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
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!
Mirage Guy and RAF webmeister
A message of thanks from Terry Murray
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
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
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
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
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
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
New Tech Kites
Blue Moon Kites
Kitty Hawk Kites
Wings Over Washington Kite Club
And of course the Membership of The Richmond Air Force
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
Thanks for making this years event
so much fun!
Terry "Kitebus" Murray