Just back from the excellent Pasir Gudang Festival in Johore State at the Singapore end of Malaysia.
This festival, on it’s purpose built site, is growing bigger and getting better every year; there were more than 140 invited international kitefliers there this time.
The Pasir Gudang Development Authority (festival organisers) are rightly pleased with how well it’s working and are committed to making this event ever stronger in years to come.
The Chairman of the Johore development Corporation (The Pasir Gudang Authority’s parent body), in his address to the after match function, articulated a main rationale for this event as showing a face of Islam to contrast with the terrorist images that we are subjected to day after day by the international media.
In this, the Pasir Gudang Kite Festival. is completely successful; presenting to the world a Malaysia that is friendly, outward looking and increasingly prosperous*.
Developing friendships between visiting international and local kitefliers surely make it easier, on both sides, to put aside those dark tribal thoughts that seem to spring to mind unbidden when we are immersed exclusively in our own cultures.
Apart from an hour or two of light variable conditions around midday on the last day, wind was useable and mid range every day.- I said ‘useable’, not ‘consistent’- PG is after all a hottish place and inland. Still, windwise, it was definitely in the better 20% of events that I attend in any given year.
Ah ha you say, ‘hottish’!- yes Malaysia is a tropical country- so what about all the many lurking tropical diseases?.
Funny you should say that, I did have the shivers and felt a bit cold after arriving home- Elwyn, suspecting bird flu I suspect, banished me to the spare bedroom, turned out that I’d just forgotten to put my jersey back on after arriving back to 12 degrees from the 30 or so at that end.
And yes, it is getting a little coolish here in Ashburton now- time to migrate north again. Steffan (Cook) (Vlieger Op’s kiteboarding dept.) leaves for Holland tomorrow; back to work for him.
The SBBB in Nevada is my next trip; this year I plan to stay IN the buggy and OUT of the ambulance and, if I get to Las Vegas at all, hope it will be for other than a hospital visit.
After the SBBB I’m back here for a weekend then off to Berck, Cervia and Swindon- then things really get busy.
Nothing entirely new in the big kite department, this month, but this summer’s developments have been particularly fruitful.
Every one of the large kites we flew at Pasir Gudang:- Ray, Trilobite, Gecko, Cat and Box, was the best flying example of it’s type we’ve ever had. See photo attached.
The Flags are working better and better, especially the 1.5m that I thought was almost perfect already- it’s an even better flier now.
My big buggy?- see it and the latest Rebbels and Ph-Ph-F-Fantom’s at the SBBB.
Ashburton, March 1 ’04.
*We met a Kiwi family who live near Pasir Gudang- as part of the joint NZ/Malaysian defence forces arrangement (they saw the NZ Flag kites flying and followed the line to us). Their next door neighbour in the high rise apartment they are supplied with has only one car park allocated. Consequently, since their (the neighbours that is) new Ferrari’s arrived, they’ve had to leave the Porsche out on the street.