Old Codgers On The Road - 25-26th June 2013.
As something different for National Sports Week Mr Preston the PE master of Appleton Academy School Benfleet contacted EKG via our website. He was trying to offer the pupils as many choices of sports & recreation as possible so that all students sporting & non sporting may find something that appealed to them and get them out into the fresh air.
To that end I agreed to come along with Courtney to show the students a variety of single, two and four line kites and demonstrate the flying techniques.
On the day Old Codgers Ernie, Courtney & Colin gave up their usual venue and went on the road to Appleton's School Benfleet which caters for pupils 11-16 year olds and has a large playing field containing 400 mtr running track & rugby field. No trees or power lines, a great space for kites and other participating sports like Archery Golf & Kite Surfing.
The wind on the day was as usual poor to nil as we arrived around 08.15. But by the time we had the club shelter up and pegged and some low wind delta’s & rok’s sorted, the wind was showing signs of improvement
The first group of pupils arrived and after a short introduction to Health & Safety regarding kiting and the various types of kites, the group split into 3 joining Ernie for 2 lines sports kites and Courtney & Colin for single line kite flying.
Ernie had set up an inexpensive lightweight sports kite which wouldn’t matter if it got damaged. However this proved too difficult to fly for the pupils as non of them had flown before.
To make it easier Ernie set up his full size Carl Robertshaw Matrix kite which fly’s much slower and able to cope with the variable wind giving the pupils more time to react when turning the kite and keeping within the wind window.
For the second group Ernie set up a Pism 3D on short super light lines. This again proved too quick for the students and returned to the Matrix. As this group was older 13/14 most were able to take off and complete a figure of eight manoeuvre after a little practice. However 2 lads neither had flown before soon mastered the take off and a controlled landing, so another Matrix was added as a stack and the lads flew this with confidence, boosting their ego so much they gave up part of their break time. Had we discovered a couple of future kite flyers?
After lunch a group of young ladies 15+ with a couple of lads arrived. After a short chat on kiting, straight on to the Matrix stack. One very confident young man stepped forward and confessed to have flown a power kite. However his ego was dented in front of the ladies as he was unable to master the art of take-off into controlled flight. His confidence dented still further when one of his admiring ladies stepped forward to try. Unable to master the take off, but with help she managed to master controlled flying.
All members of the group tried 2 line flying and some with more practice could take to it. Unfortunately the day had come to an end and no more practice time was available. The three of us were exhausted and the packing up had to be done before looking forward to day 2. (To be continued)