WSIKF '95

The following report originally appeared on the rec.kites newsgroup.

This was our 5th year to attend, and IMHO, one of the Best so far! The entire week is quite hectic, so much to see and do, plus getting re-aquatinted with old friends and making alot of new ones. We brought along our Afghani friend, Basir Beria and he stayed with us at Arcadia Motel. He was extremely excited to be attending as he had heard about last year’s WSIKF from us. It was definitely gratifying to see that his expectations were surpassed.
Our road trip took longer than ever before, but we made two important stops between LA and LB. Our first stop was for Sunday morning coffee with Dale & Calvin Vanderhooff in Weed, CA. Once in Salem, OR, we visited Carl & Katharine Crowell and took them out to dinner before we completed our drive to LB. In all, 25 hrs on the road, ugh!!

Day 1
Monday morning we hit the beach and watched the buggy demo. They were having loads of fun, and the wet sand was flying!
Day 2
Tuesday’s Trains and Arches were fantastic. The winds were perfect. The longest train had 500 kites. Tues. night we attended the reception held at Nendles to greet the International guests and they introduced Basir as well.
Day 3
On Wednesday, I volunteered to help with the kite making workshop for the kids. J.R. Tolman had designed bright bird kites for the children to make and by the end of the workshop, 400 bird kites were produced. The Fighter Games for the Seniors was held Wednesday afternoon. These were fun to watch. The fighter kites had to touch the top of a flying delta; pop a balloon; knock a cup off the pole; and fly thru a hula hoop, all being timed events. The results were: 1st - Kirby Holte, 2nd - Dale Vanderhooff, 3rd - Charlie M’Clary. Late Wed. evening, Johnny decided he was going to make a kite for Thursday’s Handmade Competition. He was up until 2 am working on his kite.
Day 4
Thurday, when I got up at 5:30 to go park our van at the beach, Johnny got up to finish painting the design on his kite. As luck would have it, his fighter with the Japanese “Red Devil” face won 1st place in the Masters class for Traditional Eastern Kites. Basir’s Afghani Fighter with his “Beautiful” twins won 1st in the Apprentice Class for Traditional Eastern Kites. Several of the judges were Kathy Goodwind, Scot Skinner, and Ed & Gail Lindsey.
Day 5
Now all week the weather was almost perfect, sunny with the highs around 75. The only bad part was the wind which picked up quite hard each afternoon. By Friday, the strong winds down on the beach forced Johnny, Basir, Brian Johnsen, Peter Lee and Jennifer Snyder to go practice with their fighters at the baseball park in town. Early Friday evening we attended the reception held by the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. Then we watched the fireworks display from our motel's backyard with a few of our friends: the Hurds, Brian J. and Marie Dube' .
Day 6
Saturday, the big day for the fighters, the weather changed. It was raining at 8:30 am .It stopped long enough for the competition to be held, and then it began again, off and on all afternoon.
There were several GREAT fights during the competition. One of the best between Basir and Gophal Das. In total there were approximately 28 fighters signed up for the competition. In the end, Basir took 1st, Matthew Alden 2nd and Ed Alden 3rd. Later in the afternoon, many of the fighters went to the park and flew again in another competition, with Basir still in 1st. Gophal took 2nd and Matthew 3rd.
Day 7
Sunday -- the record was broken! 4663 is now the new record to beat.
Instead of flying down on the beach, Johnny, Basir and Gophal dug out their manjha and were up by Stormin’ Norman’s both flying until 2:30 pm. Johnny had brought a box of paper Indian fighters just for “cutting” and several kids were positioned out in the public parking lot to retrieve the downed kites. Brian Imbach (Paul & Dorine’s son) had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on him when he came back clutching the kite he caught. One fight between Johnny and Gophal had their lines to the end of the spool (about 1000 ft) and the kites were way over the town of Long Beach, yet they just couldn’t cut each other, so they reeled it all in and started over.

We’ve made our reservations again for 1996. It will be the 15th annual WSIKF, and the Kite Museum will be featuring Fighters.

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