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!
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.
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!
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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>
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…
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!
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…
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!
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!
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.
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.
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…
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>
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>
We were expecting anticyclonic gloom but leaving Hackney on the A12 the sun broke through dramatically with Canary Wharf towers still submerged in the low cloud and mist.
Wet underfoot on the heath so getting started in the light breeze had its wet line moments. 2-4 mph so full sails with diamond rods. Rowan had been hoping for a light wind day and this was just about perfect.
We don’t, by habit, go for shorter lines in light wind conditions. I have always enjoyed the long walk forwards from the top of the window. Sometimes the curve in the lines suggests that the kite is gliding rather than remaining under control.
Nothing really called today but we did do some close following without losing too much ground.
The weather window looked a bit close today but we did manage to have a gentle fly under a changing high cloud base grey sky. There was a shower on arriving and an occasional brightness from the sun.
It was a light westerly breeze so full 1.5 sails with race, 2 wrap and diamond spars in the mix.
Traffic was noticeably light both ways today, no queue on the northern approach to the Blackwall Tunnel going home for a change. The expected rain had settled in by 1:30pm in Hackney. A dark afternoon…
Mostly clear sky apart from con-trails with a brisk westerly breeze today. Full vented sails with race rods were mostly manageable except in the stronger gusts.
Rowan set up 15 inch clip less handles and tied off at the right leader knot first time of trying. He did of course have the advantage of using a set of close tied knots of my making at about ¼ inch intervals <grins>
We will probably head out for a New Year’s fly next Monday if we do not get out before.
A very late start for some of us today but there may have been an advantage in that the wind was lighter earlier.
It was from the west again today, 4-5mph after midday but we were under a very low cloud cover with limited distant visibility. The usual horizons to the south and east were missing.
Full 1.5 sails with diamond rods felt crisp but it was all free flying today, nothing called. That being said, it really was quite remarkable how organized the flying was. There was plenty of close controlled interaction across the wind window.
The cloud cover began to break towards the end of our session and the sun was visible for a few moments as we walked off the field. By the time we were back in Hackney the gloom had descended again.
Mostly clear sky again today but the breeze was from the west, mainly consistent but quite light so 1.5 full sails with race rods were only occasionally overpowered.
We started out mostly free flying which was often very well ‘tuned’ but then flew some quick called sequences. 5 fliers is not ideal but we found an adaption of the double leaders benefit and blender which worked well.
Plans for a trip to Canada in June are beginning to look realistic. It is always exciting to make preparations for new destinations. The only downside is that I realize that my memories of our previous trip to Montreal are somewhat faded. All I can really remember is that my boarding pass for the return flight was torn up at the gate and two of us were upgraded… Very strange! Maybe that was the event that ended with a thunderstorm? <thinks>