Berck sur Mer Kite Festival 2014

RICV-Berck-2014-crowdsThe world famous Berck sur Mer Kite Festival (Rencontres Internationales de CerfsVolants ) is without question one of the must attend festivals on the kite circuit.  With everything kite related from miniature kites to the world’s largest kite,  art kites to sport kites, banners to wind gardens this festival really does have it all and in abundance.

We have been lucky enough to have been regular visitors at this festival since the mid 1990’s so arriving at the outskirts of Berck on the first day of the festival feels a little like coming home.  Over the years we have seen changes:

  • the fall in dominance of sparred single line kites
  • the meteoric rise of giant inflatable soft kites
  • the development of freestyle sport kites
  • the introduction of the World Sport Kite Championships

Of course, many things are still the same:

  • the amazing family of kiters that attend every year
  • the warm welcome of the people of Berck
  • Peter Lynn’s Octopus kite
  • the most excellent Revolution kite.

This year’s festival was one of the best with fabulous weather from the beginning.  We had clear blue skies and a smooth light wind from the sea which meant the skies on the first weekend were as full as we have ever seen.  There was a tangible air of excitement in the main demo field too.  The competitors for the World Sport Kite Championships were finishing their preparations and flying their ballets in the arena for the first time.  It was clear from the outset that these teams were here to win, but there was also a great atmosphere of camaraderie.

During the week we saw a closely fought competition, the winds were not so kind to the sport kite fliers though, coming over the town and increasing in strength.  Thankfully, for the last day of competition the wind turned enough for the teams to show the judges the best routines of the week.  It was really close with The Scratch Bunnies from the UK finally winning out.  Well done to all the teams for an exciting competition.

Whilst all this was happening, further down the beach the Revolution kite fliers were gathering to practice their mega team flying.  11 am every morning saw 30+ fliers getting together to create some truly wonderful shapes and patterns.  The highlight of the week for us was one of the last mega team displays in the arena.  The weeks practice culminated in a story like routine, narrated from the main PA box by Philippe from team FLIC.  It was the romantic story of Bob & Gianette on holiday in Paris.

Philippe introduced the crowd first to Bob (a stick man made of Revs) then Gianette.  They went by car (another Rev figure) to Paris where they saw the Eiffel Tower (somewhat leaning) and finally we saw the Beating Heart.  The crowd loved it.   Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures as it is a little tricky to use a camera whilst flying a Revolution kite 30cm away for 20 of it’s friends!

Too much happens in 10 days of solid kiting to report it all here but we would like to say a huge thank you to all the people who spent time with us, shared the sky with us and laughed with us.  It seems somehow fitting that the end of the festival goes out with a bang with the night fly and firework display on Saturday night (which is truly spectacular).  More poignant was the beautiful sunset and dead calm sea of our last night in Berck.

See you all next year.