This year Craig , Debbie Hansen , Lyndall Chisnall and myself (Simon) were offered the opportunity to fly kites and celebrate the Maori New Year in Auckland, New Zealand.
It is celebrated when a small cluster of stars called Matariki are visable in the night sky just before dawn , and it is a time for remembering the dead and celebrating new life.
Pre-European Maori throughout New Zealand celebrated this time by flying kites
This New Year celebration is starting to make a come back , so after a traditional maori welcome we made our way out onto the hill top to fly kites with other kite flyers over looking the harbour and city, while in the marae they were making traditional Maori kites, and had a big enough hungi (a traditional way of cooking food for Maori) to feed everyone’s belly.
This is one event I plan to celebrate every year.
While we were there we took the opertunity to visit the museuim in search of this rair manu aute (birdman kite ) is one of only two in existance and was made in 1886 by Wiremu Kingi at the request of Sir George Grey.
I’ve sent two new photos of me.
I am buying the new reactor 2 kite, already in my bag 3.5 and 4.4, colour blue, white, gray. Reactor 1 size 2.2 and 2.9 and 3.8 and 4.9 and 6.4.
My oldest son Rick 13 is also kitebugging the last few months, he is very happy with the reactor 1 kites.
Here’s a picture of my son and myself.
28th March ’10. I’m in a 777 somewhere above the Pacific, heading for the Mojhave desert at 1100km/hr to go buggying for a week (NABX 20th anniversary celebration of the development of the modern kite buggy).
Yes, 1100km/hr; because there’s a tailwind of more than 300km/hr at this moment.
If only this wind would stay with me to Ivanpah- then we’d be able to set a new buggy speed record with ease-and a little bit of terror I expect.
And this identifies the problem with kite buggy speed records; it’s all about waiting around in some big flat open space for stupidly high winds then dragging off downwind with the smallest kite in the set.
Recently Pam Shanahan and I, (Simon Chisnall) attended the Gujarat kite festival from the 10th to the 14th of January 2010. I think it is well worth it for any kite flyer.
The festival is to celebrate the Indian festival of Uttaraayan – the end of a long winter and the arrival of the sun.
This festival is one of the most interesting festivals I have ever been lucky to attend. The festival started with a parade of international kite flyers (32 countries) around the flying field with 7500 kids performing in the centre.
The flying conditions where very difficult. With very light winds and no tie off points for the larger kites, but with plenty of fast learning helpers, made flying still possible (just).
After a 6 hour drive we arrived for the festival in Surat. The next day on the 13th January the wind was way more challenging. There were a lot of large buildings surrounding the kite field and shifting winds. That turned out to be the least of my worries.
After getting a pilot and the Sun & Moon up, I looked around to see a group of Indian Fighter Kites zeroing in on my pilot. As we rushed to get the kites down I looked up to see the fighter kites 1 by 1 slowly floating away.
We soon realized we had 3 guys at the start of the flying area with fighter kites working as our line of defense. It made for some exciting flying, but they could not stop them all.
After flying we headed back to Amhedabad. For me what was the highlight of the trip was participating in the Indian Kite Fighting off the roof tops. Where ever you looked there were people on the roof tops, with music playing and lots of cheering coming from all around. It is something you have to see to really appreciate.
To top it off that night there were large fireworks and Chinese lanterns going up all over the city.
A fantastic Festival for any kite flier.
Ps.cheek out our facebook page for some photos.http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2378&id=100000746770977