Treasure Island Sport Kite Competition  - January 12-14, '01

Anticipating cool weather, Friday's welcome reception was moved inside the Thunderbird Motel for pizza and drinks. Good thing too. The annual scavenger hunt turned out to be a lot of fun with three teams seeking a list of 25 items including a green kite stake, a kite spar exactly 12" long, kite jewelry, a picture of the pet you left home and a box of Gary Resnick's favorite cookies. Since Gary made up the list for the hunt and was a judge, the cookies were a not-so-subtle way each team could attempt to bribe the judges. A team comprised of WACKOS and TISKKers (me being the only WACKOS there, but not the only wacko) deftly avoided winning by a half point - we didn't have a green stake. As it turned out, that was a lucky omission since the winners each received a souvenir Treasure Island snow globe. Very tacky but commensurate with the seriousness of the event.

Saturday, with a forecast of clear skies and temps in the 70s, we saw cloudy skies, temps in the low 50s and a nasty wind chill in the morning. It felt and looked like it was going to snow! By about noon, however, the clouds disappeared and the weather warmed. It's surprising how many kites came out after the Sun did. But Sunday was perfect - clear skies and plenty of sunshine, warm temps in the mid-60s, many more people than Saturday and a very festive feeling. Sunday will be the day everyone remembers when they think about TISKC 2001!

I captured a few of the moments from the festival. There would be more but I was having too much fun flying to stop and take pictures. Many people agreed that this was the best TISKC hosted by Kitesville, USA. Lots of kites in the air, lots of spectators and everyone having fun. The highlight of Saturday's banquet was the annual kite auction with auctioneer Stretch Tucker.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the full size picture. I'm also hoping to get some photos that Marv Harris took while hanging over the beach from his rok. Well, his camera was hanging from the rok, Marv had a pretty cool remote control for the camera.
Saturday morning - this is a kite festival? It's too cold to fly!
Everybody just kind of walked around, hands in their pockets, trying to keep warm.  The wind was light but cold. That really is white sand, but it looks like snow. You know, a white kite really does disappear against the clouds. The dragon is painted on fabric but the head is three dimensional. If you look closely, you can see Rick drooling all over himself for this dragon. Glenda is silently telling Rick to control himself.

Saturday afternoon warmed up and with the Sun came the kites, too.
Two high flying deltas were up all afternoon.
Lifters and stuff
Waiting for the candy drop
More kites joined the high fliers
These two deltas showed up after lunch and stayed up the rest of the afternoon. TISKK filled the air with lifters, cows, pigs and elephants. The kids loved it! The crowd anxiously awaits the candy drop. Late in the afternoon on Saturday.
Sunday was almost perfection! This is what a kite festival should look like!
About mid-morning, this huge sock showed up on the North end of the beach. In the photo at left, it is just about fully inflated but still earthbound. In the photo at right, it is line laundry on a 1000 square foot foil. You can see how much of it is being pulled into the sky by the foil. It drew a lot of people.
Looking towards the South fields
Faye Ray flies with the Big Dogs
About 1 p.m., the winds steadied and Gary Engvall launched the big Trilobite. My little Ray, a.k.a. Faye Ray, eagerly joined her goofy looking Uncle in the sky. Gary agreed that the big Ray needed to play with the others in the steady winds. When the Ray fully lifted into the sky, I heard, "Lookit the big Ray!" and watched people gravitating to the South end of the field to watch. It was great being a part of that.
Everybody behaved for a family portrait.
This picture made my day!

This is a pretty interesting story. While I was flying my Ray around the Trilobite, I noticed a small parafoil with a Sky Guy hanging off it drifting around near both kites - you can see it in the family portrait above. It turns out that the guy flying the parafoil hadn't flown a kite since he was a kid and bought this rig at the festival. He'd been told that they wouldn't fly because the winds were too light for the combo. Like any good kite flyer, he wanted to prove them wrong. While we were talking, I jokingly asked if he was going to "feed the beast" or just tease it. He probably spent the next 45 minutes or so trying to feed the beast. As far as I can tell, this is the closest he got and the best picture I got of his attempts. Word seemed to spread and there were lots of people taking pictures. 

If the Sky Guy was in the beast's mouth, he was gone by the time we pulled him down and packed him away.


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