Anne Quemere of France is an accomplished solo adventurer. Having crossed the Atlantic Ocean by rowing solo in both directions (westward in 2002 and eastward in 2004) she had already established her reputation as a courageous and determined adventurer.
Anne Quemere's latest undertaking is to pilot her specially built Oceankite boat across the North Atlantic from New York to Brittany, France entirely under kite power. The trip is expected to last from five to six weeks and will cover a distance of over 5,600 kilometres. A new adventure in kite traction is under way!
Oceankite, built by Marc Ginisty of composite materials, is designed to provide comfort and safety to Anne during the arduous crossing of the mighty North Atlantic. Once underway, Anne will be on her own as her support team will only monitor her progress through modern communications and GPS location systems powered by solar arrays. It will truly be a solo voyage.
Oceankite is equipped with eight kites for traction although only one will be used at a time. The craft has a length of 5.5 metres and a beam of 2.15 metres. It is designed to be self-righting in case it capsizes in heavy seas. There is space to store the extra kites, foodstuffs and various navigational equipment for the long weeks of the ocean crossing. The entire unit acts as autonomous cell which provides Anne with a degree of comfort and protection while handling the seas under kite power.
Each traction kite is a four line, 16 square metre, multi-celled inflatable kite. It is steered and directed by a bar to which four kite lines are attached. A harnessing hitch provides the anchor for the pulling force of the kite on the boat. Anne then steers the kite by maneuvering the control bar, much as a kiter flies a quad line kite. Multiple kites were packed in case of damage to a kite or in the event that the boat capsizes and the kite totally fills with water and cannot be launched again.
The route that Anne is taking will enable her to harness some of the power of the mighty Gulf Stream. This current moves at a rate of 150 kilometres per day and will provide some additional forward impetus to her self-contained boat. However, due to the current's fairly constant direction it can also carry a boat into storm paths. Extra time may be required to work against the current and navigate around some weather systems as they emerge.
Anne is providing an on-line account of her journey and it will be interesting to watch the progress of this amazing woman in the days to come. You can follow Anne's accounts on her web site and track her progress as well as read her journal entries daily.
All in all, Anne's current kite sailing adventure will be an exciting and rigorous challenge. Good luck Anne! May your journey be blessed by the Best Breezes possible!
For a video of Oceankite under way with Anne Quemere at the controls, visit the blog/website of Le Passeport Oceanique Universel. Scroll down to the June 2, 2006 entry entitled: "Video et ziqmu". The video loads quickly in high speed and is definitely worth the wait if you are on a dial up connection. The video features a helicopter view of Anne Quemere directing Oceankite under full kite power on modest seas. The view is dramatic!
For anyone who has ever chased after a kite when their child simply let go of the string, Garret Leiva of Michigan has captured the moment in a funny and warm hearted look at the magic moments of kiting with a young child.
Writing in The Grand Traverse Herald, Traverse City, Michigan, Garret tells the intriguing story of his mad dash to rescue a Dora the Explorer kite that he had handed to his daughter so she could enjoy flying.
Garret - many of us have been in a similar situation - but few of us have written about it with such terrific insight. Visit Garret's account "Chasing After Kite, Fleeting Youth" for an interesting read.
Kites are often used as props in advertising layouts in both print and video media. They make an interesting and active backdrop that conveys a sense of playfulness, colour, and friendship. The intent is to draw the viewer into a pleasant and relaxing situation and help focus positive attention on the product being sold.
One interesting variation on this theme is the use of a kite in a billboard advertising a small Nissan urban car that is gaining attention in both Asian and European markets.
The billboard presents the full image of the car in a typical street scape setting. The kite is attached to the billboard by some sort of wire to make sure that it "flies" above the street scene. Cleverly, the kite appears attached to the passenger side of the car with a line shown in the graphic image. To get a larger view, click on the image above.
The 3-D effect of the kite flying in the sky is quite dramatic and shows the appeal of kites in almost all settings.
Photo source: BillBoarddom
French kite sufer Manu Bertin recently became the first man to KITE-SURF 2,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean!
The trip took three weeks and included the use of three vessels powered by kite traction. Bertin used a regular kiter's surfboard, a "relaxation" kite-cat catamaran (designed by Peter Lynn of New Zealand) for when his muscles needed a rest, and a kite-towed dinghy for sleeping while keeping one hand on a single kite control line.
Bertin set off from the island of Gomera in the Canary Islands on April 26, 2006. Three weeks later, extremely tired but jubilant, he arrived at Pointe a Pitre in Guadaloupe. He was accompanied by a support vessel, the Baies du Monde.
At age 42, Bertin is a very fit athlete with over ten years of kite-surfing experience. He has several kite surfing championships to his credit and has amassed loads of experience in all types of kite surfing events and challenges. However, this feat was nothing short of amazing!
Congratulations to Manu Bertin for an amazing feat of personal endurance and application of modern kite traction technology.
More details can be found at:
Last week, on the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, Best-Breezes brought you a blog entry on Goerge Lawrence and his amazing photos of the devastation of that quake by way of his kite aerial camera. Also at that time, we noted that Scott Haefner, a noted Kite Aerial Photographer, was working with the Drachen Foundation of Seattle WA to recreate the historic photos with modern KAP equipment.
Well, today the current photos by Haefner are available on the Drachen Foundation's website. What a spectacular view and great project. Typical of Scott Skinner, Ali Fujino and the Drachen Foundation this project is first class and adds greatly to the dissemination of knowledge about kites and their role in history. The complete story and photos by Scott taken from his aerial rig are amazing. Well done everyone!
For a complete press release and description of the event visit the PR Web (Press Release Newswire) site to see all the details as well as information on George Lawrence, Scott Haefner, and the Drachen Foundation.