probably a consistent 30 mph which simply closed the event…

We managed to get the kites and kit safely stowed without loss or accident but it was a close call…

We will hope to be back next year!

Felix

Felix

The JMH Rokakku was OK on the light offshore breeze first thing today.  We did not really attempt to fly the Revs in the stop/start conditions.

As with yesterday an early lunch coincided with the breeze switching to onshore!  We did not get into the arena early enough after lunch but will try harder tomorrow!

The 2 meter JMH Roks had an airing during the afternoon but the yellow one was not settled.  A bit more fine tuning is required.

The final arena performance saw Tom getting into the groove of team calling.  A very satisfactory result for the end of the fourth day…

Felix 

Felix

Another fine day in Cervia.  The wind switched at about 12:15 at which point we had adjourned to 111 for an early lunch.

We were intent on taking the opportunity to get some time in the arena after the early lunch which we duly did.  Team for Fun joined us soon after 2:00 pm so we were able to combine forces for a while before vacating the space for the formal events which start at 2:30pm.

I had the opportunity to see Trevor’s portrait kite during the afternoon.  Along with the other subjects I will be flying the kite at 4:00pm tomorrow.

Felix

Felix

The second day wind set in steadily from the SE again so there was a full Cervia sky 

Not much room in the arena but we did get six kites up in the morning around the JMH rokakku.

Arena slots at 5:30pm and then the night fly where once again the JMH rokakku was the right kite for the conditions…

Felix

Felix

An excellent first day here in Cervia.  Good onshore breeze form the start of play this morning… 

Got to pitch the ‘tent’ in the usual place and get warmed up before lunch at 111. 

The afternoon fly was a good rehearsal prior to an arena presentation called by Tom just before 5:00pm.

Felix

Felix

A bright morning but while there was some sun, the NW breeze was not warm. 

The Easter Circus occupied our usual patch so we were on the east side of the road on the slope down to the pond!

Nothing formal today, just re-arranging the kite bag post Berck and getting 100ft line sets out for Cervia.

It will be an early start on Thursday but it will be great to set up the ‘tent’ on the beach again…

Felix

Felix

Nine days at Berck was a real treat.  We were not subjected to any severe wind or rain/snow and the event ended on a summery high note and an accompanying grid-lock on the roads out of town early Sunday evening.

 The Mega Team performed very much in line with our expectations, a respectable 56 on Saturday 8th April putting in a polished performance over something like 25 minutes… Winds on the light side made for demanding flying at times.

 We’ll be going back next year, I’m sure, so I will be looking out for the dates in due course <grins>

 Felix

Felix

Easterly breeze today, not quite as strong as last weekend so full vented with a mix of spars.  The white ‘race’ type did feel a bit stressed, 4 wrap would have been better.

Free flying to begin and then a final called session as a warm up to the Berck event.

We did a shuffle of kites into an extra bag for ‘logistical’ considerations.  A cabin on the beach is booked, we just need to make sure that we have enough chairs… 

It will be interesting to see how many fliers do actually turn up for the mega fly ‘rehearsals’ this year… 

Felix

Felix

A complete contrast this week with a strong westerly breeze.  Xtra vents with four wrap were not too much effort except in the stronger gusts.

Final arrangements for Berck are in hand.  We will be an eight person team for the whole week with three additional fliers for the last three days…

We will be travelling out on Friday 31st March, the last official day of my employment.  It is going to be a strange moment!

Felix

Felix

The forecast for today was not good but the approaching front stalled during the morning so we did get to fly for a bit today.

Very little air movement as we walked onto the heath at about 10:30am.  We decided to fly first and then check kit ahead of Berck.  Full sails with diamond rods got us into the sky but little else. 

The kit check revealed almost all was in order.  Mostly green race leading edges in the vented kites.  Diamond leading edges in the full sails with black race uprights.  Four wraps in the Xtra Vents…

 

We ended up with kite lines at all points of the compass and as the few first spots of rain arrived decided to call it a day.  3 hours later it is still raining, albeit, lightly…

 

Felix

Felix

Windy today, from the South so for the first time in a long time we were on Xtra Vents.  Jade was on the line today so we have ‘borrowed’ from him the sixth kite from our set for Berck just in case we do not meet up in the meantime.

 

The details for Portsmouth came through today so that should be finalized in the next week or so pretty much wrapping up arrangements for 2017.

I will not be flying next weekend as I have to ‘work’ on tidying up a server room in the ‘handover’ to the outside contractor who will be looking after the company systems when I leave at the end of March.  What fun!

 

Felix

Felix

The southbound A12 towards the Blackwall tunnel was slow and then closed as we were close to the final approach. We diverted to the Rotherhithe tunnel but probably lost ½ an hour in the process.

On the heath there was a reasonably steady westerly breeze so we were on 1.5 full vented with race rods or some mid vents… Where is that team set?

Much warmer than last weekend, probably double figures but still quite a bit of called flying today.

6 weeks to Berck.  There should be 11 of us to contribute to the final weekend’s mega fly effort!

Felix

Felix

It was a really gloomy day today with no distant horizons.

The breeze from the NW was however quite consistent and so we were on full 1.5 sails with mostly race rods…

It was 2-3 degrees Celsius and so in order to keep warm we did do a fair bit of called flying.  Thoughts were of Berck, just 7 weeks away!

Just need to get the Canadian ‘tour’ wrapped up now.

Felix 

Felix

It looked like the Heath would be in the clouds as we approached up the hill from the Blackwall Tunnel.

 

It was a Northerly breeze on site, with the fog/clouds barely lifted and only occasional change in the flat grey ceiling. 

Mostly full vented 1.5s with race rods.  There were some lighter spells but as it was mostly not called flying that was not an issue.  Plenty of close interaction with just a few accidental touches and over wound lines.  Some themes become apparent but it would be very difficult to write them into a routine.

Arriving back in Hackney the sun was just visible through the thick high cloud.

Felix

Felix

We had a critical escalation of the projected costings for the Canada trip but flights are now booked.  I had better set up the 2017 events web page on the Decs site!

The forecast was for rain today but the timing was a bit uncertain.  It was still quite bright in Hackney but on reaching the A12 there was light rain.  This increased south of the river but there was brightness to the south and west.

Walking onto the field there was another short spell of rain but it looked like it was clearing.  By the time we had run out the lines it was stopping.

A lightish southerly breeze so we had opted for mid vents with race frame.  Nothing called but plenty of close interaction.

The bright sky to the south occasionally rendered the Greenwich Park trees an extraordinary colour against a slate black northerly cloudscape.

Raining again now back in Hackney…

Felix 

Felix

Light wind from the SE was forecast today.  It was misty/smoggy on the A12 and on arrival on Blackheath the ground was hard with frost even if it had melted on the sunny side.

 

3mph from the SE was just about happening to begin with but then there was a lull.  We ‘stood’ around commenting how warm it felt ‘in the sun’ compared to when there was any air movement.

Rowan was keen to try 360’s while in the lull but was suffering slightly from wet lines and kite as well as lack of experience.

 

The air movement then started from the north so we were then ‘flying’ straight into the sun.  We were all on full 1.5 sails with diamond rods.  Finally I decided to give the original Reflex a test flight in these very low wind conditions.  It was interesting to find that there was a threshold effective wind speed for this design.  Once above that the kite kicked in but below it the physical weight of the kite as felt seemed to have a negative impact.  I will look forward to trying the 1.5 version.

 

On arriving home in Hackney we noticed a hissing sound from the front nearside tyre.  A lucky escape fixed with a call to the AA… All done by 17:50 <grins>

Felix

Felix

15/01/2017 

I did not plan to venture out today as the forecast was quite clear that there would be no let-up in the rain all day.  That proved to be the case.

My plan was to spend time on team matters for the 2017 events.  Arrangements for Berck, Cervia, Saint-Honoré and Swift Current needed to be finalized, fliers and transport schedules arranged, communicated and booked.

As always this is a ‘stop – go’ process relying on everyone responding in a timely manner. The one good thing is that I, for one, will no longer have to negotiate time off work as I will be leaving work on 31st March just in time for the Berck event. <grins>

Felix

×