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19th Annual Canal Days Kite Festival

Saturday afternoon featured a “Rev Clinic” to sharpen the skills of both beginner and expert Rev fliers.  The clinic was led by Bill and Kathy Peart, Kerry St. Dennis and Lucy Jonkman. About sixteen fliers participated and learned the essentials of Rev piloting.  The difference in skill level was readily apparent after the experts had shared their techniques. The event was a terrific addition to the festival. Thanks to our tireless Rev Professors for sharing their knowledge and skills.

Saturday evening saw perfect kite winds from the south west off of Lake Erie. Clean and steady wind at 20 KPH. The ideal conditions allowed the kiters to fill the sky with two 100 kite trains by Jim and Barb Gibson (OSEK), four large Suttons [Suttons flying smoothly at a night fly? WoW!], Rokkakus, and every other imaginable kite form that kiters could pull from their collections. Simply put, it was awesome.  A large crowd of spectators ringed the field and were totally appreciative of the spectacle. Spot and flood lights illuminated everything and there was a stellar backdrop of stars above it all. I can honestly say it was the best ever night fly at the Canal Days Kite Festival. I have been to a lot of night flys and can only remember one that ever matched it for spectacle.  Thanks to Aeolus, the Greek God of wind, for providing the energy for the kites.

At  5:00 a.m. Sunday, a one hour downpour ensured that there would be some humidity later in the day. However, the strong winds helped to mitigate the heat a great deal.  Again, blowing from the west and southwest there was plenty of motion to the air.   Steady winds at 20 KPH in the morning accelerated to 28 KPH at ground level later in the afternoon.  At elevation the winds were even stronger. Heavy duty kites and kite lines were in use everywhere.  Six massive Suttons and line laundry blazed across the sky.  Sprinkled in and around were many kites of all size and description.

It was a day where the winds required kiters to use all of their skills to keep things up and safe.  A relatively minor set of tangles and one line cut on a Power Sled were the only trouble spots of the day.  The wind was directionally steady, but got bumpy as the speed increased in mid-afternoon, We had a terrific Grand Ascension and a welcome from Vance Badawey, Mayor of the City of Port Colborne who officially thanked all the visiting kiters for travelling to the event.

Revolution kite performances by Kerry St. Dennis, Bill Peart, Brendan Burge, Pete Rich, and Dru Nelissen showed the crowd what can be done with quad line kites.  Ziggy Racek amazed everyone with his dual line expertise.

Stunning ground displays of flags, bouncers, spikey balls, fugus, large bols and two kite arches added colour to every point of view.  The dancing eyeballs and a gaggle of welcoming ‘Penguins’ by Donna and Fred Taylor provided a photo-opportunity back drop for hundreds of kids and adults alike.

Following the flying, the Appreciation Barbeque was hosted in the Pavillion right on the field.  Good food, and great fellowship made for a perfect wrap up to a very fine event.  Special kite prizes included an amazing new Flare by kite-creating-masters Eric Curtiss and Anne Sloboda, a butterfly kite by Jacques Letourneau and Carlos Simoes, kite line donations by The Kite Studio, and kites from Blue Sky Kites in Oakville, ON made a lot of visitors happy. Fifteen special award plaks (cover of a 1938 magazine featuring kids with a kite) topped off the event. 

View photos of the 2011 Canal Days Kite Festival.

Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:40AM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada | CommentsPost a Comment

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