Ken McNeil's "Old Dominion Blues" MambaOld Dominion Sport Kite Championships, June 18-20, 2004

Click here to see Ray's photos from the event!

The 2004 ODSKC is a unique Eastern League event, a competition dominated not by smooth beach winds and optimal conditions, not by fierce competition and heated rivalries.  No, the ODSKC is about atmosphere.  An atmosphere of southern hospitality that brings fliers back to Richmond year after year to sweat it out and "fly or die".

What other event in the EL spends so much time providing for its competitors?  This year was no different, with Adrienne Ballmer manning a hospitality tent stocked with cold ice water and biscotti for all!  (keep that peanut butter coming back, Adrienne!)  At ODSKC, it's all about the little extras, like a tent in the pit area for folks to cool down before or after they go on the field to compete, also stocked with ice water.

There were many notable performances on the field.  The Wright Brothers put on a heck of a show in Masters Pairs Ballet, Alex Mason did his thing, sweeping the Experienced Individual events, Ron Graziano flew the Machine like a machine, sweeping the dual-line Masters events.  Shawn Tinkham blew the field away with his quad ballet.

However, what made this event special wasn't so much what happened on the field, but what went on around the competition itself, starting with a fun fly Friday, where everyone got to enjoy some decent, albeit light winds, until they were chased off the field by lightning.  Saturday was blessed with some nice wind, biscotti (yeah, I really like the biscotti!), and a nice Virginia pace that still saw all events occur on time.  Saturday was topped by an auction that will be talked about for a while, an event-within-an-event that saw Ken McNeil's custom "Old Dominion Blues" Mamba (pictured above) and Ron Graziano's custom RAF Heavy Machinery (pictured below) go for premium prices and then some.  Also in the auction was a fantastic quilt made from old event and kiting t-shirts that was donated by RAF members, crafted by Heidi Smoot.  Those three items alone raised almost $2000 for next year's event, not to mention the other great items that went up for sale (your humble webmeister made out like a bandit, carrying home 50-some yards of fabric!).

The RAF "Heavy Machinery" by Ron GrazianoThe height of Sunday's windless performances would have to be that of Breaking Wind, the newest AKA Southeastern conference Masters Team.  Their precision and especially ballet performances will not be soon forgotten by all in attendance!  The pairs performance of I.R.S. fits into the same category; I'm pretty sure than no one on the EPP judging panel had ever seen two kites flying pairs land on opposite ends of the field facing each other.  All in all, a most entertaining day of flying, or at least attempting to fly, capping off another successful weekend at Dorey Park.

I'm just writing for myself here, without permission or collaboration from my fellow RAF members, but I think I can safely say that the RAF as a whole would like to thank Terry Murray, Adrienne Ballmer, Stephanie Hiebert, and Dave Hanson for putting together an smooth oiled-machine-like event that will stand as my personal favorite of the '03-'04 season (so far, NASKC is coming up soon!).

See you all in Newport!

-Marc Conklin
Mirage Guy and RAF webmeister

A message of thanks from Terry Murray

Greetings all,
First..If you get this message more than once, I apologize. It's important that we say thank you to everyone in attendance. Also, if I forget someone, forgive me, there were almost 100 of us.  Know that even if your name is not mentioned, the event lives on and thrives because of your help.
Everyone , please feel free to distribute this message to everyone you know who attended this years ODSKC.
Sincere thanks go out to all who attended this years Old Dominion Sport Kite Competition.
A note worth mentioning, is that ODSKC appears to have been the third highest competitor attended competition in the country , so far this AKA season.

Chief Judge David Hansen, and meet Coordinator Stephanie Hiebert did an unbelievable job with judging assignments and running the competition.  Lots of work before the event by both Stephanie, and David set them up to run a tight schedule.  We hope to have them both make ODSKC 2005 run just as smoothly.  David Hansen helped me to get many of the little details accomplished by helping me with the shirt logos, name tags, paperwork, and on and on and on.  Thank you Sir.

 Kathy Javens did scoring, causing her to be constantly hidden in the score tent keeping up with the mountain of paper work.  Thanks Kathy, for a job well done.
Because I had to work until 2:00 on Friday, Will Smoot and Stephen Ensign did the field set up at Dorey. Thanks to both of you for getting that done. On Friday evening Will and Janis Worth worked till early evening entering items into Will's auction program in his computer. In the very last few minutes leading up to the auction, things were still being entered. Many things were late this year because of various delays, and auction items even arrived on Friday afternoon. By the time it was all said and done Will's auction software made it possible to understand what sold and to who, and which sponsor provided the items.  Thanks Will for making it happen during the final innings.  The auction "system" has been developed by David Hansen for the past two years, and it really works. Thanks to Janis Worth for laying out the t-shirt and event program.
Harold And Elizabeth Ames conducted our scavenger hunt with four teams of four folks each taking part. Great prizes and tons of fun .
Mike Mosman's Eastern League seminar on "Music Editing" was very well attended, with some thirteen people listening closely and asking many interesting questions. Thanks Mike for taking the job on and providing the flyers with some of the fascinating ways to assemble ballet music.
The competing part of Virginia's event was fun. Winds on Saturday morning made us anchor things on the registration table.  Good winds most of the day, served most disciplines well.  A small rain shower caused Saturdays tear down to be slightly accelerated, but the rain was brief.  Thanks to the many folks who came to the auction early to help with setting up kites.  More than 100 items were auctioned, and most had to be assembled.
Thanks to all of you who were ready and willing early each day to unload the Kitebus Kaboose and set up sound, and tents and...and...and.
New this year we had a decorating committee for the dinner. Thank you Janice and Ray Novak for brightening up the banquet. Great job! Janice and Ray must have enjoyed their project, they have already signed up to do it again next year.
The Husz's "It's A Breeze" business, donated the great cups graced with the ODSKC logo. They looked great. If you didn't get one let me know, there are a few left over.
We thank Les Duty for providing the endless supply of paper work required to do an event. As usual it takes almost 1000 sheets of paper for everything.
Also new this year we had a bag raffle. Barbara Birnman and Cathy Mosman took charge of the daunting task of sorting and displaying everything and selling tickets, providing the event with a great way to shorten the auction.  Some great deals were made from the bag raffle, the spread was beautiful. Thanks Cathy and Barb for taking that task on. The ladies have already thought of some ways to hone next years raffle. We look forward to having you both again. Speaking of auction, what a great time we had. Thanks to Dennis, "The Voice of The Eastern League, thank you very much" Smith, for his usual amazing effort to keep things moving. Great job Dennis.
Many great deals were made during the auction, with some very fun new ways to approach things. For example, the rolls of fabric have always slowed us down. This year, with the help of Doug Charleville it just sort of happened that when bidding would start on a roll of rip stop, he would then start counting down from five to quicken the bidding. It worked fantastic! That is the new way that we will handle items that are so plentiful.  I had a ball picking up Doug's lead and counting down, (It sounded kind of like Hot Tricks.) Five, four, three, two, one ...Sold!  The auction handlers, Alex Mason, Aaron Husz, Time Vezzi, and Andrew Albosta had a busy night keeping item cards flowing to Dennis.  
We thank all of our fine sponsors who provide us with items to auction and keep the bills paid. This year we saw some unbelievable donations go for unprecedented bids. Ken McNeil's "Old Dominion Blues" Blues Brothers kite, Ron Graziano's "Heavy Machinery" sport kite, and Heidi Smoot's handsewn delightful quilt brought in a total of almost two thousand dollars. Heidi's quilt was assembled with event t shirts donated by many of the RAF and WOW members. All three items were finely crafted hand made works of art. Thanks to each of you. Thanks also to the bidders. Bonnie Marvin of "Hang Em High Fabrics" 804 233 6155 took the quilt home, Mike Mosman now can practice with his "Graziano Heavy Machinery", and Harold Ames left with not only the "Old Dominion Blues , Blues Brothers kite", but with a matching shirt, thanks to our bud Phil Napier.  In keeping with my constant need to pun, perhaps this years auction will be remembered as "The Warm Blue Machine".  Ok, Ok, sorry.
Sunday brought us cold temps, with a light cool breeze. Light winds prevailed throughout the day. Light wind kites and quickly moving feet were the order of the day, including many 360's.
Thanks to Doug "Mr. H2O" Charleville, and Todd "Ice Man" Haymans for keeping us filled with ice and water. Todd and Court Strong also picked up and delivered the tables and chairs from the Dorey park barn. Thanks Guy's!
Our event would not be what it is without, Adrianne Balmer. She and her "Second Wind" hospitality tent served up lunches, water, home made biscotti, ice pops, and cool towels throughout the weekend.  Genuine Virginia peanuts were even provided to everyone. With the help of her assistant, Husband Mearl,  Adrianne is indeed The Queen of Hospitality!  Thanks for all that you do Adrianne, on behalf of myself and all of the guests.
Notice that I didn't say flyers. Not everyone who attends, fly's or competes. That is duly noted and we thank you all for coming to visit with us. I know that I can speak for many of us and say that one of the great benefits from these events and festivals are the tremendous friendships that form. Especially to the folks who are not chasing points, we thank you for coming. It was great to see everyone and catch up!
One thing I witnessed from the sound tent and registration table during the day Saturday,  was a woman who came to watch. She asked a few questions and took notes on what was going on. After a short while, after noticing shirts on the table, she asked if she could buy one. Of course! I told her. She was given her "Spectators Guide" provided by The Eastern League and a few minutes later I also noticed that she had proudly donned her new event shirt, and had found a shady spot under the tent. She, while seemingly unnoticed,  joyfully spent the rest of the afternoon taking in a competition. Her excitement at what she was seeing reminded me of why I was attracted to this sport. Hopefully she will return next year. As we have learned, we never know who's watching and who just might walk up someday, and say, can I try that? 
This event has always had some great staff who come back each year. Many from great distances. Tom, Susan and Alex Mason, (we missed you Hilary) Gary and Maggie Engvall, Rich and Kathy Javens. The membership of The Richmond Air Force Kite Club and of course our Wings Over Washington family provide volunteers for everything imaginable. Thank you to everyone who judged, ran errands, helped with set up, tear down, pit bossing, field directing, or helped out in any of the little hidden ways to make ODSKC 2004 a fine success.
Please read the back of this years event shirt and patronize our sponsors. Without the fine sponsors and all of you, this event is not possible.
Our list of "Platinum Sponsors" include,
Bonnie Marvin of Hang Em High Fabrics, for trophies.
 Avia Sport Composites 
 Premier Kites
 New Tech Kites
 Blue Moon Kites
 Kitty Hawk Kites
Wings Over Washington Kite Club
And of course the Membership of The Richmond Air Force Kite Club
If you have idea's on how we can improve ODSKC, please pass your thoughts on to me. As I've always said, we learn as we go.  Many of you have great ideas, and they are needed.
For scores, pictures ,and reports please visit the web sites below.

Thanks for making this years event so much fun!

Terry "Kitebus" Murray