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Ray's World Adventures 1999

International Brighton Kite Festival

Stanmer Park 10th-11th July 1999
By Richard Nourse

What a great weekend we had! We took Harry to Stanmer Park to meet up with his old mate, Ray Bethell from Canada; we had a wonderful time - heartfelt thanks to all who made the four of us from Poole Kite Flyiers so very welcome. Top honours must go to "Big Daddy" as we call Ray Bethell -- he was in cracking good form, and gave a series of multi-kite displays that had to seen to be believed, despite the wind gusting and veering the whole time.

The one that did it for me was flown to the music " You are the wind beneath my wings," using three of Joel Scholtz Kestrels, each with a 25 metre tubular tail attached, Harry and I were ground - crewing for Ray (more of a pleasure than a necessity) and to stand so close to those three big, beautiful kites moving just perfectly to that great music... words cannot describe it - I just wanted to hug him when he had landed -- Marvelous!... Bloody... Marvelous!

His other show-stopper was flown with two kites, but they were linked together with a long flat blue and white ribbon tail, and he did a beautiful routine to the music "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" -- dedicated to a certain young lady, who was certainly embarrassed by the attention it drew her way -- but I am sure she loved it too! Ray was also given a richly deserved award -- a good looking shield for "Outstanding Contribution To Kiting" - so now he has just GOT to come back next year to hand it back again!

At the end of the last day, we helped out with "Ray's Mega-Team " (ground crew only - I did not have the nerve to fly one of his kites in those wind conditions) and he just flew and flew, leaving most of his much younger Mega-Team exhausted in the hot and gusty conditions. All this in spite of Harry's efforts to get Ray drunk! Harry slept it off in the car!, but Ray just soaked up the beer, cider and anything else that would pour, and said, "Flying in this ruddy wind, nobody can tell if you are drunk or sober!"

God bless you Ray -- you're a real star!

As a small club with one small annual event at Poole, we try to get around to as many festivals as we can. To fly our new banner (thanks Ron) and maintain the many friendships we have found in that wonderful circle of people we are proud to call "Fellow Kiters" in the very best sense of the term.

Our sincere thanks to you all.

With best wishes from Harry, Richard, Michael & John.

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