Niagara Windriders Newsletter

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Fly 2007

About 20 kiters, some strange, some normal came out to our annual October Halloween Fly. It was a crisp fall day that delivered all types of weather. It was definitely a winter coat and gloves day. Yes, we had wind, but it was from the northwest at the start and then shifted to coming from the north. This meant that we had finicky swirly winds. We also saw some sun and some rain. Luckily there was no s!*#.
The Korts set up a Coleman stove and we had HOT cider! Chris White (aka Sumo) brought some delicious baked goods. Some kiters were content to chat and catch up with friends rather than chancing getting out their kites only to reel them in if the skies opened up.

Some of the notable characters that came out to brave the weather were Thor, the Sumo wrestler, a country bumpkin, a bride, a scarecrow, a monk, a fireman and 2 princesses.
Yes, there were actually some kites in the air!

Some of the prizes that were awarded were for the cutest kiters...awarded to the Marks! I'm sure some of the female kiters would like to see Gary in next years Fireman Calender!, but the twins outshine him as princesses.

Terri & Tyrone unfortunately had to leave early, but I'm told they had made halloween based kites, and therfore won in this category.
BUT.....The grand prize goes to Fred Taylor as the 'crossdressing bride' and receives the CREEPIEST Halloween Costume award!

Well, that's about it for 2007. Now that weather is in a downslide, we can clear out the trunks and the minivans and store the kites in a nice warm place and wait for next season. We had a great summer for flying with the lack of rain, the great winds, and good friends! The directors are planning for next year and with the 30th anniversary of Canal Days, a bigger and expanded celebration for 2008. We hope to have a kite workshop in the spring to kick off the 2008 season, but we don't have a project yet.
Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

September - Niagara International KiteFest

Our regular September Sunday fly was overtaken by the Niagara International Kite Festival.

This 4 day event attracted hundreds of spectators and some very notable international kite makers/fliers. Thursday and Friday events were held at Terrapin Point on Goat Island on the US side of the Falls. Both days were dedicated to try to fly a kite across the river. Thursday the winds were very light and came straight up the gorge. As far as I saw, there were no attempts made because the light winds. It was also very damp due to light rain and mist from the falls. Any kite that flew on Thursday became waterlogged within minutes.

Friday was a bit of a different story. The start of the day was damp as well, but the sun came out to play. The winds were directly towards the American side from Canada. If there was to be a crossing, Friday was the day to try. A team from the University of Buffalo was trying to launch a Delta from the Canadian side. The Delta had a specially rigged bridal that consisted of 2 flying lines. One was the main line and the other was rigged to the two wing tips. The theory was to get the kite over the American side and then by pulling the second line it would drop, similar to the brake lines of a quad line kite. The ingenuity and tenacity of the fliers on the Canadian side was overcome by the lack of wind. The big hill, trees and large hotels were blocking most of the wind! You can see the kite in the middle of this picture. This was the best try of the day.

Each of these days attracted the international fliers, and they entertained the sightseers with their unique kites and flying skills. One flier was a remote controlled clown flying a 2 line light wind kite. Some of the international kiters were Jose Sainz, Vania Beaubien, Christian Hoberg, Team iQuad, Iqbal Husain (kite train), Makoto Ohye (Japanese Kites) and many more.

Saturday and Sunday the venue changed to Reservoir Park near Lewiston. This is a HUGE open field great for flying! It has the I190 on the left side and Hwy 265 on the right and 5 minutes from the Queenston/Lewiston Bridge. There were cars slowing down and pulling over to see the large kites in the sky. I was only there on the Sunday, but I was told it was the better of the two days because of the wind. All I can say is that I have never witnessed anything like this before. At one point there were 7 giant Octopi in the air as well as a gecco, a crab, several fish, a cat, Ernie and the Count from Sesame Street as well as any other kite imaginable in the main flying field. Crowds were awed by demos by team iQuad, the Wind Jammers, The Sky Jesters, Ray Bethell from BC who is ~80 years young and flies 3 dual line kites at the same time! and too many more to mention. I found this website with detailed information

This event was truly an international event and I was thrilled to be involved. Thanks to Meg Albers who put this together and all who attended. Ted Shaw has posted his pictures and a few videos at
Thank you to Terri who sent an update from the fly at Lakeview Park, here is what she wrote:
Hi Jim, just a note to let you know 6 flyers showed up in Port to fly. Tyrone and myself, Bob and Nancy and two older ladies, not sure of their names, Peggy may be one ( I know Nancy knows them) Tyrone played with his new res and Bob flew a number of different kites until the wind finally gave up on us. We all left about 3pm.

The next monthly fly will be on October 28 at Lakeview Park. This is our traditional Halloween Fly and it is rumoured that there will be HOT apple cider and snacks available. Bring out your scariest kites and costumes!