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Felix last won the day on July 11 2018

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About Felix

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  1. Our arrival today coincided with the southerly breeze freshening somewhat so we eventually decided on full vented 1.5s with mostly race frames after having tried full sail and mid vents as well. The breeze was mostly c11mph but often more and with just the occasional lull. Full sunshine as well to the point that I was feeling that I had too many layers! Six up so mostly called and accompanied flying today. Steve Reich, Pat Metheny: Electric Counterpoint had an airing as well as some of the team pieces from recent years. We ended up with Steve Reich: Variations for Winds, Strings, and Keyboards which at 21:42 was a bit long, but none the less, an interesting experiment. Looks like I will be the one doing the Aarhus trip to collect the JMH kites. I am hoping that this can be arranged soon! Felix
  2. A brief visit today as the weather forecast was not really very helpful. In the event a 15mph westerly breeze occasionally dropped off but there was a considerable wind chill, feeling as if it was only just above freezing point. Occasional raindrops for most of the time until a settled band of rain arrived a bit before 1:00pm. RSS kites again and it was noted how much ‘lighter’ these are compared to other high wind formats. The lack of gauze is a definite benefit especially in damp/wet conditions! There was some neat close uncalled flying with just the occasional kite contact. The trailing edge of the band of rain abruptly gave way to sunny conditions back in Hackney. Felix
  3. A light WSW breeze and mostly sunny session today. Zens with green race and a couple of CR sails were eventually a bit overpowered but to start it must have been 4mph, if that, ending with 7 or 8mph, I guess! Some excellent silent and close flying today along with relaxed called sequences and musical accompaniment. It might have been good for the stacks but I was intent on checking out the 100m of 2.5mm diameter red sleeved spectra with the large JMH Rokakku and especially the line grips that arrived during the week. It may take a bit of practical experience to figure out the best way to get the grips to engage but they certainly take line handling to a different level. It was a ‘from the hand’ launch of the 3m kite which is always amusing and while it might have been a bit risky the kite did handle the full line length and a walk down was required. Felix
  4. Blustery, chilly NW breeze, probably 15 gusting 30mph. Mostly cloudy, just the occasional burst of sunshine. RSS kites handled well, not too much of a struggle and of course dealt with the lulls. We noticed some pinching of the sails around the vertical spars which may have been due to the ‘springs’ being set on the inner of the spar rather than the outer side. Probably not of any importance but worth remembering if we decide not to use the springs… Further work on the web site this last week as I found the coding for handling an image library. https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/pictures.html Pleased to be able to get a scaleable group of images all together with the option to isolate images in a ‘new tab’. Interesting to go back to some of the older images and find that the source prints really were not very good. Re-scanning is not an option so we’ll just have to accept them as they are. A work in progress:- https://www.felixmottram.com/decorators/olderpictures.html Felix
  5. A hazy blue sky today, a light NNE breeze so dark glasses all round. Zens with Green Race and a CR were not overpowered, 2-5mph probably! I had wondered about putting up both JMH 8 stacks for a ‘photo-op’ but in the event we opted to spend time familiarising ourselves with the line settings for the 1.5 stack. Ideally I would want to have much finer steps than those on the provided leaders but today we started with the settings I had made in 9-10mph, put on much more brake and then stepped back to the starting position. Different fliers hold handles ‘differently’! Gripping the handles tightly, especially if they are held vertically, has a considerable impact, not that I actually spotted that particular aspect on the field today… It ended up feeling quite warm even if the actual temperature was only 6-7C. Felix
  6. A bit of a contrast to last Sunday, the wind still from the west but 15+ gusting 30+mph. Very bright, almost sunny with a mix of thin high and lower cloud. Full vent 1.5s were clearly overpowered so it was the RSS kites again. Even they felt like a bit of a handful in the higher gusts. Still suffering from a lingering ‘cold’ which has the rest of my household in their beds today! Portsmouth and Scarborough events are going ahead in 2019 and we have fliers lined up but not finalised. Felix
  7. A bit of a struggle to get out today due to a lingering 'cold' that stopped me in my tracks on New Years Eve. A light westerly breeze so Zens with green race, a great configuration. Landfall by Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet was a bit 'moody' but interesting to 'fly with'. There was variable high cloud but that was doing nothing to stop the UV getting through. A very dark sunglass day. We should be confirming Berck arrangements in the next day or so. We will then be making arrangements for the JMH kites in Aarhus to be packed and road transported back to the UK. I am hoping to set up a weekend on Blackheath in March devoted to checking and test flying the kites, some of which are illustrated here:- https://www.felixmottram.com/jmh/ on the linked pdf. Felix
  8. The tops of the Canary Wharf towers were hidden in the curiously luminous, low anticyclonic cloud this morning. On Blackheath it was very damp underfoot with worm casts in addition to the goose shit. Not exactly the stable surface I had hoped for! The breeze from the west was somewhat stronger than forecast, probably about 9mph, gusting higher. So not the conditions for flying both stacks side by side today but I did try the full1.5 version. The slippery surface really was an issue but I did get to add some more ‘forwards’ assisting takeoff and parking the stack comfortably at the top of the window. The bits in between were not so pretty in my risk adverse mode. I found a ‘less tedious’ breakdown sequence, bunching the kites together LE up and tying the centre and outer link lines before removing the vertical spars. Then on to a more suitable kite for the conditions, mid vent 1.5 with race rods… That will have been the last fly for 2018. I may be tempted out on New Years Day but at this stage it looks as if the gloomy anticyclonic conditions will still be in place. Felix
  9. Felix


    Early rain was forecast and as I had to collect from the local butcher this morning I had decided to miss the flying session today. Ordered some SLK flying line in preparation for some further work with the JMH rokkakus. Cervia flights are booked and a lineup for Berck is becoming clearer now. We should be back on Blackheath on the 30th. A Boxing Day flight looks unlikely as I may be attending a ‘kite related’ lunch! Felix
  10. Clear blue sky over Hackney as we set out but we could soon see the approaching high grey cloud to the south west. The light southerly breeze was just what we needed after a windy spell going back to early November. I set up full sail 1.5 with green race which worked ok. Ashley had a diamond LE with green race uprights. MW was working on her Rev 2 stack. My intention was to do some more work on the 1.5 JMH stack today. I had done a bit of fettling of knots and link lengths on Saturday at home. Now for the moment of truth! The first four kites seemed well behaved compared to how they had felt in a stronger breeze a few weeks ago. The link lines between the two sets of four had been tied and ‘put somewhere safe’. They were quickly ‘found’ and initially tied to the leading edges of the back four kites. I had been worried about the tight loops but setting the larks heads was fine. As with the Rev 1 JMH 8 stack at Dieppe we got a very satisfactory ‘first fix’ result… The cloud had thickened substantially by the time we left Blackheath, the sun long gone, but the rain was not due until later! Felix
  11. No rain to contend with today and while it didn’t feel it, the temperature was probably a bit over 10C. More silly coloured cloudscapes today, the sun was very bright when it did break through occasionally. A mostly brisk westerly breeze so we were on the RSS kites again for further familiarisation. While nothing was called the sails do cope quite well with the lulls, they certainly do not drop out of the sky! This was probably the last ‘not so many of us’ meeting before the New Year. Maybe this year we will aim to have a New Years Day fly. Felix
  12. There was drizzle in the air on the hill up to ‘Sun in the Sands’ roundabout but it had stopped by the time we got out onto the ‘heath’. The wind was forecast at 13mph upwards so I had extracted the team RSS set so that we could get some ‘hands on’ time if conditions were appropriate. That was certainly the case today and I think that we all appreciated the ‘forgiving’ wind range of these kites. Nothing called but there was a lot of close and slow interaction interspersed with faster broader moves as well as some interesting stacking. Curiously the holes in these kites allow an element of ‘overlapping’ in a way which would not be possible with ‘full’ sails. We were treated to some ‘silly coloured’ dramatic cloud scapes as well as a persistent rainbow and a couple of light showers before most of the low cloud cleared and left us in very bright sunlight! Felix
  13. It was a token session today really. The damp easterly breeze was fairly consistent under low grey clouds with an occasional brighter moment. Somehow the combination of a cold damp ‘strongish’ breeze was not conducive to contemplative ‘flying’. It was certainly not good for fettling the stacks. I might have to do some more measurement checking indoors rather than waiting for ideal outdoor condition. I hope to do some more work on our Jørgen Møeller Hansen project soon. In the meantime this is the link to the site that Karen has recently updated:- http://www.jmollerhansen.dk Felix
  14. Bright and sunny with a brisk easterly breeze today, probably 12mph gusting much more… Full vented with green race mostly, I was on the RSS again which meant that I occasionally needed to move a bit faster. Some called moves today, nothing too challenging but it was the free flying interaction that impressed me most… I have located this text and all that precede it in an orderly manner at www.felixmottram.com/kiteblog. I will eventually deal with the remaining ‘translation’ issues where characters, mostly punctuation, were not handled properly. Some of the invisibles took a bit of finding! No ‘stack’ work today as it was a bit windy and a bit cold too! Felix
  15. I arrived on Blackheath today in bright sunshine with a mostly blue sky. While showers had been forecast I had for some reason assumed that they would be elsewhere but on the SW horizon there was a very dark area of cloud. After a few minutes it was apparent that it was approaching fast. I set up an RSS ( it was a fairly brisk SW breeze) assuming that it was going to be a fairly sharp shower and that the rest of the kit should stay in the dry. It was only when the sun was obscured by the leading edge of the cloud that a brightness could be seen on part of the horizon. The darker, unmistakably wet part of the shower was going to pass to the south of Blackheath. There were a few spots of rain and then the clouds cleared and we were able to proceed with setting up the stacks that MW and I had tied during the week. First up was MWs Rev2 stack fronted by a relatively new vented sail. Some of the bungees on the old sails were mostly perished so will need replacing. For the time being they were tightened anyway. The stack flew very well for a first fix, four sails so far with maybe five or six to be added… I then set up the first four of the JMH 1.5 stack. I knew that there were some discrepancies in the line lengths but it flew ok despite being somewhat overpowered. I’ll do further adjustments when the breeze is more appropriate and when we can rig the whole eight stack. On leaving Blackheath there was another ‘anvil shaped cloud’ approaching from the SW… Felix