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The forecast for the day was overcast with rain coming in late afternoon with 20 mph wind. Much better than what we had the previous day , rain, rain, and more rain.
Sandra & I decided to arrive fairly early 10.00 ish as the park is very popular and parking can be a problem as the day becomes alive so picked up chairman Colin 09.15 ish and made our way to Hylands Park driving through a little drizzle on route but clearing well before we arrived .
On arrival there were no kites flying but there was a brisk wind. I think for the first time ever the park flag was flying proud at 90 deg’s the its pole indicating a good consistent wind something I hadn’t experienced since returning from Fuerteventura .
Keith Marshall and John Fewell were already there Keith texting the regulars to see if they were coming and reporting the conditions. Wet and sticky underfoot but not to be unexpected considering the rainfall the previous day, after all it is winter and the secret to having a good day is to dress for the conditions. Plenty of layers wind and water proof with good footwear, water proof boots or wellingtons.
Checking the field it was a bit sticky in places but decided I would try the Flowform 7 with Sandra’s horses Black Beauty & Red Rum as line laundry.
Finding a suitable spot a good ground anchor was set up and the flying line run out and fixed to the anchor. The horses were also tethered to the line as I know with the fresh wind King Kong wouldn’t be strong enough to get slack in the line to attach any laundry once the Flowform 7 had stretched its wings.
With everything attached and the anchor checked the FF was attached and allowed to unfurl, the wind filled its cells and within seconds it powered itself to maximum height with the horses now filled and stretching their legs as if galloping over the skies.
Satisfied the FF was OK Colin was struggling to launch his foil but with my extra pair of hands he managed a launch but it was very unstable. Too much wind so after taking a twist out on the bridle we attached a fluffy tail and a bucket drogue which achieved better stability and surprised me as to how well it was flying.
By now Frank & Daphne had arrived. Frank was persevering with great success with his Asian fighters Frank is at hart a fighter flyer and not so keen on the display kites whereas Daphne was driving her anchor into the ground with a 7lb sledge hammer to anchor her latest acquisition she had been awaiting from the USA. With Keith John & Franks help she unfurled a Giant inflatable Ebbinghaus fish from the Premier collections about 15mtr in length. A truly magnificent inflatable show kite which will fly without the usual lifter as demonstrated today as it gently inflated and when full slowly climbed into the sky. A magnificent crowd puller.
The faithful crows were next to be exercised, again not stretched their wings since flown in Fuerteventura.
As they fly around the main line they require space away from other kites so they were set up over the far side in line with the trees but well away so they appeared to be flying above the trees as rooks and crows do. Eventually they were all airborne and looking great so time for coffee
After a break for coffee and a sandwich Vernon & Margaret arrived unfortunately Margaret had a cold so stayed in the car while Vernon put together his Harlequin Box unfortunately it was rather unstable in the freshening wind and a good balance couldn’t be found. It probably required a tail to slow it down a bit but no one had anything suitable, so after a while he gave it best as Margaret was under the weather.
The wind was freshening and the clouds were getting lower when the Flow Form decided to do a 360 and its 75 ft pennant tail tangled with one of the crows pulling it into the path of 3 other crows which obviously attacked furiously destabilising the FF causing it to fly across the crows main line and the 1200lb FF line was immediately cut by the 120lb crow line. Fortunately the crows hung on and everything came down in a heap.
Having untangled the crows they were re-launched but the FF bridles were in a mess and the pennant tail was all knotted so I packed them away to untangle at home.
Vernon, Keith & John had already left as the conditions deteriorated and looked as if the promised rain was on it’s way so we all started gathering in the remainder of the display packing it into the cars and bided farewell to what had been an excellent flying day. Probably the best wind we had ever had at Hylands in the last decade as we always seem to suffer from lack of wind at this venue. But what was important we all had a blow of fresh air and exercise after all that stuffing over Christmas.
Excerlent write up with pictures about New Years day well done Ernie looks like you all had a good day. The weather where we were look awful so did not venture out we just finished of the champagne from the day before HIC cheers
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