Niagara Windriders Newsletter

The Official Newsletter of the Niagara Windriders Kitefliers Association, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fall Kiting News - Busy End to the 2005 Kiting Season

There is lots of news to relate as the 2005 kiting season comes to a close.

1. NWKA Event Dates and Plans for 2006:

At today's September club fly several decisions were made by the flyers in attendance which gave approval to our schedule for 2006. You may wish to mark these dates on your calendar:

January 29, 2006 - NWKA Winter Kitemaking Workshop:
  • Join us to make a terrific single line Butterfly Kite (or two or three) to help push winter out of your mind. This project will use ripstop nylon, carbon filament whisker rods, dacron and will include skills of "hot cutting" and some modest sewing. A whole group of NWKA members with sewing skills will be there to help you make your kite if you do not have a sewing machine or if you tremble at the thought of running one. The costs will be for materials only and will be very modest.
  • In case of bad weather, the alternate date is the following Sunday, February 5, 2006.
  • The event will be held at Humberstone Hall (our usual indoor location) in Port Colborne.
  • Detailed information will be provided well in advance of the event.
  • A call for registration will go out in advance so we can have all necessary materials on hand for this workshop
March 24, 2006 - Annual General Meeting and Spring Kite Building Workshop:
  • Join us for the Annual General Meeting to select a new Board of Directors for 2006 and to develop plans and work teams for the 14th Annual Canal Days Kite Festival.
  • The Kite Building Project will be to make a large kite train that will belong to the club. We will select a type of kite that we can make multiples of to give us a completed kite train for the 2006 season. It is our hope to have a project that will give each member a personal kite to take away as well.
  • Detailed information will be provided well in advance of the event.
  • A call for registration will go out in advance so we can have all required materials on hand.
Club Flying Dates at Lakeview Park in Port Colborne:
  • Sunday, April 30, 2006
  • Sunday, May 28, 2006 (includes a special event for two of our members)
  • Sunday, June 26, 2006
  • Sunday, July 30, 2006 (final on-field planning meeting for Canal Days Kite Festival)
14th Annual Canal Days Kite Festival:
  • Saturday, August 5th: Field Setup and 'Spectacular Night Fly'
  • Sunday, August 6th: Festival Fly for Club Flyers - special events, awards, prizes and barbecue
  • Monday, August 7th: Kids-n-Kites Kitemaking and Flying (5th annual free kitemaking!)
  • Sunday, August 27, 2006
  • Sunday, September 24, 2006
  • Sunday, October 29, 2006 (Annual "Hot Cider" and Fall Treats Event!)

2. Niagara International Kite Festival:

A big event is happening in our "back yard" as the Town of Lewiston. NY will be hosting a special kite festival at Artpark. Following on the heels of the huge American Kitefliers Association National Convention in Ocean City, MD this event will have several prominent kiters in attendance with some great kites in the air.

All the details are found a the Niagara Kite Festival web site. Be sure to visit and register.

One of the features of this event will be the Homan Walsh "spanning the Niagara Gorge by kite challenge". The Niagara Windriders have entered a team in this event. If you wish to join the team just drop a note to:

A brief team meeting was held today and a practice flight was undertaken which showed great promise for our kite and principal "Kite Meister" Vaino Raun. Vaino will be accompanied by a fabulous team composed of: Kite Line Reelers, Kite Spotters, Radio Signal Personnel, and Kite Landers.

3. Other News from the September 25th Club Fly:
  • We welcomed another new member today: -a hearty welcome to Russell Wade of St. Catharines.
  • Jennifer Hindson, long time club member, and husband-to-be Zenon Lewycky of Ottawa were out to say their goodbyes to our club. Jen and Zenon will be residing in the nation's capital very soon. Jen - everyone here will miss you greatly; you were a 'spark' of good fun at every single event and a strong supporter of our club and our Canal Days festival. We will all have to fly a little bit higher so that you can see our kites from Ottawa. All NWKA members wish you folks much happiness and hope that the two of you will come back from time to time to be with us!
  • Wind was light and not many kites stayed up for long.
  • Sixteen members were in attendance.
  • Vaino Raun got help in repairing his large Canada flag Sutton Flow Form kite. It seems that the bridle got cut by the kite of the Prez of the Toronto Kiteflyers at a flying event in Fruitland this past spring. Now that it is repaired Vaino can fly it at the AKA Convention this week in Ocean City.
  • Several members were checking on plans to be sure that we had "Hot" apple cider for our October flying event on Oct. 30, 2005. It seems everyone remembers the "c-o-l-d" cider that was served at the 2004 event!
  • Derrick Jeanes gave us a quick overview on finances. His report indicates that club finances are very sound. Can a large club kite be very far away???
More news and communication will come out prior to the Niagara Falls International Kite Festival.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

5th Club Fly - 2005 - Sept. 25th - Latest Club News

1. September Club Fly - Sunday 25th at Lakeview Park:

This Sunday we will hold our monthly club fly at Lakeview Park in Port Colborne from noon to 4:30 p.m. Come earlier if you would like to - we have the field registered to us by permit.

In addition to flying and some great kite socializing it is hoped that we can take 15 minutes to discuss some kite club programs for the 2006 flying season. Among the ideas that club members have brought forward are:
a) a Winter Workshop of kite making to be held on the last Sunday in January (as well as our traditional Spring kite making workshop in March);
b) a new special event for Canal Days 2006 which will keep all of our visiting kite flyers intrigued and engaged in participating;
c) a pair of new club banners that incorporate our club logo (to go with our club shelter and club sign);
d) the concept of having a pair of club members acting as named 'hosts' for the various home weekend flying events (this will make sure that there is a designated 'leader' for each of the monthly flys;
e) some portable field signs to advise spectators that the field area has been reserved for NWKA and to be cautious about kite lines on the field {i.e. do not cross the field in case of injury];
f) other new ideas that you have had percolating in your mind but have not as yet exposed to the 'air'! All ideas welcome!

One other item will be on the agenda: forming an NWKA team to attempt to fly across the Niagara Gorge (see the item below for background).

Hope to see you Sunday. In case of bad weather (heaven forbid) we can carry on the discussion at our final club fly in October where we will have some "HOT" apple cider and other fall goodies. (Absolutely no smart remarks are allowed about last year's '-c-o-l-d-' apple cider !!!)

2. Niagara International Kite Festival - October 7-9, 2005:

This festival will be a great chance for many of you to see some noted kite flyers from across North America in a setting that is very close to our Niagara Peninsula. The Festival is being held in two locations in Niagara Falls NY and will feature some very unusual kites and a great collection of flyers from club level to major competition level. No need to travel to Wildwood, Ocean City or Grand Haven to see a large array of kites and kiters - it will be located close by and easy to visit.

The complete festival website is located at:

Here are some details:
a) Homan Walsh - Spanning the Niagara Gorge Re-enactment and Competition:

In 1848 Homan Walsh, a ten year old from Niagara Falls NY, entered a competition to fly a kite across the Niagara Gorge. The purpose of the competition was to get a light line across the river in a place where a suspension bridge could eventually be built to link the US and Canada and improve travel and commerce. Many entered, but young Homan flying from the Canadian side was the successful competitor. From his original kite line a series of increasingly stronger lines was pulled across the gorge until finally a rope big enough to pull a steel cable spanned the gorge. From that single steel cable a series of other cables was strung and the first Niagara suspension bridge was built. For his efforts, Homan Walsh receive the huge sum of $10. (remember, in 1848 that was a lot of money!).
This year, on Friday, Oct. 7th the Niagara International Kite Festival will provide an opportunity for teams to vie for bragging rights to join a very select few who have ever accomplished this feat. It was done by two teams in 1992, the last time this festival was held.
For details on Homan Walsh and his original flight visit the Niagara International Kite Festival web site at: This excellent historical paper was researched and written by Meg and Bill Albers. It is very complete and worth a read to understand the historical significance of the Homan Walsh kite flight.

b) The Festival:
On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, the festival will fill the sky at Artpark in Lewiston NY. The details of a very full schedule can be found on the Festival web site at:

c) Festival Planners:
The festival is being planned and coordinated by Meg and Bill Albers of Buffalo NY. All NWKA members know Meg and Bill as they are regular visiting flyers at our Canal Days Kite Festival.

This event is a great chance to see a terrific group of kiters and to raise your kites while standing shoulder to shoulder with some fine people from across North America!

3. TKF Kite Festival - Another Success!

Congratulations to President Don Brownridge and the members of TKF who, along with their sponsors, presented another great kite festival at Milliken Park in Toronto just this past Saturday and Sunday. Although winds were very light on Sunday, there were some mighty fine kites to be seen and lots of chances to trade kite stories and tips in the many lulls between puffs of wind.

NWKA member that I am aware of that attended were: Jim Anes, Vaino Raun, Bob White, and Paul, Mary, Michael and Kristen Kort. Ted and Joan Shaw and Meg Albers were there from our neighbouring club in Western NY (GLKS). Carlos Simoes from KW-Wind Climbers, Dennis Ische from Renegade Strings, Bill and Kathy Peart from Royal City Fun Flyers, and Eric Curtiss from SCKC were there as well. Of course, all the TKFers that we know in Niagara were there as well.

Some great kite photos of the festival were taken by some of the kiters. Two of the on-line galleries can be seen at:
- (Harald Koch)
- (Dennis Ische).

That's all the news for now. See you on the field on Sunday, Sept. 25th.