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Felix last won the day on July 11

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About Felix

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. I have noticed previously that the high level cloudscape can be particularly varied and interesting in the remains of Atlantic hurricanes that have been swept up by the jet stream that delivers the weather to the UK. Today was one of those occasions, with temperatures well into double figures as well! Light SW breeze so mostly full 1.5s with race rods. Nothing called today, not least because minds (and some bodies) were elsewhere… The sleeved kevlar turned out to be too tough really for the link line application but fortunately the alternative arrived just in time from Holland. Today we started MW on re-rigging a Rev2 stack that was flown occasionally back in the nineties. The sails are still bright so had obviously not seen much ‘daylight’. We may include the additional Rev2 ‘prototype’ that came into my possession at some point early on in Rev history! I decided that preparing the link lines for the 1.5JMH stack would be an indoor job so that delivery can be quick and easy on the field, as with the Rev1 stack at Dieppe. Felix
  7. At 9:00am the rain looked steady so the prospect of flying today appeared remote. The forecast was mixed but in the event there was a break in the ‘showers’ around our normal start time. Full vented with green race and an RSS in the occasionally brisk ENE breeze. There was some warmth in the sun but was definitely ‘gloves’ weather; the first this Autumn. We did not last long as there was an approaching shower. More rain back in Hackney at 2:00pm. I have located and ordered some 1.2mm kevlar cored polyester line so should be knot tying next weekend… Felix
  8. Clear blue sky with steady westerly breeze, probably 4 gusting 8 mph. Wet underfoot to start but soon dried out… Zens and CRs with green and black race rods mostly. There was a bit of called flying but nothing too energetic. A neat transformation from circle to vertical line and the reverse suggested a whole range of novel moves that just need to be ‘called’. Once the ground had dried a bit I ran out a new line-set for the stacks, the standard 100ft 200lb (thanks to Vliegertak Kite Lines) replacing the shorter 300lb set used previously. It was good to see the two four stacks flying ‘together’. Still not so much for the fliers to see though! The next task was to locate 8 sets of 1.5 ultra light/3 wrap spars. With a couple of donated sets I was able to find enough bar one centre spar so I substituted a green race one for the front kite! I hope to rig the 2008 JMH 1.5 sails to match the Rev 1 set. Just need to decide on the appropriate link line as the kevlar cored pink polyester would be overkill… and I am not sure if I have enough anyway. A longer session today, not least making up for last week. Felix
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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