The Al Farsi’s get the Guinness record, it’s Gypsy day, and I’ve lost the plot.
Guinness has finally recognised the Al Farsi’s mega Kuwait flag kite as the largest kite in the world.
Guinness has also declared that it was made by Abdulrahman and Faris Al Farsi- which misascription doesn’t worry Simon and the team at Peter Lynn Kites Ltd at all- but is indicative of the general disfunctionality of the Guinness organisation as keeper of kite records.
I will leave the saga to be told fully by Meg Albers who shepherded this application through the Guinness process for the Al Farsi's, but some of the highlights were:
That it’s almost impossible to get Guinness to reply or respond to anything ever.
That they initially rejected the Al Farsi’s claim because; the kite was tethered to a truck while it was flying rather than being held onto by a person!.
Eventually they responded to the rather powerful argument that all their previous record holders had also been anchored to large objects, by agreeing to correct this mistake.
However, after many more months and repeated urging, they come back with, you guessed it, a decision that the appeal was refused because the kite was tethered to a truck while it was flying rather than being held onto by a person – and added that no further appeal would be allowed.
At this point (before this actually), my view was that Guinness should be sacked from any future role in kite record keeping, but Meg hung in there.
I'm guessing about this bit, but I imagine there may then have been some more direct contact with the Guinness hierarchy suggesting that Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah, the official witness to the flight, was not a good person to piss off right now, for more than one reason, but not least because he’s the boss of OPEC.
Whatever, Guinness then replied immediately that the certificate was in the mail, which it was, and said, by way of explanation, that they’d been unable to take any of the information supplied for the appeal because they’d lost the correspondence.
Not nearly good enough Guinness.
But congratulations Faris and Abdul Rahman, you’ve done it!
And, all congratulations and thanks to Meg ; It took organisational ability and tenacity of a very high order to push this through to eventual success in the face of such organisational disfunctionality.
June 1, is a New Zealand institution: It’s the day of the year when all dairy farm milking contracts begin and end , and the handover day for most farm ownership changes. On this day, everyone involved- incoming and outgoing- collects all their stuff together and hits the road. It’s called gypsy day.
For us, gypsy day is tomorrow, 1 Feb.
Tomorrow Jenny and Craig formally take over Peter Lynn Kites Ltd.
Yesterday they moved out of the old factory and dumped everything in one enormous pile into the new one.
Tomorrow is also the day when various of our other tenants take up new premises ( Elwyn’s and my other business).
And today is the last day for Elwyn and I directly employing staff.
And today I lost my favourite car (Mitsubishi 4wd) – which goes to Jenny and Craig- and tomorrow I get back my serially abused old Toyota van back in it’s stead, if it can make it up the hill back to the house.
Freedom starts for me tomorrow then! Hooray!, great gobs of uninterrupted time to really concentrate on kite designing- except for going to kite events that is, more of them than ever before judging from the density of notations already glaring at me from this year’s scheduling calendar.
The last few months have been very frustrating- so many things to do, so many exciting kite developments just on the verge, but no time to do anything except getting factories and equipment re-organized.
I also foolishly decided to develop a new design, the Kimono (below), in the ‘free time’ between xmas and new year.
Ha ha, after 250 hours full time, last Sunday was the first time it flew unaided and actually looked promising. My admiration for Martin Lester has been growing daily- heads are buggers of things to get right on ram air kites – many times I cursed the unintelligent design that caused us humans to have our heads stuck on up top rather than somewhere more helpful for kite designers, like between our legs for eg – come to think of it men might not be on such a wrong track after all.
The Kimono is 80% right now, so the job is 20% done- it’ll take another 1250 hours then. Sounds about right, this is how the 80/20 rule works isn’t it?
New things this month?
Well, none actually- for one or other of the following reasons:
1.There’s just been no time – see above.
2. I’ve had a bad run lately- 3 or 4 projects not quite coming together all at the same time.
3. I’m over the hill, can’t get it up any more, have basically lost the plot..
Lack of progress with the AP traction kites is what’s annoying me the most – The C Quad and bridled ‘foil versions are quite useable- with de-power range that puts them into a totally new class. But, for the C Quad, I still haven’t succeeded in adapting it to a bar, and flying off handles is just too hard on the arms and wrists, impossible for any sustained flying. The AP ‘foil still can still be tripped into a luff very occasionally if it’s transitioned from max power to max de-power too abruptly.
Sure, these are just detail things and will eventually succumb to development – but I want it to be NOW, not later.
Ashburton, 31 Jan ‘06
PS: Sorry the Newsletter is late this month, it’s because of the shift to the new Factory and also we had no email connection for a few days. We also hoped to have a photo of the NZKA members (visiting over the long weekend) flying all their wonderful kites with our new factory in the background, unfortunately the Ashvegas weather did not cooperate! (We all had a good time though!)