Group Leader: Geoff Catchpole
Where: Usually Cliff Park,
but email me as we sometimes need a bigger location especially as we grow in numbers and become more adventurous with stunt kites.
When: Third Friday 10-11.30am (Summer, weather permitting!) Other times by short-time arrangement, wind conditions, health and enthusiasm permitting.
Vacancies: Contact Group Leader
Contact: Geoff Catchpole 01255 508525
"I cant do it, I don't run" is no excuse.
Please note: no running is required for flying a kite. Running to get a kite airborne is a childhood storybook myth not part of the U3A activity. (Swimming to collect it from the sea is optional!)
If there is not enough wind kites will not fly. We only had one day in 2017 and none in 2018 when this was a problem in Cliff Park. However I do have two kites built for flying in no wind conditions but you stand still to do this, no running.
Intermittent or blustery winds are more common and discovering how wind travels and how kites can be adapted to differing wind conditions is part of the learning.
When we have more than two members present we can only fly single line kites if we are all to fly at once (but one member may fly 3 or 4 very different styles of kite during the hour). In 2019 I hope those who are now experienced pilots will progress to using windsocks on their flying lines and launching parachutes from their kites. By 11.00 to 12 there's usually time, if there is still energy, to play with stunt kites too, both 2 and 4 line.
Current members have proved very generous in letting visitors fly their kites. So do come & visit before you join. You won't need running shoes but a light pair of gloves helps prevent string burns on your hands and bring sunglasses as the wind often seems to blow into the sun and the sky can be bright even on cloudy days.
Most dramatic kite we have flown this year is a two line parachute (parafoil) stunt kite which on a brisk day will take two 30 ft tails allowing a complete figure of 8 and a complete circle to be made. https://youtu.be/vqjwsP8h_aU
We had one session where we decorated our own kites (from blanks Geoff won in a kite festival raffle) and we may get deeper into making our own kites this year as we sometimes have a visitor from Tendring U3A who is ace at this.
Current members have enjoyed shopping for kites locally and online and we now often fly several different forms and a wide range of sizes between 10.00 and 11.30 on Fridays in Cliff Park.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.