I'm putting my AKA hat on now...
After you attend a few AKA Grand Nationals you come away with a few
- The single line folks think that too much energy is being
used up by Sport Kite competition.
- The sport kite folks think that too much time and energy is
being used up by the single line folks.
- The people who are involved in the competitions
(competitors, judges, field crew, etc.) feel like the
competition has taken up all of their time.
- The people who aren't involved in competition feel like too
much energy is being spent on competition.
- Everyone agrees that there doesn't seem like there is enough
time to visit.
- Some remarkable things happen, sometimes totally unplanned.
- Seminars and workshops are well attended, there should be
more of these.
The AKA board of directors has been struggling for a while to solve
the first three "problems". With the increadible increase in sport
kite interest the number of competitors has had to be limited, there
simply is not enough time to allow everyone who wants to compete a
chance to compete. There aren't enough qualified judges to judge
everyone as well.
It became clear that competition shouldn't be eliminated, a lot of the
reason that people come to the Grand Nationals is to see the top
flyers compete and the top kite makers strut their stuff, but that it
had to be limited to allow more time for other things.
So, the Board decided that there would be one day for sport kite
competition and one day for all other competition. This would allow
people who could only attend the event for a day or two, to plan which
day(s) made most sense. It would also free up competitors, judges,
field crew, etc. to have time not working, to have more time having
The rest of the time would be set aside for demonstrations, fun and
games, seminars and workshops, and general kite flying. I find that I
spend most of my time at events visiting with people, and this format
gives me even more time to visit with people.
Of course, one of the problems with only one day of competition was
that the number of competitors had to be drastically reduced. A system
was devised to limit the numbers.
Is this new format going to work? I don't know. I hope it does. If
anyone has any other ideas, please forward them to me or to any other
member of the board of AKA. We need your input and your ideas...
Marty Sasaki Harvard University Sasaki Kite Fabrications
617-496-4320 10 Ware Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Cambridge, MA 02138-4002 phone/fax: 617-522-8546