Copyright ©: 1999-2009 NFKA

Westport Wind Festival Meet, July '99

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  I forgot to bring along my camera, so I don't have any great pictures of the super weather or the enormous turnout for this local festival / fighter fly.  I promise to try and do better in future.  I'll be getting WSIKF pictures for sure, even if I have to go retrieve the camera from home.

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How could you beat that combination ?! Well, that is what the Westport Kite Festival was all about!! If you couldn't make it, you really missed out!!

Of course one of highlights of the day was getting to visit with fighter kite friends who have been in hibernation until now!! It is so good to renew those bonds!

The wonderful folks of the Westport Windriders Kite Club supplied us with first, second and third place ribbons for Line Touch Novice and for Experienced plus ribbons for the Precision event.

(Oh, you're wonderin' what the beer name is about? It is at the end of this email)

About 16 fighter kite flyers were there to enjoy the flying, fun and the fantastic weather!

The line touch format was quite different than what we have used in the past. We had a double elimination system where the flyers were picked randomly for each pairing. If you lost 2 matches you were out. Each match was 2 of 3 points.

The other new idea we tried was another of Ed Alden's brainstorms!! When the judge called the start of the point, that was the moment when the fliers found out whether the point was a top or bottom point. A single die in a clear jar was used by the judge to determine the top or bottom point (even or odd). He would then call out the point type and that would be the start of that point!

When you were competing, as you were getting your kite in the "ready" or "neutral" position, you did not know whether the point would be top or bottom. This made it much more interesting and all the participants liked it better than the previous ways of knowing ahead of time whether the point would be top or bottom touch. It really worked well!!

Since we were using new methods, there could have been some snags in the scoring and in the running of the competitions. But, thanks to Lucy & Ed Alden, the line touch competitions were run very smoothly and efficiently! Lucy volunteered to be the score keeper and a great one she is!! Ed ran the line touch competitions and was head judge. It ran very smoothly with virtually no snags!! Many THANKS to both!!

There were 5 who competed in the Novice category and 11 in the Experienced line touch competition and 11 who competed in the Precision event.

The precision event was also a variation of what we have done in the past. Chuck Lund had provided a couple of new obstacles for us to use. A pole with a hook to catch your line and fly out of and a large beach ball to be anchored to the beach to be touched by the kite or line.

The precision event comprised of 3 obstacles. The pole with a hook, a pole with a cup to be knocked off and the beach ball to touch. The maximum time allowed was 4 minutes to complete the 3 tasks. Completing each task earned 5 points. The shortest time and highest points were combined to find the winners. It was really challenging and a TON of fun!!

Efficient scoring and keeping track of the times contributed to the success of this event. Jordan Mandanas was the timer and starter and his friend did a super job of score keeping. The precision event ran very smoothly! THANKS!

The results of the competitions are:


1st Ed Alden; flying a kite he designed and made
2nd Brian Johnsen; flying a "Silhouette" kite designed and made by Jeff MacInnis
3rd Steve Childers: (this was Steve's 1st time flying in a competition!!) he was flying a kite designed and made by Bruce Lambert

I think what we did to establish whether a person should be in the Novice or Experience category was a mistake. In the future, we should allow a participant to determine what group they feel most comfortable competing with and let it go at that. After all, fun and flying is what it all about!


1st Patty Lowry ( this was Patty's 1st time flying in a competition!!) she was flying a kite designed and made by Ron Lowry, her husband.
2nd Marlin Gilbert; flying a kite designed and made by Bruce Lambert
3rd Steve Childers: flying a kite designed and made by Bruce Lambert


1st Bruce Lambert; flying a kite he designed and made
2nd Brian Johnsen; flying a "Silhouette" kite designed and made by Jeff MacInnis
3rd Mat Alden; flying a kite Ed Alden designed and made
4th Jeannette Mandanas; flying a kite made by Dave Jam. Jeannette has never flown in the experience category before!! Nice job!!
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Ron Lowry and Ed Alden are brewing some microbrew quality beer and would like suggestions about a name. Since the debut of the beer will be at WSIKF for the NFKA fighter kiters bonfire, they would like a fighter kite related name. So, get your wackiest, wildest, most off the wall beer names to Ron Lowry at

NFKA has collected donations from various generous fighter kiters at the festival for the Mel Govig memorial. NFKA will continue to collect donations and will add its own donation as well. If you want to donate to Mel's memorial, please send a check made out to NFKA before the end of July. Thanks.

Check the NFKA website for the details of the Everett Fighter Kite Event. Should be a wonderful fun time!! Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. Linda and I will be in Reno for our daughters wedding.

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