"You'll never get anywhere as a '3 Person Team'!!!!!!!"
This is the message that was drummed in to us from all sides when we began
flying all those years ago.....oooh it must be as long ago as January 1994.
that we met, with very few exceptions, told us that we could have fun with
a 3 person team,
but that to win anything we really needed at least 4 people. Despite the
success that we started to
have, we still heard this so often that we have actually tried to go 4
twice. Once in 1995 and
once in 1996. Each time we have found that due to work and family
pressures our 4th person
has not been able to commit the time that we do and we have therefore ended
up back as 3.
I am therefore finding it a little frustrating that whilst reading through
the assorted messages that
were posted whilst I was at World Cup, everybody seems to be saying people
are being penalised
for having larger teams and I even saw somebody write 'the ideal number for
a team is 3'. If this
is the case I find it hard to understand why so many people make the effort
to put together large
teams and go through the struggle of keeping them together. The fact is
that every team size has
advantages and disadvantages which need to be thought about, and I don't
actually think that a
perfect size has yet been found.
A number of people have mentioned how much easier flying as 3 is. Lets
just clarify a few things
here shall we....
Flying compulsories with 3 could be said to be a little easier as you have
more room in the
sky and less kites to match on spacing and speed. This however is not
always the case as some
moves have such a weird symmetry (or lack of) with 3, that they are harder
The precision routine comes next and this again has been said to be easier
due to less kites to match
on spacing and speed. Unfortunately for us, this is not all that
constitutes a routine. A routine has to
not only be precise, but has to be interesting, full of variation in
shapes, speeds, types of moves and
most of all has to keep peoples attention. One person that I read actually
mentioned that the only
shapes that you can do with 3 are a straight line and a triangle. Luckily
for us we have found slightly
more to do with our kites than this, but he has helped me make my point.
The more kites that you put
in the air, the easier it is to introduce variation of moves and shapes.
All this basically means is that
the smaller your team, the more imagination you need!!
Finally comes the ballet!! The name itself says a lot - BALLET!! To take
a piece of music and in our
case, using our kites; enhance and interpret this piece of music to the
observing public. We have
heard that the current rules mention nothing about technical difficulty and
this is true. We may all
feel that putting more difficult moves in our routines may keep peoples
attention and score more
points, and I would agree, but ONLY if these moves actually go with the
music!!!! This is the whole
point and seems to be what causes people the most problems.
As for the point that the more people you have the harder it is to
syncronise everyone to the music, I
would disagree. If you fly a true ballet then the timing of your turns is
dictated by the beats and flow
of the music. In our team and a few others that I know, each pilot is
listening to the music and taking
their turning cue from it. We have no calls, as the timing of these is
hard to do, and more importantly
since they are unneccessary when the music has natural prompts in it. If
each flyer is turning on
their particular part of the music then each pilot has no more to do than
any other, no matter what the
team size. In any size team using this system, each pilot has to do 2
things: Be in the correct position
in the sky at the right time; Turn on the correct part of the music! As
long as each person does this
you can fly in any size of team with about the same amount of difficulty!!
I would apologise for going on for so long, but after the reams of comments
that I read through when I got
back this week, which all seemed to be very misinformed, I feel that the
length of this note is nothing!
As it happens I actually quite like to fly in much larger team as it is a
lot of fun. But harder or easier ......?
Mark Lummas (Team Sky Dance)