26/05/2024 Blackheath

I think, on reflection, that we have been beaten by the traffic in previous years when Ride London has been taking place.

Today I travelled out via Lauriston Village and Devons Road and the journey took about one hour!

On Blackheath there was a very busy sky full of rearing cumulus and a few swifts. Quite a steady southerly breeze suited the full vent 1.5 and another filming attempt. This was unsuccessful as auto focus did not engage for the main clip.

As a consolation I did get a clip with the clouds and kites which demonstrated what should be possible.

Maybe next weekend will be straightforward transport wise and we'll make another attempt at the mis-configured flight. Today it seemed easy to override the maladjustment.

Felix


19/05/2024 Blackheath

I got out to the A12 ok and then found that Blackwall Tunnel Southbound was closed for the weekend which I had forgotten.

Turned right at Bow Flyover remembering that next Sunday the A12 north of this point is closed for the duration of Ride London.

Slow on Lower Road to Deptford as usual and then I almost got further delayed by an escorted Motor Cycle and Scooter event which was starting from the top of Blackheath.

I had taken a tripod and weight hoping to get some high resolution video of a mis-configured four line kite. The set-up went fine and the flight was completely demonstrative of the idea that I had in mind.

Unfortunately, the settings of the camera were not correct for recording the actual flight... We'll have to try again!

Felix


12/05/2024 Blackheath

Summery weather today with a light SE breeze, so Zens again.

The beginnings of cumulus clouds appeared before midday and may turn showery later in the day.

Next Sunday is Hackney Half Marathon so my route out and back will be a bit different and notably not via Lauriston Village.

I have now loaded some Cervia images from Franca Perletti and may get some more from Anne Whitehead in due course.

Felix


05/05/2024 Blackheath

Light wind from a varying SE - SW direction so a Zen flight today under a mostly blue sky with frontal clouds on the distant SW horizon initially.

Four fliers today and quite a bit of post Cervia chat.

I am working on documenting the event at Cervia 2024 but there were initially about 900 image frames to review before receiving any from other people.

Felix


14/04/2024 Blackheath

There was just enough breeze most of the time for a gently flight with 1.5 sails on Blackheath today.

The circus was still in place but it will be packing up for the London Marathon next Sunday.

On returning home the last kite items were added to the Cervia kit, ground stake and handles, so all is set!

The event layout at Cervia/Artevento looks promising as there is a designated are for Sports Kites outside Adriasol Bagno 111. As ever we'll have to negotiate the overlap with our Jørgen Møller Hansen kites.

Felix


07/04/2024

The forecasts were indicating high winds for the weekend and on the day I went to our usual fling spot and measured 19-20mph occasionally gusting higher. There were some lulls but it really was not comfortable conditions even though the sun was out and the temperature about 15 degrees centigrade!

Preparations for Cervia continue gently. The line check is mostly done and there are just a few more kites to pack. I’ll probably commit the ski board bag packing during the week leaving the second drum kit bag to the final days before departure.

Felix


31/03/2024 Blackheath

The forecasts ahead of the weekend had been encouraging but Sunday morning was damp and grey, quite apart from the clocks having changed.

It was actually wetter and muddier underfoot than I had expected so having left the Nine Square kite at home today seemed like a good decision.

It was full vented wind and so would have been challenging with the big kite.

It ended up being a short session as the drizzle in the east arrived before 11:30am.

Maybe we'll get another chance to test the Nine Square kite before Cervia!

Felix


24/03/3024 Blackheath

The Rotherhithe Tunnel route was not too congested today on the way to Blackheath, just a bit slow around Surrey Quays.

A brisk westerly breeze was accompanied by bright sunshine between the clouds.

The task today was to fly all of the eight new RSS sails just to check them and bed the bridle lines. A couple of connections had worked loose since I initially assembled the kites.

The set will now be packed in the team kites bag for Cervia allowing the rest of the initial packing to proceed.

Driving back to Hackney today via the southbound bore of the Blackwall tunnel was incident free. The final closure will be on the last weekend before Cervia, Sunday 14th April.

Felix


17/03/2024 Blackheath

I was on the road towards the Blackwall Tunnel this morning when I remembered that it had been due to be closed southbound over the weekend. Fortunately the tunnel was open but it was raining heavily and the prospect of it clearing by 10:30 seemed remote.

I arrived just after 10:00 and waited while the definition of the clouds began and the rain slowed to a drizzle.

We had a good mid vent flight with the kite medley, starting from the beginning this week.

There was a long tailback northbound at the tunnel and at the exit there was a sign warning of a closure on the A12 but I did not register the exact location. The back of the stationary traffic came into view just in time for me to turn off at the Old Ford junction and make my way slowly through to York Hall and home from there. The return journey was over an hour compared to the usual 15 minutes.

Felix


10/03/2024

The forecast was for rain today! I got to the bakers at Lauriston Village and it was not raining. I decided to go ahead and drive to Blackheath and when I arrived c10:10 it was not raining. The SE breeze was 6mph but a quick look at the rain radar suggested that a heavy band of rain was sweeping in from the east.

I took a quick stroll towards the Greenwich Park entrance and as I walked back to the car the rain started.

During the past week I have completed the modifications to the JMH Nine Squares and will hope to do a test flight before Cervia.

Felix


03/03/2024 Blackheath

Just before I left home Google Maps suggested that the southbound Blackwall Tunnel was still closed after overnight maintenance which normally finishes at 8:00am Sunday mornings. I took a chance after visiting the bakers in Lauriston Village and all was well with the tunnel. It had just been swept and was very quiet, as if others were still heeding the warning.

I arrived on Blackheath at 10:00am to find a light westerly breeze and some high cloud.

We flew Zens with the middle of the kite medley and the high cloud thinned just a bit.

The breeze dropped to zero towards the end of the session which made for a lot of walking. There was a brief period when it recovered but eventually we packed early by about 10 minutes.

I hope to get the JMH Nine Squares modified and flown in the next few weeks ahead of taking it to Cervia.

Felix


25/02/2024 Blackheath

I had been watching the forecasts closely and on Saturday it was clear that there may be good conditions for flying the Peter Malinski Tetraeder from Jørgen's collection. I had some assistants lined up for building the kite and so on Sunday morning we exchanged messages confirming that there was the right flavour of wind.

I had to travel via the Rotherhithe Tunnel southbound and on the way saw the low level fog blowing away from Canary Wharf.

I arrived at 10:00am and we laid out the 'Cherry Blossom' blue tarpaulin for good measures and the construction proceeded thanks to Tina and Chi.

The kite medley ran as usual but I was occasionally distracted by the ongoing construction. Finally a line was connected and the 20 cell iteration flew very well indeed. There is some video and the sun appeared in a timely manner so I was able to do image capture on the big camera.

Cervia preparations are proceeding well after a test pack of the big bag and the news of the impending arrival of a shipment from Revolution!

Felix


18/02/2024 Blackheath

There was no long detour today, just a quick visit to the bakers on the way to Blackheath.

Rain had been threatened for 'all day' but the radar had shown big gaps before I left home. In the event there were a few flashes of sunshine in among the bright patches and just a very few spots of rain.

Windspeed was 6-8mph measured on arrival but I think that there were some quicker spells. Mid vents worked fine with just a little hand tiredness towards the end of a concentrated session with the kite medley, mid section.

There were a couple of dramatic cloudscapes to keep us occupied along the way. Back in Hackney now, the sun is shining!

Felix


11/02/2024 Blackheath

The journey to Blackheath via the bakers at Lauriston village and the Rotherhithe Tunnel took about an hour. The construction work at Surrey Quays station was probably the main hold-up.

Along the way there was some light rain at Mile End Park and I realised that there was very little wind.

At Blackheath there was a barely perceptible breeze to start with so it was going to be a Zen flight. There was quite a lot of sunshine with high cloud and the occasional thick lower cloud but there really was some warmth in the air.

It was quite an intense session with some of the later tracks in the kite medley. The windspeed had increased to 6mph measured at the end of the session.

Next Sunday the southbound tunnel should be in use with the final closure in the sequence, the Sunday after, the 25th February which is also the last day for the Guston show at Tate Modern!

Felix


04/02/2024

I had considered taking kites to Dorset for this weekend but decided that there would be plenty of other pressures on time and best not to add to them.

The wind over the weekend was often strong and there was occasional drizzle and low cloud or hill fog.

Next Sunday the southbound Blackwall Tunnel will be closed again so I will get to Blackheath via the Rotherhithe Tunnel all being well.

Felix


28/01/2024 Blackheath

The southbound tunnel was not closed this weekend after all as works had been completed ahead of schedule.

While it was forecast to be cloudy the clouds were very high and thin so it was mostly 'sunny' with a southerly breeze that just about got to the lower end of the forecast at 6mph.

Full sail 1.5s and at the end of the session I noticed a leading edge repair that has not yet been done. We flew to the latest kite medley and I will have to edit further as a couple of the tracks are just not quite right!

Next weekend I will be away attending to family matters. I will have to see if the tunnel will be closed the weekend of 10th/11th February.

Felix


21/01/2024 Blackheath

I could see that the forecast was for c15mph across the board so I did turn my morning routine on its head. I was out of the door at 9:15am with time to call at the bakers and navigate via the Rotherhithe Tunnel and Lower Road arriving at Blackheath at 10:01...

The measured breeze was 14-16mph, occasionally quite a bit stronger but the RSS sails were perfectly comfortable for an intense but relatively short flight with the kite medley.

We packed just before 12:00 and will hope for a repeat performance next week as the south bound Blackwall tunnel will be closed again.

Felix


14/01/2024

I was distracted at 8:04 by the event near Grindavik in Iceland which had started at 7:57. I eventually set off at about 10:30 heading towards the bakers at Lauriston village where I found a long queue!

The approach to Rotherhithe Tunnel seemed fine but then Lower Road appeared slow and the A2 was also bad.

I arrived on Blackheath at midday and decided that after a brief walk I would head for home via the Blackwall Tunnel. Northbound traffic was using the normal southbound tunnel.

I will probably miss next Sunday and hope that the weather on 28th January will be good!

Felix


07/01/2024 Blackheath

We were almost 'mob handed' today with four fliers on RSS sails in a slightly variable northerly breeze looking directly into the sun for much of the time. The kite medley included a couple of different tracks today.

When a band of cloud drifted in from the east it was apparent that despite no feeling of radiant heat the sun had been keeping things warmer than it would have felt otherwise. We packed a bit earlier than usual...

The southbound Blackwall tunnel will be closed for the next two weekends so unless conditions look very good we'll likely miss two more flying sessions. Not a great start to the year but at least event planning is now progressing for the year ahead.

Felix

January 2024
Felix Mottram