Monthly Archives: December 2006

Brazil : Kite Fighting

Back in October of this year I came across an article from Gringoes.com talking about kite fighting. In the article the author, Laurie, stated the following.

“As I have never seen kite fighting in the United States, I am wondering if this is a phenomenon unique to Brazil? Perhaps a “Gringoes” reader will know the answer to this!”

Of course after reading this I quickly fired up my email client and sent off an email with some information about the North American Fighter Kite Association (NAFKA) and some of the differences between North American kite fighting and those used in the Gringoes.com article. Here is the short note I sent off…

Hello there,

Kite fighting does happen in the US and Canada. The North American Kite Fighting style uses smaller kites (usually) and without the glass coated line. It’s “touch” kite fighting. i.e. you have to try and attack your opponent either from below or above (decided at the beginning of the fight). Once you make contact with the line or kite from the prescribed direction you receive a point. A match consists of 3 fights.
….

One thing that is truly great about the way we publish information on the internet is that people are usually only too glad to hear from readers, it’s much more personal which is more or less the opposite of what a lot of people thought would happen. This kind of communication is great for me since one of the goals of this website is to help spread the word about all things related to kites. Continue reading

U2 kite fetches high price on TradeMe

Really cool story from the New Zealand Herald about two U2 fans that raised twelve hundred and thirty dollars for OxFam by auctioning off a kite that Bono had released over the crowd at a concert.

New Zealand Herald Wrote

6.00pm Tuesday December 5, 2006

A kite released by U2′s lead singer Bono during one of the band’s Auckland concerts last week has fetched $1230 on Trade Me, with proceeds being donated to development agency Oxfam New Zealand.

Two of the 40,000 U2 fans, Claire and Hayden Keam, caught the kite as it floated above them during the last song and promptly put it on the online auction site in a bid to raise money for Oxfam.

The auction closed at 2.20pm today and a bidder by the name of “paitid” will hand over their cash in a three-way exchange with Oxfam and the Keams.

“I’m stoked that we’ve been able to raise some money for Oxfam,” Mrs Keam said.

“I’ll miss having the kite on our wall, but knowing that the sale of it will mean that the money will be used to help people that are so much less fortunate than us is brilliant.”

Mrs Keam said the Tauranga couple had decided to sell the kite on Trade Me and in honour of Bono’s own campaign to end world poverty, they decided to give the proceeds to charity.

“We talked around and looked on the internet and we did our own research and Oxfam is one of the organisations he supports,” Mrs Keam said.

Executive director of Oxfam New Zealand Barry Coates said he was looking forward to showing the Keams how the funds they raised will make a huge difference to people living in poverty.

Mr Coates said a large portion of Oxfam New Zealand’s income came from members of the public and all of them had their own story of commitment to poverty reduction.

“This is a particularly delightful story of how an individual can seize an opportunity to fight for better lives for the world’s poor,” he said.

“We want to thank not only Claire and Hayden, but the thousands of New Zealanders who support our work,” he added.

“The change we see throughout the world because of the commitment of individual Kiwis is inspiring.”

However, Bono’s kite fell short of the $22,800 one Trade Me buyer spent on the handbag former All Black captain Tana Umaga walloped a team mate with to calm him down during a night on the town in Christchurch last year.

Kites towing cargo ships – Kite Sails and Kite Ship

There have been a few stories popping up about Kite Sails lately. Kite Sails is a German company that hopes to be the first to use a kite as an engine assist device for large cargo ships. My good friend Bob White of the Niagara Wind Riders has a great article talking about Kite Sails and Kite Ship on his blog Best Breezes. Have a read you won’t be disappointed

Here are some of the stories that have come up over the last couple of days.

A kite to pull a cargo ship – CNET News.com

German high-tech sky sail may cut costs, emissions – Reuters via Yahoo! News

High-tech sail may cut cargo ship costs – Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Four lawsuit filed against maker of kite tubes – Mlive.com

MLive.com is reporting that four separate law suits have been filed against Kite Tube maker SportStuff Inc.

This was inevitable, the lawyers waited until there was blood in the water and then started actively soliciting kite tube victims to file suits. Some of them, I am not sure if they are related to these 4 suits, even used this site to advertise their services. All in all I am not entirely sure how I feel about the families suing SportStuff for their loss or injuries.

On Nov 20, 2006 – Mlive.com writes

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Four lawsuits have been filed against the Omaha company that made a flying tube that has been linked to boating accidents that killed at least two people and injured 39 others.

One of the lawsuits claims a Canadian man died while riding a Kite Tube in Ontario. Another was filed on behalf of a Michigan man who claims he was injured when he was ejected from a Kite Tube and struck the water.

SportsStuff Inc. voluntarily recalled 19,000 Wego Kite Tubes in July in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission said it knew of two deaths reported in Wisconsin and Texas.

The company’s kite tubes are 10-foot-wide inflatable rafts tethered to the back of a powerboat. When the user pulls on the handles, the tube becomes airborne, turning the rider into a human kite.

“I think it’s just an unsafe product,” said Ronald J. Palagi, the lawyer handling all four of the lawsuits filed in Douglas County District Court last month.

Palagi said he expects to file seven more lawsuits by the end of the year.

Besides SportsStuff, the lawsuits name a Florida-based marketing company, World Publications Inc.

SportsStuff referred all calls about the lawsuits to Houston attorney Michael Beckelman, who was on vacation and did not immediately return calls for comment.

In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Beckelman declined to comment on the lawsuits.

In its letter to consumers, SportsStuff said the company does not believe the Wego Kite Tubes are defective or unreasonably dangerous. But SportsStuff agreed to the recall “in an abundance of caution.”

Other stories about Kite Tube law suits:

Wrongful death suit filed against kite tube manufacturer