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About this blog

My personal observations

Entries in this blog

 

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

 

11/03/2018 Blackheath

There was an easterly breeze again today c10mph but it was arriving from the Iberian peninsula not the Siberian north! Full vented 1.5 sails with race rods and the RSS kite once again. I have been filling a gap in my music history so today we had c1970s classical at length… Not too bad against the low grey clouds with brighter interludes, only a hint of higher humidity keeping it cool. Felix

Felix

Felix

 

04/03/2018 Blackheath

Southerly breeze 6-8 mph, about 9C and only a light occasional shower today!  Quite a contrast to the weather during the week… I did not switch spars in the RSS kite today but it did keep on flying, albeit with a lot more input than a standard 1.5 sail with black race rods. Line sets ordered, kite sails in hand, events listed and just under six weeks before Berck… ‘Time to relax… and fly kites’ Felix

Felix

Felix

 

25/02/2018 Blackheath

Almost cloudless today but the sun couldn’t really help much in the strong easterly breeze.  We did notice some possible thermal effect when the breeze dropped after shifting direction slightly. Xtra Vents again today and after re-adjusting my line set ‘considerably,’ in the case of one line, the RSS kite performed very well indeed.  We switched kites around between fliers to understand a bit more about the ‘variable’ settings in use… New sails, Zens and 1.5 mid vents in JMH designs sh

Felix

Felix

 

18/02/2018 Blackheath

Probably 8 mph gusting 15 mph today from the South with the temperature about 10C, so fairly benign for February in London… Mostly full vented 1.5s with race rods and the RSS with standard reflex spars.  I am interested in the line settings for the RSS as it seems more sensitive to precise adjustment or maladjustment as the case may be with my current set.  Time to get the ‘equaliser’ out really! Another flier put the RSS kite on their own lines and seemed perfectly happy with the over

Felix

Felix

 

11/02/2018 Blackheath

Sunny to start but the convection clouds soon developed and eventually became an almost continuous cover.  The westerly breeze was about 15mph but gusting considerably higher. Mostly Xtra Vents with four wrap spars (which were occasionally overpowered) but once again I was flying the RSS kite with the standard Reflex spars.  In the higher gusts I definitely needed additional brake and it was clear that the ‘tractor’ like stability of the Xtra Vents did have some advantage that may or may no

Felix

Felix

 

04/02/2018 Blackheath

There were a few sunny intervals today when there was a perceptible warmth from the sun but it was mostly thick low clouds in the brisk and cold NE breeze.  The forecast was for 13 - 26 mph but I don’t think that  the gusts really approached 26 mph. Full vented 1.5s with green race and the RSS again but I went with the standard Reflex spars today.  Speed and window were mostly consistent given it was mostly called flying today.  The edge of window lulls had me needing to move quickly to get

Felix

Felix

 

28/01/2018 Blackheath

Mostly stable WSW breeze under cloudy sky today.  12mph (probably) gusting to c18 plus but only briefly. Mostly on 1.5 full vented with green race, (I didn’t look closely). I was flying the RSS with the ‘Diamond’ rods. There certainly seemed to be a good wind window match between these kites and when I added 2cm ‘forward’ on my line set others in the team found that this sail and configuration worked fine.  I had also tightened the bungees reducing the sail profile deflection to about

Felix

Felix

 

21/01/2018

For a while this morning it looked as if the forecast rain was going to arrive late.  The radar showed a shadow effect persisting from St Albans down to East London.  It was not to be; the initial rain really did close in and then turn to snowflakes in Hackney… Our plans for a mid vented 1.5 sail are almost finalised and they should be ready in time for Berck.  We also have other sail projects in the pipeline for later in the year. The forecast, however unreliable at this distance, loo

Felix

Felix

 

14/01/2018 Blackheath

From the web cam it looks like it was sunny all day in Berck.  The initial brightness on the horizon just about reached Blackheath by the end of our session today. The predicted 2mph gusting to 0mph was about right so not a lot of called flying today. We were six up again and then Tom and Frances appeared en route to the north of England.  It was an opportunity to catch up on planning details for 2018 events and for Tom to get back in on the line albeit briefly. Events for 2018 ar

Felix

Felix

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