Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Got Braggin' Rights! ...'til Next Year

It took a few months, but now I can make the final post about this year's Washington State International Kite Festival (held each August in Long Beach, WA).

On Friday the organizers held the Mystery Ballet event, and I decided to enter. Mind you, I hadn't competed in any stunt kite competitions for over 20 years, so I decided to do it just-for-fun. I had brought my Goblin 6-pack of long-tailed stunters; they're very colorful in the sky and a dream to fly... very stable. There were at least 19 entries, mostly pairs or individuals flying two-line or quad-line kites. In Mystery Ballet you don't knew what piece of music you will have to fly to for up to four minutes; it's announcer's choice. Well, I got lucky! There had been lot's of hip-hop and pop music played until I got out on the field; the announcer asked if I was ready, I nodded in the affirmative, and on came the theme from The Pink Panther. I was very familiar with the piece (I'm 72 after all), and the Goblin was the perfect kite to fly to it. I flew for four minutes, making the kite dance to the rhythm with aerobatic stunts and flying very low to the sand with all those multi-colored tails streaming behind. I could hear clapping and whoops and hollers from the crowd over the music, so I knew it was a crowd-pleaser; but... did it please the judges?

Here's part of my routine, shot by Mike Hagen, who was also my 'pit crew.' A big thanks to you, Mike; you made everything go smoothly, without a hitch.

It wasn't until hours later that I found out I had placed 2nd... 2nd??? I was stunned!

As you might have guessed, this was the highlight of WSIKF-2015 for me.