The ChronicleHerald.ca – too much of a good wind grounds entries at kite fest

Here is a sample of how our first Maritime Kite and Kayak festival went on day 1….

I’ll have more later with lot’s of pics in the gallery and on flickr.. :)

–Bill

Jack Marshall, 4, of Pictou giggles Saturday afternoon, unaware of the gigantic lobster floating in the air behind him. (Mary Ellen MacIntyre)

The ChronicleHerald.ca for the complete story

Turns out beach volleyball and lighting charcoal weren’t the only Canada Day activities hampered by high winds.

Day 1

of the first Maritime Kite and Kayak Festival at Pictou Lodge was less spectacular than organizers hoped, with strong wind keeping most of the large kites on the ground.

“When you have too much wind, you have turbulence and turbulence means danger for kites,” said Bernie Houle of Dieppe, N.B. “Because you’re getting no tension on the line and all of a sudden lots of tension, and very often the line will pop.”

Indoor workshops for kids to learn to build their own kites were busy and kayakers persevered, making use of both the lodge’s small lake and the Northumberland Strait.

Unfortunately, erratic gusts of wind sent a huge lobster-shaped kite into the salt water, too.

“That lobster kite retails for about $1,400,” said Bill Wilson of Halifax Area Recreational Kiters. “When we get gusts of 50 or 60 kilometres an hour the spars, which are carbon fibre graphite spars, bend in half and they get to the point where they just snap.”

Alain Bosse of Pictou Lodge got the idea for a kite festival after taking up the hobby three years ago, attracted by the fact that it didn’t require huge amounts of skill or time to enjoy.

“We fly kites at the lodge pretty well every day, as entertainment for the kids,” he said. “I’ve got kites 19 feet wide, I’ve got power sleds, the big bear, big lobsters — I’ve got about 30 kites in my collection. There’s one guy here this weekend that has 100 kites with him.

“A power sled is a kite . . . that’s like a big air balloon, and it just lifts off and it has a huge amount of pull. I’ve got a 22-foot power sled and it will pull about 1,000 pounds. It gives you the power to hold other things on your main line.”

Bosse said local fishermen sometimes scoff at him when he calls kite flying a sport, but he begs to differ.

“It pulls just as much as a salmon would, as much as a tuna would,” he said. “Once you’ve got one of those big kites up in the air. . . . Anybody under 100 pounds can’t fly them — they’ll just lift right off the ground.”

The rainy weather so far this summer means this weekend is the first time members of various kite flying clubs around the region have gathered.

Several flyers bought spools of 675-kilogram test cord, which looks just like parachute cord, to get ready for today, and winds were forecast to die down Saturday night.

( bspurr@herald.ca)

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