“Blown Away” at the Ostend LOTTO KITES INTERNATIONAL

Yes we know, you are expecting us to talk about how very (that’s VERY) windy it was at the 29th Ostend Lotto Kites International.   It was indeed very windy – with wind speed well over 60 kph and another kite festival further east on the same coast recorded gusts of over 100 kph.

Saturday saw scattered rain in the morning but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the fliers.  The very strong wind though did make for a challenging time on the single line field.  The sport kite teams were able to carry on pretty much as normal even if they didn’t fly for quite as long as usual.  The afternoon though saw the sun and the public come out to see the show.  During the Rev Mega Team wind speeds gusting up to 72 kph were recorded!

Sunday saw more of the same with even more wind.  With wind speeds consistently high and gusty it was simply too dangerous to fly any of the big single line kites.   A few of the teams were willing to sacrifice kites to put on a show but finally the decision was made to cancel the event.  Some of the sport kite teams were able to fly ballet routines with the Air Heads from the UK doing amazing work with their Air Dynamic T2s and long tails.

However, that’s not really the headline story.  As always, we were blown away by the festival itself.   Whether it was the army  of quietly efficient helpers, the great food at the Saturday evening BBQ or energetic and enthusiastic Field Directors, everything was covered.  Lien and her team consistently deliver a well organised, welcoming and hugely professional event, taking good care of flyers, families and the public audience.  They work hard all year round to put on this fabulous event and deserve better than we were able to give them in return this year, mostly due to safety concerns in the strong winds.

On a personal note, it was really wonderful to meet Vanessa and her family and, even if we couldn’t do as much flying as we would have liked, we did get to talk to lots of kite flying friends old and new.