It has been a while, and it has been a rather peculiar summer, most weekends the wind has been "tricky", certainly not conducive to kite flying. And, of course, we lived through the hot spell, when there was little or no wind. A few of us tried flying, but often it was so hot, we just sat melting and chatting. But we have had a couple of events to pop along to.

Margam Park Kite Festival

A few of us attended Margam Park kite festival this year, which was held over the Queen's jubilee weekend. Unfortunately, once again, the weather was the major talking point. The Thursday, the first day of the event was pretty good, warm sunshine and a good breeze meant that kites were in the air all day. Friday was a different matter, It was hot and calm, making kite flying difficult and strenuous. Some brave souls tried their best, but the day was really written off. Then on the Friday evening and through the night a storm hit. Waking up on Saturday there were scenes of destruction in the camping area. Tents, awnings and gazebos had all suffered damage in the overnight wind, and the winds continued to build through the day. Several people left on Saturday. Sunday saw the wind drop away, but rain was forecast all day. As we were due to leave on Monday anyway, I decided to hit the motorway early, and headed home on the Sunday afternoon.

Hythe Green Preservation Society

We had been invited to fly kites as part of the opening of the green. We had an area marked out, but at the start of the day, the wind was non-existent, but climbed steadily through the day until it was too strong for most of us. The event only lasted a couple of hours, but a good natter was had (no change there) and we may well be invited back for more events in the future, so it was a good contact to make.

Cardigan Bay Kite Festival

A couple of our members attended this event this year. Unfortunately, once again the weather was against them, strong winds and rain made for an uncomfortable couple of days under canvas!

Kites on the Beach

Once again we had been invited by Walmer Town Council to participate in their kites on the beach event. Once again the wind was tricky. Coming off the castle always seems to be the worst direction at this location. But we kept kites in the air for the whole event, though that was more by luck than judgement I fear. The cub flight of flotails were getting an airing, but the turbulent conditions made keeping them in the sky extremely difficult. I believe we sold out of kites on our stall, so that was good, and we have been invited back for next year's event.

Betteshanger Wind Festival

Back after a couple of years hiatus. The site is now under new ownership, the visitor centre has been completed to a very high standard and there is a nice cafe. A few of us camped for the weekend, Including Mike and Chris all the way from Northampton. Once again the wind was playful, and the ground was rock hard making anchoring quite difficult. But there were a lot of people about enjoying the fine weather, and being (re)introduced to kite flying. The conversations I had with several enthusiastic members of the public were most rewarding. So far the feedback has been positive, so I expect the event to happen again next year

Bognor Regis Kite Festival

Several members attended this event staged by Dave Mitchell. A good time was had by all, and we were once again made to feel very welcome by the locals, who seem very pleased to host the event. The weather was pretty good throughout the weekend, though once again, the wind dropped away on the Saturday afternoon. This meant that the night flying was not really possible. Fortunately, Dave had arranged for aerosparx to put on a display with powered gliders of precision flying with LEDs and fireworks. They did a fabulous job. It was a great opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new friends, and spend some money with the traders on site. This festival is getting pretty big now.