Kite Blog

26/12/2016 Blackheath

Mostly clear sky apart from con-trails with a brisk westerly breeze today. Full vented sails with race rods were mostly manageable except in the stronger gusts.

Rowan set up 15 inch clip less handles and tied off at the right leader knot first time of trying. He did of course have the advantage of using a set of close tied knots of my making at about 1/4 inch intervals <grins>

We will probably head out for a New Year's fly next Monday if we do not get out before.


18/12/2016 Blackheath

A very late start for some of us today but there may have been an advantage in that the wind was lighter earlier.

It was from the west again today, 4-5mph after midday but we were under a very low cloud cover with limited distant visibility. The usual horizons to the south and east were missing.

Full 1.5 sails with diamond rods felt crisp but it was all free flying today, nothing called. That being said, it really was quite remarkable how organized the flying was. There was plenty of close controlled interaction across the wind window.

The cloud cover began to break towards the end of our session and the sun was visible for a few moments as we walked off the field. By the time we were back in Hackney the gloom had descended again.


11/12/2016 Blackheath

Mostly clear sky again today but the breeze was from the west, mainly consistent but quite light so 1.5 full sails with race rods were only occasionally overpowered.

We started out mostly free flying which was often very well 'tuned' but then flew some quick called sequences. 5 fliers is not ideal but we found an adaption of the double leaders benefit and blender which worked well.

Plans for a trip to Canada in June are beginning to look realistic. It is always exciting to make preparations for new destinations. The only downside is that I realize that my memories of our previous trip to Montreal are somewhat faded. All I can really remember is that my boarding pass for the return flight was torn up at the gate and two of us were upgraded... Very strange! Maybe that was the event that ended with a thunderstorm? <thinks>


04/12/2016 Blackheath

Clear blue sky today with a mostly brisk easterly breeze so we were mostly on vented sails with race rods. Rowan was on a mid vent and had the advantage in the lulls.

Mostly free flying with close patterns but Ashley did call some quick sequences just to switch the focus.

We packed up a bit early after noticing a burning smell. Turned round to see a pall of black smoke directly upwind in the direction of Sun in The Sands roundabout, the A2/A102 junction. The Map App showed considerable congestion so we headed home via the Rotherhithe tunnel. There was a hidden benefit in that we stopped by at the Ginger Pig to place an order for Christmas lunch.

It appears that the proponents of Berck 2017 100 had not appreciated the number of fliers needed (?) and had not actually mobilized enough French fliers to render the project likely to succeed before making their proposal. The Decs will be in Berck for the whole week anyway so we will contribute on the basis of business as usual...


27/11/2016 Blackheath

Late start today. The northerly breeze was reasonably consistent so we were on full 1.5 sails with race rods. The kites were occasionally over stressed. Mid vents would have worked better...

It was cloudy with the forecast suggesting brighter intervals during the afternoon. The weak cold front passed over with a visible thickening of the cloud but no precipitation. The following clearer sky was tantalizing in the distance but we succumbed to the cold and headed for home.

The sun broke through as we turned past Victoria Park on the edge of Hackney.

Now we must get the team set for the Berck 2017 100 fliers project. My suspicion is that if the French fliers turn out in force this really could succeed.



Light rain in Hackney turned to heavy drizzle at Blackheath in a brisk westerly breeze so I didn't even stop the engine, just drove back to Hackney. Fortunately the Blackwall Tunnel approach northbound was not too congested today.

Earlier in the week the forecast for the heaviest rain was mid morning rather than during the night as actually occurred so it was not unreasonable to travel in hope...


13/11/2016 Blackheath

Six up today with a northerly breeze mostly between 4 and 7mph. Full 1.5s with diamond rods felt precise most of the time.

There was some warmth in the sun but as it was right in the middle of our wind window the intermittent clouds were a bit of a relief.

Ashley called a string of moves, some now familiar, some new today which attracted the attention of quite a few 'passers by' on the heath. Strange how they have never seen anything like that before...


06/11/2016 Blackheath

Mostly brisk NNW breeze today so full vented sails with race rods to cope with the lulls.

Not too much debris on the field after the previous night's fireworks.

Plenty of close free flying watching patterns develop and drift with the changing wind direction.

After a sunny start the cloud thickened as is often the way at Blackheath. Back in Hackney the cloud cover was complete by 2:00pm and very grey!


30/10/2016 Blackheath

The clocks changed so a more relaxed start to the day but the fog really didn't lift so we had to put up with a cotton wool environment.

There was occasionally an easterly 'breeze' which probably reached 4mph at its maximum. That is just about enough to do team moves if it is consistent but of course it was not.

So full sails with diamond frames. I was not feeling too energetic but others did 360's in the lulls. Some of the interactive free flying was quite neat so all was not lost!

We had very wet conditions underfoot, the Canada geese browsing and the money spiders putting out their silk and covering every static surface close to the ground.

What fun <grins>

It was also 'that day' every autumn when the tree colours hit a point, at which if you blink, you miss it...


23/10/2016 Blackheath

Arrived soon after 11:00am today. Some sunshine provided 'just enough' warmth to contend with a chilly easterly breeze which was about 7 mph when we arrived but more like 14 mph when we packed up.

Mostly mid vents with race rods. We really should sort out a team set of this sail as it really does become very useful at a certain wind speed <grins>

Nothing called today, just lots of close flying based on trusting the other fliers to keep it smooth and not to try and 'show off'.


16/10/2016 Blackheath

Late start after heavy rain gave way to a showery SW breeze.

Full vented with race rods felt very smooth except in the occasional higher gusts.

One shower passed Blackheath Village just to the South East with a dramatic cloudscape when the sun reappeared. Later a shower looked like it would be a direct hit.

Back in Hackney after a 30 minute wait on the Blackwall Tunnel approach it is now raining very heavily!


09/10/2016 Blackheath

The sky was cloud free over Blackheath as we arrived but the cumulus was beginning to form as we wound out our lines.

NNE breeze so not quite directly into the sun today. The breeze was 7-8 mph so it was mostly full sails but Rowan flew his mid vent with green race without issue.

Plenty of quick calling again and the 'passers by' were on questioning form today as in:-'Never seen anything like it'.

I flew the two medium JMH roks which are really 'light wind' kites now as noted last week so they occasionally felt stressed on the relatively short lines I used. A little bit of fine tuning is still needed.

By the time we left the heath the cumulus cloud cover was almost complete with some moody shades of grey.


02/10/2016 Blackheath

Another late start but there were some sunny spells...

Full 1.5 sails with race rods in a Northerly breeze so straight into the sun.

I had hoped to put up the JMH roks and did fly the 3m kite and one of the 2m kites as well deciding that they really are 'light wind' kites now. I would not feel comfortable tying them off, they are 'hands on' kites!

Ashley has been calling various quick sequences recently and this continued today. It will be interesting to see how a complete routine will develop.

Very sad to hear of Corey Jenson's passing. He was a friend of the Decs from the early days and a great supporter/contributor to the 2008 Mega Team project.


25/09/2016 Blackheath

A bit late arriving on Blackheath today but we were then six up so Ashley called plenty of fast paced team moves.

Green race in vented sails almost covered the lulls and occasionally felt overpowered as the gusts blew through. No actual showers but quite a lot of stately cumulus clouds 'marching' by.

The plantain heads were occasionally troublesome. Maybe the site will be mown before Autumn sets in properly...

We switched spars in the team kites post Dieppe and contemplated the Zen project on 150ft lines and the 8 stack of Rev1s.


18/09/2016 After Dieppe

Good to be back in Dieppe after a long absence.

Arrived Friday 9th September c2:00pm and went directly to the site which was still being constructed... We went for a walk around the town and then back at the tent found that supper was arranged for that evening on site.

It was pretty much a one kite event over the eight days flying. Full 1.5 sails with Diamond leading edge with the uprights switching between Diamond and Green Race. It was only on our last day, Saturday 17th that we switched to team JMH vented sails with 4 wrap spars late in the afternoon when the rain finally eased.

Along the way when the wind was particularly difficult coming over the town we did try the 150ft line sets which turned out to be helpful in softening the shocks and extending the available window. We will certainly use these lines with the Rev1/Zen sized kites in the future.

The Rokakku kite that I originally flew in Dieppe in 1988 took the single line arena one lunchtime during the week. The multiline arena provided an extended launch area and then I walked the kite across the site. It was the only kite flying bar one small delta towards the east end of the event area.

We flew the 3m JMH Rokakku with the JMH 1.5 sails. There should be some images available soon.

We also set up the 'Robertshaw' tent in various configurations having prepared guy ropes on the ferry...

There were some good mega flies during the week despite the occasionally challenging conditions.

A great event. I certainly hope to go back another time.


04/09/2016 Blackheath

Full vented sails with 4 wrap worked comfortably today. We set up handles and lines for Rowan after last weekend's disappearance.

Some intricate close flying without calls was followed by some rapid calling by Ashley.

We are just about set for departure to Dieppe early for some of us next Friday. Just waiting for the final Rok spars and fittings as well as guy ropes for the 'tent'. The second wave is set to arrive on Saturday...


28/08/2016 After Exmouth

We had realised that travelling on a Bank Holiday Friday to the West Country might be a bit difficult so opted for leaving London early.; This worked in part but the combination of the very early start and the long drive meant that the rest of the day was not great.; Some of us did, however, have a very good evening meal at a local 'French' restaurant.

We did get a good start on Saturday morning flying out on the estuary but then almost suffered from a complete wind recess at the appointed hour for our first arena performance.; Luckily after a few 360's the wind settled in a completely different direction long enough for our routine.

The wind was somewhat changeable for the rest of the day...

Sunday morning there were light showers but after our 2:15 slot it got very wet.; Somewhere after this Rowan's handles and line set 'disappeared'.; If anyone finds a 'clip less' set of handles and 120ft lines we would very much appreciate their return.

We had just about got the sails and lines dry for a closing performance but the breeze was fading.; We started OK but when the wind stops there is not much we can do <grins>

A very good weekend, all told, and the drive back to London on Sunday evening was not as bad as I had anticipated...


21/08/2016 Blackheath

I was on Blackheath on Thursday checking JMH rokkaku kites with some success and some failure. Testing to destruction has to be fun... <grins> Decisions about four point or six point bridles are outstanding.

Today the forecast was for a strong breeze so I had anticipated Xtra Vents. 4 wrap worked just fine and it was good to get the kit together 'just in case' for next weekend at Exmouth. A kite drop via a bus route was involved...

The Blackheath 'regulars' are off to Seasalter for a team lunch next Thursday prior to an early start on the road to Exmouth on Friday.

All being well we'll be able to access the forum site later this week when everyone is home after WSIKF.


14/08/2016 After Portsmouth

The weather held to the forecast from earlier in the week so it was a great weekend at Portsmouth.

On Saturday the wind was from the west at about 10mph for most of the day. Full 1.5 sails, diamond leading edge with race uprights worked just fine.

There was a wind recess on Sunday morning as the Northerly land to sea breeze was countered by the South Easterly sea breeze that, once established, was light but steady for the rest of the day. Slightly disappointing that this coincided with our first arena slot but it was a case of win some, lose some!

Rowan was on the line for the whole event, which was his first. We have a suspicion that he really enjoyed it and he will be flying at the Exmouth event as well.

Still no Forum site...


07/08/2016 Blackheath

A brisk SW breeze was almost Xtra Vent conditions but we switched to full vent with 4 wrap spars in order to cope with the lulls.

Six up so we did a fair amount of called flying in anticipation of Portsmouth. Rowan was on the line today and will be at Portsmouth so it was good to make a gentle introduction to the demands, or otherwise, of festival flying...

The Rev Site was not available today (or yesterday) so I will add this message as and when the site is back. I took all the text offline some time ago.

Portsmouth is next weekend, Exmouth two weeks later and then Dieppe two weeks after that. A busy end to the summer.


31/07/2016 After Beverley

It was an interesting site and very well equipped! The flying field slopped down to the east but the westerly or slightly north westerly breeze was fairly consistent over both days of the event.

Full 1.5 sails with Diamond LE and Green Race verticals worked very well on Saturday even if they were somewhat overpowered towards the end of the afternoon. The vented JMH kites with green race felt very crisp on Sunday.

The only issues related to worn out leaders with one flier crashing out twice on Saturday! The moral of that story is obvious...

Tom Greenfield put the six stack of Rev1's together on Saturday and managed a couple of demos. The sail fabric has just about reached the end of its life but it was good to see that the link lines had stood the test of time.


24/07/2016 Blackheath

11:00am arrival with the grass cut on the NS axis rather than EW.

Full vents with race frames were comfortable for the five fliers mostly free flying with close interaction. We did break into a called sequence when a family with dog stopped by. The dog seemed most intent on finding a shadow to rest in so was close to our feet.

If the wind had been lighter I would have put the Reflex and Zen sails head to head on the 150ft line sets just for a more complete understanding of relative capabilities, of course!

We are mostly set for Beverley and the weather is looking OK at the moment. Portsmouth follows two weeks later and then Exmouth and Dieppe at similar intervals so it is a busy summer ahead.


17/07/2016 Blackheath

Finally a summerlike temperature and a consistent westerly breeze. Mid vents with race rods occasionally felt overpowered.

The site had been mown so not much remained of snagging risks. What is not to like?

Rowan was on the line with us today.

Next team event is Beverley, the last weekend of July. Travel plans are still in the making...


10/07/2016 Blackheath

Mostly cloudy today on the heath with the occasional spot of rain in a somewhat blustery SW breeze. Full vents with 4 wrap after initial attempts with lighter spars. It was sunny later in the afternoon after the end of the TDF.

Most of the personal kites we were using today have been in use for many years and are not in any way compromised by wear issues. The last set of 1.5 team sails arrived in 2008 at Portsmouth as I recall. We have just retired them from regular team use so they were good for seven years.

We have zig-zag stitched the leading edge mesh as necessary and have no reason to believe that this and frayed fabric edges have any real impact on flying characteristics.

The only issue that we have seen over the years with Revolution Kites is with 'stretchy' fabric. Some of the earlier sails we had made were only good for a short time and ended up on the walls of kite collectors. <grins>


03/07/2016 Blackheath

A running/walking event was taking place on the Heath as in previous years so we used a slightly different pitch today, closer to the paid parking in Greenwich Park.

The WSW breeze was mostly 7-8mph but quite often dropped away as is typical here in the summer. Diamond rods LE and Race verticals felt comfortable most of the time.

Events on Saturday night meant that it was a limited line-up today but we expect some busier meetings ahead of the Beverley, event at the end of July.


26/06/2016 Blackheath

Another promising forecast but not a full summer's day. NW breeze so if it wasn't for the cloud cover we would have been facing the sun most of the time...

Full vent with race rods almost coped with the regular lulls. Nothing called today as we discussed the parlous state of political discourse.

Next weekend there is an event on Blackheath so we may have to use an alternative flying site!


19/06/2016 Blackheath

Still not a full summer's day but the grass had been cut (again) so we were snag free. It was actually getting close to a traditional Blackheath Summer's day in that there was a cycle of thermal activity which meant that every 10 or 15 minutes the wind peaked and then dropped away.

We had a complete mix of sails, from full to full vented with a couple of mid vents in the middle with mostly race spars.

Rowan joined us today after his self-inflicted exile for his final year at university.

Next formal event is Beverley near Hull at the end of July. Just a little bit of preparation is now required.


12/06/2016 Not Blackheath

So we got in the car and went all the way to Blackheath with the rainfall gradually increasing all the way. A brief stop at the usual location and then we set off for home...

I do not see much point in flying in the rain especially when there is a possibility of thundery conditions as was forecast today.

I took delivery of a line equalizer on Friday as well as 150ft line sets for our Rev1/Zen project. Just need the extra long handles now to complete the line-up and I am wondering about profiling the sails with a 'sewn insert', a bit like that 15ft two line delta kite from way back when! <grins>


05/06/2016 Blackheath

Proper Summer like day today but with a light NE breeze occasionally above Diamond territory. Race uprights is a quick and very satisfactory fix in borderline conditions.

After a trip out into the countryside yesterday it was good to see that the Blackheath verges are doing their best again. I didn't spot the litter collecting feature until later as in the attached image.

Specifics of team moves were under discussion today. A wing tip turn is 'as stated', a 180 pairs switch, kite 'place' to kite 'place'. Failure of 'team fliers' to grasp the overall picture is something that we have lived with for many years and so 'un-necessary comments' from the caller may be directed at the wrong 'team flier' which is not helpful.

A quick check of the JMH 3m Rokkaku showed that previous ripstop damage had been repaired so the frame replacement can proceed without further issue ahead of Dieppe.


29/05/2016 Blackheath

Another early(ish) start but the weather was not summer like at all.

Vented 1.5 with race rods were occasionally overpowered in the chilly Northerly breeze under low cloud cover.

We discussed handle holding today. I find that a horizontal grip helps with avoiding inadvertent input in long power pulls. This comes from 'light' wind situations but it is quite often useful even on days like today in the middle of some turns. It is also especially good for ground launches. appears to have line equalisers available in case anyone has been looking for them...


22/05/2016 Blackheath

Better start time today. C10:30 on Blackheath.

Diamonds in 1.5s mostly. I set up the Reflex for some comparison flying. The muscle memory that we have for flying the 1.5 sails is quite deeply ingrained so it is difficult to assess a sail with different characteristics.

The larger sail does provide more 'feedback' down the lines without a doubt but the extension of the wind window requires some further learning. The kite feels 'heavy' but travels further, probably just as fast? We'll have to check this further.

The Decs flew Rev1s originally because that was the kite that was available. We eventually settled on line lengths of about 38m/125ft which gave us enough vertical spacing for eight kites. Flying on 36.5m/120ft definitely feels cramped now. It is difficult to fly a Rev1 fast and we also found that the Zen sail area was advantageous in low wind.

I think that we might want to try a Rev1/Zen sized sail with the Reflex 'stand off' just for fun.<grins>


15/05/2016 Blackheath

A bit of a late start today, almost made it to Blackheath by 11:30am but thwarted by heavy traffic on Cassland Road in Hackney.

Not quite Diamond conditions today so full 1.5 sails with race rods. Some called moments and an occasional appreciative audience.

This is the late spring/early summer week when everything is perfect except, maybe, the ambient temperature.

We must firm up plans for Beverly and confirm arrangements for Portsmouth. Dieppe is all set apart from travel arrangements and the 'delegation' offering.

I just located the file of original Decs photographs from 1996. As I had some anxiety about the location of said file this is very good news...


08/05/2016 Blackheath

Summer has arrived since we were last at Blackheath. A month makes an extraordinary difference!

We were set to de-sand the kites after Cervia but there was little more than dust to shake away. We set aside some of the vented JMH sails that need attention to the mesh edges.

C10mph from the east so we were on our own vented kites on race rods today. I set up a couple of line sets, one on the Reflex handles. Wind speed was a bit high for the kite but I did park it at the top of the window at one point and noted just how high that was relative to the standard sails.

The Reflex handles are provided clip-less with generous leaders on the top. These proved to be 'well set' using the end knot for our normal 'brake' setting. There is a 'middle' knot which I will try at some point to see if that is a viable 'fast forward' setting.

I have noticed that the Rev Forum is a bit quiet lately but had set these posts locally some time ago...


02/05/2016 After Cervia

The advanced party attended the event from the beginning. Those less fortunate mostly arrived on Wednesday 27th April ready for the final four days of the event.

We were on the beach early every day and thoroughly enjoyed our flying and using the full selection of team kites. It was great to see the eight 1997 JMH sails together in the air again!

Possibly a highlight were the two routines with six fliers using the Xtra Vents after which the comment was that we should make sure that we have eight sails in the future... Having the right kit available is as crucial as being able to decide when to use it <grins>

I really hope to be able to attend the full event in 2017.


24/04/2016 Olympic Park/QE Park

London Marathon Sunday so we used the alternative venue which is good for the Northerly breezes. The occasional sunny intervals were very welcome in the chilly breeze.

Checking 100ft lines was really the agenda for today ahead of Cervia. By chance we ended up with an odd mix of 1.5 sails. I was on full vented with race, others on full sails with some diamond rods but green race verticals.

I had about 1½ inches difference on the top lines so it was time well spent. The 'late' team will mostly be flying out to Italy on Wednesday and we are anxiously watching the synoptic charts.

Looking good for the last day of the event, temperature wise, but we will enjoy it whatever the weather...

The 'early' team are doing well by all accounts <grins>


17/04/2016 After Berck

We arrived late on Wednesday evening. Thursday provided a light wind opportunity so I flew the Revolution Reflex along with other interested fliers. I was impressed by the very positive feel down the lines even when the kite was lifting almost vertically. I am familiar with hooking onto rising air with no real feedback. Others thought that the kite felt 'heavy' but I was impressed with its actual speed. I am looking forwards to racing the glide on a firm surface, as opposed to soft sand!

We used all our team kites over the four days but it was particularly good to get the new 1.5 sails in Joergen's 1997 design into the air at a big event.

We flew our JMH parafoil in the night fly alongside six of the new sails. We had to move a bit quickly when the fireworks started but fortunately we were not directly downwind! (Unlike in Glasgow many years ago <grins>)


10/04/2106 Blackheath

Soon after 10:30 again today for a final casual fly prior to the Berck/Cervia launch of our event season.

Some final shuffling of kit was completed and the flight box is now prepared for Cervia as well.

SE breeze again but colder and stronger than last week. Vented sails with race rods today. The circus has almost completely packed up so we were back on our usual field, just a bit muddy underfoot because of the car park.

Discussion today was about very basic routines and our dependence on regular 'callers' who take complete responsibility for organizing the 'rest of us' who don't really think about the consequences of our line positions and wrapping overlay... <grins>


03/04/2016 Blackheath

10:30 start near enough and we were still on the East side of road because of the circus. The light SE breeze was coming 'up the hill' from the pond so mostly steady.

Full sails and diamond rods for most of us.

We were six up today having been joined by Tom Greenfield and Damon Meheux. Damon flew with the team from 1995 to 1997. Tom flew with the team from 1998 to 2008. They were both very comfortable on the line today.

As conditions were reasonably dry we did do a pre-Berck/Cervia kit check. Diamond rods in the standard sails, Green race in the vented sails and 4 wrap in the Xtra Vents has the bases covered. We just need to borrow back the sixth Xtra Vent...


27/03/2016 Blackheath

Late arrival as usual after the clock change and we sat out the approaching torrential shower. Once it had passed it looked like there was a half hour interval before the next one.

We set up xtra vents with 4 wrap spars as the wind speed was about 18mph gusting upwards to 25mph or more.

The following shower did not actually amount to much but the original system was obviously growing as it headed to the NE.

We will be at Dieppe, five fliers so far, hoping for eight...


20/03/2016 Blackheath

The Circus is now set to go...

Winds from the NE again and similar speed to last week so we used the same configuration, full vented with race rods which were only occasionally underpowered.

There was a curious moment when the cloud edge that we had seen approaching from the NE passed over and we were suddenly in full sunshine.

It didn't last long, the higher and lower clouds materialized and were soon only occasionally broken by a bright patch.

Lots of free flying...

We have an invitation to Dieppe, France so now have to get the fliers organized.


13/03/2016 Blackheath

A circus caravan had arrived on the main field before us this morning, hazard lights still flashing before the tractor unit disconnected. More vehicles arrived while we flew.

NE c10mph or more so vented sails with race rods.

Some called sequences today even if some of the fliers were not in their usual places in the line.

I almost got around to running out a new set of lines but although there was some warmth in the sun the wind chill meant that flying rather than line maintenance was preferable. Maybe next weekend...

Just a month now before Berck. <grins>


06/03/2016 Blackheath

The grass had been mown so the heath was striped. Just as well I didn't drop a glove last Sunday, it would have been shredded...

North Westerly 7-12mph so the mid vents got an airing. We've not got a team set but we usually fly personal kit at Blackheath so these sails with race rods were the right choice.

Hoping to have news about Dieppe soon and we have a couple of small UK events to potentially add to the agenda.

There was some real warmth in the sun today but we wrapped early as a slight shower was approaching.


28/02/2016 Blackheath

North Easterly today but mostly 10mph so standard vented with race rods/3 wrap just OK but occasionally overpowered in the c15mph gusts.

A small shower was not sleet or snow soon after arriving. Glad to be in the right kit.

The persistent high cloud cleared for a few minutes close to the end of our session and there was some warmth in the sun!

No calls again but plenty of relaxed close flying. Some complex close routines are almost emerging through habit as with the drift of focus across the wind window.


21/02/2016 Blackheath

South Westerly today around 22mph and occasionally much more so Xtra Vents with 4 wrap. Overcast with occasional bright spots.

Walking onto the field I picked up the glove that I dropped last Sunday as we were leaving. It was a bit wet!

No calls today.

I need to focus on Dieppe arrangements now and finalise the line-up for Exmouth. These events may seem a long way off but people need to know...


14/02/2016 Blackheath

North Easterly today, mostly about 16mph so Xtra Vents with Race rods. There was occasional sunshine but with minimal warming effect.

No calls today except towards the end of a spontaneous inverted pendulum which slightly spoiled the moment. Slow flying against the occasional bright sun looked good.

Interested to see more about the new design from Revolution. We know a bit about slack line flying with the 1.5 and Diamond Rods...

Flights are all booked for Cervia, eight fliers for the last four days with an advanced party in place from the start of the event. Eight fliers for the last four days of Berck as well, just need to work out the cars.


07/02/2016 Blackheath

Brisk SW breeze mostly 18mph but often gusting considerably higher so Xtra Vents with 4 wrap frames today.

Mostly cloudy with occasional breaks of sunshine which almost countered the considerable wind chill even though the temperature was almost in double figures centigrade...

Some called moves today but also plenty of confident close free flying. Someone just has to write the figures but it might be better to try and describe the 'rules of engagement'. It would be a bit like flying fighter kites with absolutely no intent in cutting the other fliers lines.

We'll be doing the last four days at Berck, team of 8 subject to the organisers approval and will be present at Cervia for the whole event with a full team of 8 for the final weekend.


A no fly day. The rain might have stopped at midday but at that point I had set about unscrambling a 'password' issue and could not let that go until I had resolved it. Ironically it was all about the number of characters allowed...

We are almost set for Cervia and Berck is shaping up subject to the team confirming individually.

I still do not have details of the new kite from Revolution. It will be interesting to see how the bridle works!


24/01/2016 Blackheath

A later start today c11:30 and completely different temperature wise, well into double figures. Wind was from the South and mostly 10mph+ so vented sails with race rods again.

Quite a lot of called flying today but only in a leisurely sense, no way 'practice'; just for the simple enjoyment...

We should be able to firm up on plans for Berck and Cervia in the next few days. Portsmouth and Exmouth are straightforward and Dieppe is a distinct possibility this time.


17/01/2016 Blackheath

There was evidence of overnight snow in Hackney and on arrival on Blackheath there was a melting residue which had all but disappeared by Midday.

High clouds thinned at times to let a bit of sun through; just enough to see shadows on the ground.

Wind was from the SE and much lighter than forecast, c1-3 mph so diamonds in full 1.5 sails.

Nothing called today but early on there was some close smooth following searching for the wind window. Always a treat in light winds...


10/01/2016 Blackheath

There was an extensive potentially thundery cloud system looming to the south as I set off from Hackney this morning. Even in the time that it took to reach Blackheath it became clear that this system was tracking quite quickly to the SE even though the local wind direction was from the SW.

10-20mph so full vented with race rods felt very comfortable. Once the sun appeared from behind the high cloud there was almost a balance between wind chill and a slight warming effect, but definitely full gloves weather now.

I have been getting feedback from the team regarding attendance at the 2016 events so we should have a plan in place before long now.


01/01/2016 Blackheath

The forecast looked better for today than Sunday 3rd so we made an appropriately late start under thickening high cloud. A flier was close to our usual pitch on the heath with some two line kites and also a couple of Revolution sails. It was Damon Meheux making an occasional visit. He was in the process of packing up so we exchanged seasonal greetings before setting up.

The breeze was from the SE and initially we thought it was going to be a full sail day but even as we wound out the lines it became apparent that this was a lazy winter's breeze; goes straight through you rather than going around. So it was full vented with race rods...

The more seasonal temperature of about 7 degrees Celsius meant that we did not fly for long but it was definitely 'gloves on' for the complete session.

It was sad to hear the news from Vienna...


December 2023
Felix Mottram