Oh No!, he's writing about
that boring kitesailing stuff again...
- why can't we
hear more about hacking into cute little possums with a chainsaw,
things like that.
Chris Brent and I had a KiteCat each at the Nelson Kite fest. last weekend- the first time we've had two out together. So, in the same way that car racing is as old as the second car, KiteCat racing started at Nelson on the 22 Jan '05. It won't finish there though. Chris, though not from a yacht racing background, still came up with a creditable percentage of the usual excuses for losing- for a first timer that is. I was impressed.
"Who exactly had right of way in that situation?"
"I'm heavier than you are."
"I ran aground."
"You had a different wind than I had."
"You were so slow, I held back to let you catch up - and then you passed
"I wasn't aware that we were racing"
- yeh, right.
Unfortunately, I think he's going to be a quick learner on-the-water also, and just to be fair Chris, here's a hint: Lean forward to get as much of the craft's water line as possible engaged when upwinding- it's 5% faster at least- you probably didn't see this because I only did it when I was behind- and sat up quickly every time you looked around.
But this is all by the by- during our demoing, there was a bit of a whoopsie:- and I'm not referring to flying through the air directly after running onto a sandbar at high speed (Chris first, then me, seconds later). For both afternoon sessions, we were on the harbour at the end of an internal breakwater when the tide was almost fully out. There was an excellent exposed sandy area for kite launching- and the shallow water didn't worry the stainless steel KiteCat fins at all- we ploughed many grooves in the sea floor though.
Fully powered on 19sq.m Venoms (the only kite I ever use for kitesailing now) and on flat water; wow, it was excellent kitesailing, and a most convincing demo, judging by the enquiries it's generated.
But, unnoticed by me, beside where our spectators were clustered, a local indigene had a fishing line out into the channel. While doing a close in high speed show off gybe, I apparently caught this line, took it out 300m at high speed and then broke his new carbon rod. At this he started leaping around and shouting- to such an alarming extent that some of the spectators were for calling the police. He then filled his pockets with rocks- and hurled them at me, with commentary, when next I came in close. I still didn't know what he was on about- but thought perhaps there was some local rule by which boats were not permitted in that channel- though could see no other evidence for this.
When I finally came to land sometime later, he explained the situation to me and everyone within 100m's or so, in some detail. I reckon he should have turned the whole thing to his advantage by making it into a great 'one that got away' story- but didn't quite have the courage to suggest this.
The bit that I'm still unsure about though is his main point- that he was there first- did he mean that day?, or was he meaning by 500years or so?- and if the latter, then obviously the invention date for carbon fibre composite rods will need to be re-appraised backwards by a few centuries.
Then I had possibly the best two boosts I've had in 18 years of kitesailing development: On one reach I gradually caught a low flying bird- it turned and gave me quite a look as I edged passed- we were about equally surprised I believe. Then, while packing up, a local windsurfer came up unsolicited and said- "Hey, those guys you were passing; doesn't mean anything ya know, they're bunnies"- and reactions from some kitesurfers have been similarly tinged.
Remembering back to windsurfer's reaction to early kitesurfers, I reckon this is clear evidence that kitesailing is going to make it this time. At least it cancels out a comment from a concerned friend back in the early '90's 'Clowns of Clearwater' days; "Peter, you obviously like sailing very much, why don't you just go out and buy a proper yacht".
Unfortunately, now we're back to having no KiteCats here- this week, one leaves for Australia and the other for Kuwait.
30 Jan '05
From 31 Jan, Peter Lynn Ltd (Elwyn and I) formally separates from Peter Lynn Kites Ltd (large single line kites and PL traction kite products distributor for Australasia, operated by Jenny Cook). From this date, Elwyn and I derive our only kite related income from license fees- not that we won't continue to promote our brand and chase sales on behalf of all our licensees. The factory re-build for Peter Lynn Kites Ltd is at last taking shape down the back- though sporadically on account of the local shortage of builders. The much anticipated external (grassed) laying-out area is ready and waiting.
As a corollary to this change, Peter Lynn Ltd and Peter Lynn Kites Ltd will be getting independent but linked websites. There has been a lot of (completely justified) criticism of the Peter Lynn website in recent years, but in truth it has been just too difficult to fix. Plenty of good website designers are available, this has never been the problem- it's the
requirement for Jenny and I to each spend 100's of hours correcting and updating the information that is presented that has been the barrier.
Hopefully now we will have time to make some progress.
Also, Pete and Fiona are now based in Newcastle Australia, where Fiona is to commence her PhD in social anthroplology. Newcastle is an excellent site for the ongoing Arc style kite development that is Pete's main focus. His email address remains the same: email@example.com Chris (Brent) remains at our on the beach New Brighton (Christchurch) 'facility' (not sure it is really quite up to the title 'house'!