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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

23/09/2018

I had hoped to sort the team kites today as the last night that we were in Dieppe was the night fly so we had made up a  temporary ‘small’ bag… The weather forecast had not been looking good all week and this morning it was very wet but without the high winds originally expected. Suffice to say sorting the kites will have to wait another week, at least; the current forecast for next Sunday is not great! Time to think about the schedule for next year.  It looks as if we will not be

Felix

Felix

 

17/09/2018 After Dieppe

Travel to Dieppe went smoothly and we had a chance for a stroll around town before registration and heading off to the gite in Puys. We had varying numbers of fliers for the first three days but then were settled on eight from Tuesday morning onwards. I had tentatively hoped that the opportunity to rig a stack of 8 Rev1s would arise during the week.  We duly tied two linked 4 stacks and the first fix was very successful.  I flew the stack alongside the 1991 20sq meter JMH parafoil whic

Felix

Felix

 

02/09/2018 briefly Lytham St Annes

Travelled to Kendal on Friday and on Saturday walked out of Sedburgh up Winder on a circular route.  Later in the day travelled up the River Brathay valley and over the Wrynose Pass.  The cyclists that we saw at the top of the pass travelling in the opposite direction looked very excited to be heading downhill… It was a brief re-introduction to me of Cumbria. On Sunday we stopped off at Lytham St. Annes to see the event in action before heading back to London. We are all set for

Felix

Felix

 

26/08/2018 Blackheath

There was only going to be a narrow window of opportunity today before the rain arrived. The southerly breeze was reasonably consistent probably 8-10mph so mid-vents with race rods felt comfortable most of the time.  Still getting to know the 15 inch handles on a new set of leaders but there were no issues today. At the end of July Blackheath was brown underfoot.  It is now mostly back to a new growth of green. The rain started soon after 11:00am and is still steady in Hackney at

Felix

Felix

 

19/08/2018 Blackheath

Cloudy with a mostly brisk SW breeze so we were on full vent 1.5s with race rods.  We used the RSS kites in Scarborough but apart from that the last time we flew full vented appears to have been in Cervia… Nothing called, just a relaxed fly.  Jade joined us for the first time in a number of years. We expect to be at Blackheath next weekend but will be travelling the following weekend with a brief visit to Lytham St. Annes a possibility.  Dieppe follows taking the next two weekends.  It

Felix

Felix

 

12/08/2018 After Portsmouth

Travel to Portsmouth was a bit dramatic for some of the team with repeated torrential downpours. The event on Saturday was very well attended.  We set up close to the War Memorial as the 'other' end of the south side of the arena was dominated by ‘commercial operations’. Not Zens were used extensively early in the day but the JMH mid vents came into play later… Sunday was going to be wet but we had a narrow window in which to get prepared before the rain started.  It was a ‘one-ki

Felix

Felix

 

05/08/2018 Blackheath

After last weekend’s respite we were back to high summer today.  Intermittent light breeze from the SE generally but switching 90 degrees to either side.  No sign of the swifts which is what I would have expected… Zens and CRs again but I set up some 15 inch clipless handles on a new set of lines.  The increased brake provided felt very ‘familiar’ so walking ‘fast’ downwind in a very light or no wind situation was now ‘possible’ with the larger sail.  I can now see that limiting the ‘forwar

Felix

Felix

 

29/07/2018

The long hot dry summer spell ended this weekend and the Blackheath regulars decided to take a break rather than cope with potential transport difficulties, rain and high wind. It does appear that ‘summer’ will return shortly so we should be on site as usual on 5th August for final ‘preparation’ ahead of the Portsmouth event the following weekend. I probably need to tackle LE degradation on the nearly 10 year old full vented JMH 1.5s in the meantime.  They are next on the list for re-

Felix

Felix

 

22/07/2018 Blackheath

Mostly high cloud today with an intermittent WNW breeze. Zens and CRs again but from the outset the occasional stronger breeze moments were really at the top end of the comfort range with green race spars.  There was some direction shifting but only through a c120 degree arc. Some further conversation today about the elusive sound tracks, both for the team and the ‘post Moscow’ project. I am hoping that a re-sewn sail will turn up in time for Portsmouth.  Why is it that these arra

Felix

Felix

 

15/07/2018 Blackheath

An almost cloudless dark blue sky today with an occasional 2-3 mph breeze from the South West.  At other times it was at all points of the compass.  I walked a 360 with the kite at the top of the window(s). The crispy ground surface had been mown since last week so no snagging issues today. Zens with green race, soundtrack Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”. All set for Portsmouth now after various changes in the line-up.  I will be visiting Lytham St Anne’s on Sunday 2nd September ahead

Felix

Felix

 

08/07/2018 Blackheath

Some of us were south of the river yesterday afternoon/evening for the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve event… Blackheath today was looking very ‘summer’ dry.  The surface was crunchy underfoot not least because I have full hearing after a month of cotton wool and eardrops. Zens and CR sail today mostly green race, a great combination!  The circular nature of the wind direction kept us guessing as did the drying flowerheads and their propensity to snag lines at launch.  We all succumbed

Felix

Felix

 

02/07/2018 After Tramore, Ireland

It was a really delightful weekend in Ireland…  The local aviation authority had designated kite flying permission up to 500 feet between midday and 5:00pm.  So that is basically what we did. On Saturday the breeze was initially consistent from the SE but became minimal later.  We kept the show on the road flying the Not Zens.  A PA system was provided and we eventually found the audio connection and set about mirroring our recent Blackheath ‘method’ of running a medley of the teams familia

Felix

Felix

 

24/06/2018 Blackheath

The final full weekend in June was another light wind day, thermaling around the compass. Just a bit of high level cloud mixing with con trails kept the full intensity of the sun at bay.  I have done a bit more work on the ‘not tent/sun shade’ so that is all set for Tramore. Zens with green race today along with a Robertshaw with black race.  We were on 120ft lines but mindful that we may need 100ft sets next weekend.  Nothing called today but I did take the opportunity to use the soun

Felix

Felix

 

17/06/2018 Blackheath

It was a bit of an ‘edge of seat week’ as it was apparent that there was very little or no wind at all in Moscow down on the river.  Wednesday saw an improvement but by that point it was basically too late for creative work by the TV people.  The chance of performing live on the Thursday evening had always been ‘remote’. Anyway, there was a breeze on Blackheath today from the west.  At times it was too strong for 1.5 full sails and green race rods.  Mid vents would have been better. We

Felix

Felix

 

10/06/2018 Blackheath

Another typical June day on Blackheath.  Today we were joined by the swifts which I suspect I will also have noted in previous years.  Sometimes they seem to be very close to the kites. It was Zens with green race for most fliers today.  Nothing called and in the variable thermaling wind we were often at the ‘close to vertical’ top of the window. I did a bit more ‘testing’ on the configuration of the ‘not-tent’.  The intention (sorry) is to get it available when we travel to events by

Felix

Felix

 

03/06/2018 Blackheath

The prospect was for a typical June summer day on Blackheath so I had planned to do some further configuration on the ‘not-tent’ that we often use on festival sites as a cover for the kites and bags. The green race rods for our personal  Zens had arrived before Scarborough, now was also the opportunity to distribute them and fly the kites which we did, taking advantage, or not, of the 180 degree shifts in direction.  The only safe place was at the top of the window but when that is really ‘

Felix

Felix

 

29/05/2018 After Scarborough

The drive north on the Friday before the holiday weekend took about six and a half hours.  We followed a weather system and eventually encountered some rain. There was time for a look around the town before heading to the local YHA.  We noticed that the castle was enveloped in the low cloud. Saturday started with a much higher cloud base which remained a moody presence for much of the day.  The brisk northerly breeze was not warm but it was mostly consistent. JMH Mid vents worked

Felix

Felix

 

20/05/2018 Blackheath

I could only cope with a relatively short flying session today after tackling part of the Cornwall Coastal Path yesterday.  Two and a half hours from Eagles Nest to St. Ives was quite a challenge. The weather today, like yesterday, was sunny with clear blue skies.  There was a typical Blackheath summer breeze from the east.  Light and variable sums it up. Full sail 1.5s with diamond leading edges and race uprights mostly.  There was a bit of called flying but I was definitely not able

Felix

Felix

 

13/05/2018 Blackheath

The forecast had not looked promising but the expected rain arrived further east and was somewhat less than expected. There was some moisture underfoot but not enough to wet the lines.  The breeze was light and variable.  We flew full 1.5 sails which seemed very small and light on the 120ft lines compared to the Not Zens on 100ft lines we had used so much in Cervia. We de-sanded the 20 square metre parafoil and checked the location of the small tear which needs to be ‘repaired’.  It is

Felix

Felix

 

06/05/2018 Blackheath

We were intent on checking the team kites post Berck/Cervia, mainly to dispose of any accumulation of sand.  In the event there was surprisingly little but we did shake the kites out before re-packing them loosely. We also took the opportunity to fly the original Zens against the ‘Not Zens’ especially with the green race rods that had worked so well at Berck and Cervia.  I had also intended to compare the bridles but that will have to wait for another time. We did get to fly some calle

Felix

Felix

 

02/05/2018 after Cervia

02/05/2018 after Cervia Somehow the note making gets neglected towards the end of this event. The first clouds appeared on the 10th day.  The eleventh day had a difficult offshore breeze, known locally as ‘the mad wind’ as I understood it… There was a little rain at the end of the day. The twelfth day was cloudy with light wind which eventually strengthened sufficiently to allow us some great final arena performances. In summary we had 10 perfect Cervia days out of the 12!  W

Felix

Felix

 

17/04/2018 After Berck-Plage

Delivery of the new Rev sails occurred on Monday 9th April.  41 Rev kites were duly packed ready for Berck and Cervia. We had an excellent four days in Berck. The 20 square meter parafoil flew beautifully, initially just from the bridle point, hand held, and later on the 100m x 5.00mm spectra which was wonderful to handle, and again, basically hand held.  Our older (to us) parafoil needs some tuning. The new ‘1.5 proportioned Rev 1 format sail’ with green race rods worked very wel

Felix

Felix

 

08/04/2018 Blackheath

The rain/drizzle almost stopped for a while but there was little or no breeze so we did not really get any flying today. Rowan persevered walking and running 360s… I ran out a set of 150ft lines and briefly flew a Zen using longer handles.  Typically I needed a small increment of extra forward, much less than the leaders offered. The new sails have arrived in the UK.  I hope that delivery will be as advised on Tuesday.  I will then have to shuffle the team kit box ahead of our dep

Felix

Felix

 

01/04/2018 Blackheath

Last week the slow recovery from ‘flu’ and the clock change conspired against me so I did not get to fly… Today the Easter Circus was on our regular field so I set up on the ‘church’ field just before the footballers arrived.  They were intent on using the marked field so there was no conflict! A light northerly breeze was not particularly consistent and I was not in the ‘mood’ for running around so full 1.5 sail, diamond LE and race uprights… The forecast had indicated higher UV

Felix

Felix

 

18/03/2018

I have been suffering from a bout of ‘flu’ for the last few days so, given the weather conditions today, did not venture out! Felix

Felix

Felix

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