Great weather, finally some summer - but officially summer is over here. The clocks went back an hour last Sunday so now there’ll be an hour less sunlight each day, and Inga from Germany, our last guest worker for this year, has just left on her long migratory flight back to the northern hemisphere.
We’re down to just the nuclear family- that is the cats, Tory and Chia- and their staff (that’s Elwyn and I).
Early last month, just after our March newsletter, the Guinness record people formally confirmed to us that they’d made a mistake last year in elevating the Quingzhou Cigarette factory’s serpent kite to world record status. They had measured the Qingzhou kite as 842 sq.m including tails while the Megabite with frilly bits but WITHOUT tails had been certified by Guinness in 1997 as 933sq.m. Quite puzzling really, especially the time and difficulty we’ve had in getting this obvious error corrected.- and I notice that it still hasn’t been corrected on their website, though I’m sure this will eventually catch up.
Anyway, our approaches were successful, thanks almost solely to Meg Albers who pursued Guinness with a mixture of relentlessness and diplomacy that I could never match. Thanks Meg.
So, the Megabite is officially re-instated by Guinness as the world’s largest kite, and of course the MegaRay also therefore regains it’s informal position as joint largest kite, being exactly the same size as far as we can ensure.
Additionally, in the last few days, Guinness have further stated that the “largest kite” definition will revert to being based on lifting area only, with tails and non-lifting appendages excluded. So, the Megabite is reinstated, lifting area only, at 680sq.m,- exactly as Guinness measured it by this definition in 1997. By our measurement, being a bit more conservative about subtracting area for bulging and curvature, the Megabite and MegaRay each have lifting areas of only 635sq.m- but we won’t quibble about this.
While all this has been happening, maybe you heard some rumours about a new big kite under construction here.
I confess now that we were feeling a little bit put out by the injustice of it all- so started fighting dirty by putting about that we were in fact in the process of building a new and MUCH LARGER kite- thinking that this might at least muddy the waters. It was all part of the propaganda campaign we conducted during the Guinness War. Sorry about this- but all’s fair eh?
Actually it’s true though- there is a new BIG kite on the way- we were planning one even before Quingzhou came on the scene.
How big? What form, Who for? When? Ah ha, these things are secrets, and closely held ones- especially the ‘What form’ and ‘Who for’. Very probably it’s not what you’ll be expecting- prepare to be surprised in a few months.
Lot’s of work has been going into a new buggy design (check out the seat and the tricky front suspension), and into the production version of our catamaran kitesailing boat that was basically developed 6 or more years ago but for which we doubted a world market then existed.
With the growth of kitesurfing, there is surely a market for this boat now- but, like my new buggy, it will be available only by direct order ex NZ and only in the quantities we can comfortably make here- that is, until such time as can set up volume manufacture and distribution once the market is established.
Prices on application.
Ashburton, 26 March ‘04.