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Felix last won the day on July 11

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  1. No repeat performance today after last Sunday! It did not look as if we would have any flying today but at 10:30am the radar was no longer showing heavy showers approaching from the South so we ‘took a chance’. Full sail 1.5s with Race rods mostly in the NW breeze before the rain arrived again. So that was our token OSOW effort for another year… I note that last year Chris Murphy first visited us on the second Sunday. It looked as if we had much more flying on that occasion! Felix
  2. Sunshine to start and with a light northerly breeze we were flying into the sun. Zens with green race to begin with… We then set up the two four stacks and ‘everyone’ took them for a spin. I managed to get a couple of photos as well! High cloud had moved in by this time. As the wind was occasionally dropping down I decided to join the stacks and try the longer handles on the full rig. Forward flight was really not happening when the handles were on full forwards. I will be interested to try this setting in a ‘higher’ wind speed in due course. Everyone got to fly the full stack and I am hoping that we can do a ‘repeat performance’ next Sunday for OSOW… Felix
  3. Sunny to start with a light westerly breeze c10:30am. I set up the full eight stack of Rev1s as at Dieppe but found that the ground surface was less consistent and provided less grip so quite quickly opted to split the stack into fours… MW was more than happy to fly the four on the 200lb set of lines while I checked over the shorter 300lb set that I used to use on the six stack. After some considerable corrections to this lineset we had the two four stacks in the air for quite some time before setting about team kit maintenance. Switched green race leading edges back into the 1.5 JMH full vents, re-installed diamond leading edges in the 1.5 JMH full sails and de-spared the Not Zens for winter storage… Then, back to the four stacks for a short time. I had used a set of 15 inch handles for the 300lb lineset and found the extended range of movement to be advantageous as expected but without feeling too risky with ‘full on’ power. I will try them on the full eight when the opportunity arises, in a lighter breeze! We did witness ‘popped’end caps so might want to tighten the LE bungees at some point… We may have the full contingent of Blackheath regulars on site next weekend! Felix
  4. Felix


    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 needed at WSIKF to make up the numbers… Given the potential cost that is a ‘good thing’ really. There may be some more interesting projects developing closer to home, post Moscow… Felix
  5. 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 which was a great sight. The graphics on the JMH Rev 1s work extremely well in the stack… The post Moscow project got an airing on Friday evening reasonably successfully but the ‘joke’ title of the group in Moscow needs to be discarded without delay. Curious to be flying moves that I drew back in 2010, finally. We did not get to do the full Dutch Windmill which was first flown at Portsmouth… Great to be flying in a large group with consistent ‘graphics’ but there is massive opportunity to create something much more exciting than plain black! Our journey back from Dieppe on Sunday was slow after arrival in the UK. It took almost an hour to get out of the port at Newhaven and the M25 was blocked so we had to do a cross suburban route back to Blackheath and the Blackwall Tunnel… Felix
  6. 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 the early start on Friday heading to Dieppe! Felix
  7. 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 12:30… Felix
  8. Felix

    12/08/2018 After Portsmouth

    Hello Big Bri, I only log in once a week so only just saw your message. It is quiet here but I have carried on posting out of habit really. I have the complete document saved elsewhere now. The team is working well... I am making a very brief visit to Lytham St. Annes if all goes to plan and then we are in Dieppe for the full event minus the last Sunday. Take care... Felix
  9. 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 will then be the 23rd September when we are back on Blackheath! I am hoping that Dieppe will see the development of the Super 16 concept following on from the Moscow event. Felix
  10. 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-kite’ day, that being the mid vent. It did get very wet on site but by the end of the afternoon we were actually able to pack everything ‘dry’. Interesting to meet with fliers who had originally met the team in Germany in 1989… Felix
  11. 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 ‘forwards’ option, (more brake) prevents the sail load spilling in light wind and can appreciate that it would be very difficult to hit a ‘close to’ full sail loading just by feel! The full vented JMH 1.5s LEs have been checked and oversewn where necessary. The re-sewn JMH Not Zen sail arrived from San Diego so everything is ready for Portsmouth. The weather forecast for next weekend is cooler and maybe a bit wet! Felix
  12. Felix


    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-making but we may need to postpone that until the end of 2019! Felix
  13. 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 arrangements always seem to get pushed to the wire? Felix
  14. 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 of the Dieppe event. I’m hoping that the issue between French Fliers and the Dieppe Organisation are resolved to everyone’s satisfaction before the event… Felix
  15. 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 at one time or another. Not a lot called today but we did have the sound sticks in action… Terry Riley and Steve Reich again. Felix