Sunday, October 07, 2007

AKA Convention - Saturday October 5

Results from the 2007 Comprehensive Kitemakers' Competition can be found HERE

Congratulations to John Pollock, 2007 AKA Grand Champion with his Edo kite, "Party Time"

More in depth coverage of the scores will follow with time. I'll also link the pictures. A big thank you to all who participated and a big congratulations to all the winners....

Friday, October 05, 2007

AKA Convention - Thursday October 4

The 2007 AKA Kitemakers Competition is history AND I KNOW ALL THE WINNERS! The award ceremony is Saturday night and I can't wait to make all the announcements. I am sure there will be a lot of smiling faces, and jumps of joy.

I've been adding to the online gallery of pictures HERE . As soon as I get time, i'll add captions. Most of the photos were taken by my roving cameraman, Rick Agar.

Here's a picture of my entire volunteer staff:

Everyone did a great job - I couldn't run this competition without them.

Overall the event went VERY well. 96 kites were entered, 42 of which were novices. I will not reveal the winners at this time, but I will say, some of the novices will take home awards. On a scale of 1-10, I instructed the ten judges to score the "average" kite at 6.0 and I am happy to report the quality in each four criteria (Visual Appeal, Flight, Craftsmanship, and Structural Design), was above average (7.33, 6.87, 7,77, 6.99).

I will spend the rest of today organizing photos, attending a judges meeting, and preparing for the awards ceremony. Later tonight is the Auction and I look forward to raising my hand to a few items. I poked my head in the auction door earlier today, and saw some spectacular pieces!

I'll report more later....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

AKA Convention - Wednesday October 3

Not a whole lot of time to write this morning, I am off to the field for the first time this week! Wednesday competition was held indoors due to rain. We judges 65 kites and have about 30 more to judge on Thursday. The overall quality of craftsmanship and structural design is ABOVE average... lots of good looking kites.

View the growing collection of pictures here:

2007 AKA Kitemakers Competition

More to report later tonight.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

AKA Convention - Tuesday October 2

One word. RAIN. :(

Tuesday in Ocean Shores was a great day for indoor activities. I began my day with seminar hosts, Ciff Quinn and Debbie VonBokern. They reviewed the four criteria of comprehensive kitebuilding competitions: 1) Flight & Handling, 2) Visual Appeal, 3)Structural Design, 4)Craftsmanship. Most of this information is described in Chapter 6 of the AKA Rules and Guidelines for Kitemakers' Competitions, but Cliff and Deb expanded the four page outline into a two hour presentation. From a judges eye, they discussed how and why a kite gets a score. Standing room only, the seminar generated many questions and answers.

Later in the afternoon, Cliff and I did an impromptu round table discussion on kite materials and and how they relate to kite design.

At 5:00, about twenty forum members gathered in the lounge and were treated to a free round of drinks - except for me. Mine was rather expensive :)
We all exchanged introductions and spent about an hour learning things about one another and putting faces to the written words we see on the forum. Some group pictures were taken, but I have yet to get a copy so I will have to post at a later time. As another treat, I unveiled the new forum feather flag!

I designed flag with some input from Cliff Quinn. Then Cliff found time to create this sample. We have to make a few adjustments to the panels, which won't take long, then the plan will be available for download. I'll supply the parts in kit form that will include the pole, fabric, and pre-cut insignia letters for "". Forum members can put their name on the bottom section and the blank white section is for your imagination. Make the banner your own with any graphic you come up with. This should be a great little flag to display your forum membership. But there's more! The coolest part of this flag is this: Each banner is a single piece to a puzzle. Take a close look and the shape. Imagine two (or more) of these banners side by side. They fit together! Included in the kit will be pieces of Velcro. When forum members get together at a festival, the feather flags can also be "put together" to form one large display. The flag represents the forum coming together just like the forum joins kitebuilder's around the world. I wonder what the record will be for the most number of pieces we can get together?

Wednesday we begin the Comprehensive Kitemakers' Competition. The forecast is a 90% chance of rain, so there is a good chance we will take "Ground Scoring" portion of the competition indoors. I am hopeful that Thursday will be dry and windy so we can get the kites up and score Flight and Visual Appeal.

Still no photos, but Wednesday will bring great camera opportunities.

Stay tuned for more info.....


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

AKA Convention - Monday October 1

I must be getting old. There was a day when I could easily take 24 hours of up-time without problem. Today, I'm not the same. I woke at 4 am in Pennsylvania and went to bed the following night in Washington at 1 am. The three hour time delay makes a big difference - and I feel it. Ahh the good 'ole days.

But the "today's" are still pretty damn good. Monday October 1 is day one for the AKA (American Kitefliers Association) annual convention in Ocean Shores. See convention details here:

From the moment I landed in the Seattle airport I was surrounded by friends I haven't seen for a year. When standing at the car rental counter, all I had to do was say I was traveling to Ocean Shores and someone next to me yelled, "Hey Steve, good to see you again!" So begins the first day of convention. It feels good to be here.

The highlight of the day was the world premier of the film, Kite Runner. The movie was filmed in part at Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley, CA, using several AKA members. It will release to the world in early November, but 150 lucky convention attendees got special treatment - I was one of them. I wish I could comment on how well the film follows the book. Although I've owned a copy of the book for a couple years, I have yet to read it. I can however, certainly say the film was very good. Lot's of fighter kite action, and a script that will probably bring a tear. The story of a friendship that is tied together with a kite string. Forever lasting... sort of like the friendships we make here at convention. Go see the film.

As I look out my hotel window early Tuesday morning, I get the feeling there will also be a lot of wet eyes this afternoon. It is pouring rain and the forecast is not very dry. We shall see. A perfect day for attending workshops and elbowing up to the bar with a few friends. It's 9 am - I'm off to my first seminar.

Stay tuned... I'll report more.


PS: sorry, no pictures yet.... I'm working on it.