Another gentle day with thick low cloud and increasing humidity. The breeze was relatively steady so we were on mid vent/full vented 1.5 sails with race rods.
Nothing called but discussion was about the Canada events and ancillary plans for the 2017 Exmouth and Portsmouth events.
Some thoughts about 2018 plans as well…
Bright but with gradually increasing cloud today. The breeze was nominally from the SW but once again we had considerable variations in direction and wind speed, far from constant.
Mostly diamond LE and race/UL uprights.
Another quiet fly. We did decant the flight box, probably for the last time as we’ll need to replace it!
Hoping to finalise arrangements for the remaining UK events soon…
Clear blue skies today with only an occasional small cloud… Wind supposedly from the NW but we were seeing 90 degree plus shifts in a typical Blackheath summer breeze.
Full sails with ultra light, race and diamond spars. Nothing called, just winding down from the last two weekends!
The annual race/stroll event was taking place today so we did not bring the broken kite box to re-distribute team kites. That will have to happen another day. Plenty of opportunity ahead of Exmouth, the next calendar event!
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…
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!
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>
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>
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!
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.