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Felix last won the day on September 21 2020

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  1. Another summer Sunday on Blackheath with just an occasional passing thermal introducing a semblance of a breeze, momentarily! As it was expected we set up Zens which were flown intermittently. While having transported the kite trains I was interested to check the pilot kites, the original Peter Malinski and also the two facsimile kites that I made for his train, one of which we used as a pilot on the Jørgen Møller Hansen this time last year. We flew all three, briefly. One of the two kites that I made is still showing a turning bias to the right. That is not the one to use in head
  2. Light winds were forecast somewhere between west and northwest. There were actually moments of dead calm but the gusts did get to 7mph as recorded. We had set up Zens and then did a bit of a line checking routine making sure that 100ft lines were available for a forthcoming event. I also had a look through the kite case to check for missing ‘spring line stops’. It seemed sensible to check the other SLK lines and also the PL pilot kite which I flew briefly. I also set up the Alain Micquiaux ‘Switch’ kite which I had not actually flown since acquiring it in January 2020. Quite
  3. A chilly easterly breeze and a featureless grey sky greeted us onto Blackheath today. We flew full sail1.5s with an accompaniment by Trilok Gurtu to get warmed up. A bit of brightness appeared on the south eastern skyline and gradually the flat grey cloud became more articulated and brighter. Finally the disc of the sun could be seen through the cloud and hints of a blue sky followed. The temperature notched up and eventually we were flying in full sunshine and a mostly blue sky. I had taken the JMH 3m Rokkakus again and today we did get to fly two of them, one with the lightw
  4. The forecasts suggested SW 15 mph gusting up to 30 mph and a risk of showers. The wind meter confirmed 15 mph but gusts weren’t noticeable. It was Xtra Vent and RSS sails, somewhat as expected and we flew for a while with Skúli Sverrissons Strata (featuring Bill Frisell) as accompaniment. Dark clouds were looming from the South West and we caught the edge of a shower. Having packed the Revolution kites it looked as if there was half an hour or more before the next shower and so I did get to put together the replacement pilot kite fro the Peter Malinski Train 1987. I wanted to see
  5. Showers, potentially turning thundery were forecast for today with a SW airflow. I arrived on Blackheath as a small shower approached and set up a Rev1.5 full vent. The rain shower, when it arrived did not last long and it looked as if there would be about an hour before the next shower arrived, judging by the clouds on the SW horizon. I had contemplated setting up the JMH 3m Rokkakus and did take them onto the field. However, the rain radar showed a substantial band of rain rather than a local shower was approaching. So, the Rokkakus will have to wait for another occasion ahead o
  6. Last Sunday we didn’t actually get to fly a kite but considerable progress was made towards the eventual flight of the Peter Malinski Hexagonal Kite Train. This week I had anxiously watched the forecasts as the near gale force winds subsided to something more manageable. We got 13-15mph gusting upwards but mostly fairly steady. This was, I considered the optimum for the JMH Composite Kite (Della Porta): Eight Rhomboids which I have been hoping to fly again. This was in part to get some good images for the web site, filling one of the few remaining gaps in contemporary images of the kit
  7. There was very little wind forecast for today and there really wasn’t much more than an occasional breath! We might have flown Zens but as showers were more likely later we set about pulling out the 23 sails of the lower half of the Peter Malinski Hexagonal Kite Train in order to fit the missing sail and attend to the broken central bridles. We took the precaution of securing the top lines at both ends. At one point a small gust from the side set the whole train rolling and with the available sail area (about 24 square metres) one could sense something of the power of the train.
  8. A cool brisk easterly breeze this morning with a mostly cloudy sky to start. I was seeing 8-14mph on the meter which was at the low end of the forecasts. There were lulls but not low enough for us to opt for anything other than the RSS kites. Once up and running we flew to accompaniment by Marc Johnson, Shades of Jade and then upping the tempo a bit, to Pino Palladino & Blake Mills, Notes with Attachments. No calls, of course but interesting to see the range of flight developing through the course of our flight today. The blue gaps between the clouds slowly grew but the sun co
  9. There was convergence in the forecasts today but wind speed and direction and the amount of cloud cover seemed at odds. In the event what little breeze there was came from 3 out of 4 compass points occasionally. We set up Zens and found them to be at 180 degrees from the wind direction given where they had been landed previously a couple of times at least. The question was whether to walk the 240ft or just wait for a new lull and switch. None of us were prepared to run the Zens into a wind window and similarly there did not seem to be much point in setting up the JMH Edo that I had
  10. The northerly breeze was mostly a bit under the 8-9mph that had been forecast. We set up full vented Rev 1.5s and they were quite often a bit under powered. Occasionally the sun was quite warm but there was enough cloud about to leave it feeling cold overall. I had hoped to fly with Pino Palladino & Blake Mills ‘Notes with Attachments’ to see if it could work with the kites. My impression was positive but it would need a good sound system! I didn’t think that wind speed would be sufficient for the JMH Composite Kite (Della Porta): Four Squares but was persuaded to give it
  11. So we were finally able to go to Blackheath and fly kites today. The last time was the first weekend in January! The forecast had been good during the week but it looked as if the windspeed was likely to be less than originally suggested. When I arrived at 10:15am there was very little air movement but having walked to our usual location and looked around a slight breeze kicked in from the NW. I set up a Zen and was soon joined by Martin and Maggie but the wind was intermittent. I had hoped to fly the late JMH Composite Kite (Della Porta): Four Squares but had also taken the Peter
  12. So the weather wasn’t really good today, the last lockdown day for the time being. I will now be closely following the forecast for Sunday 4th April when we will fly kites on Blackheath for the first time since 3rd January 2021. Work on the Peter Malinski Hexagonal Train continued and the two 12.5m fuzzy tails are cut and ready for the final 105cm lengths for the kite attachment legs to be made. That will be a quick process by comparison. The 10cm strips were folded and sewn, cut and then finally sewn flat again. There was a slight mismatch with the 1992 not zen layout and the Rev
  13. I did manage to catch the online Kitemakers Conference contribution from Frank Sazama on Saturday afternoon and later the end of Scott Skinner’s session. Interesting to catch technical details in both cases and also to wonder about the documentation of the Jørgen Møller Hansen and Peter Malinski kites restoration process. I think that I have probably recorded just about enough of the process to date. I think that we should be able to fly kites next Sunday but cannot find any clear indications yet that it really will be possible. <Edit:- 28th is still under lockdown which ends on 29t
  14. So, two more weeks remaining for the current lockdown. Elsewhere in Europe things appear to be getting worse again and the Cervia beach is off limits from Monday. I cut out the Hexagonal Train centre fitting but have not drilled it yet. I have been contemplating making tails for the missing sails. I’m not yet sure how the fabric was cut into the fringe edge wondering if it was a hot knife, blade or scissors? Whatever is was, a fair amount of work will be involved. Shropshire Kite Festival at Cleobury Mortimer is set to go ahead on the normal weekend of 17th-18th July 2021. I’m g
  15. The fabric samples duly arrived and I slightly amended the colour values drawing hoping that the one missing sample will be available and in line with expectations. Dieppe has announced that it will be going ahead at the previously given dates in September but that international travel may still not be possible. Not exactly an encouraging idea really but a local event may be better than nothing. Over the last few weeks I have been somewhat envious that it was possible to fly kites on the beach in Cervia but now they are being locked down for two weeks or maybe more likely, until Eas
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