Ray's Kite Flying Tips

 Ray Bethell Multiple Kite World Champion
 Current Year Stories

 Ray's Home Page

 Welcome / What's New

 About Ray

 Ray's Records and Awards

 Ray's World Adventures

 Ray's Sponsors

 Ray's Friends

 Ray's Kites

 Kite Flying Tips

 Desktop Wallpaper and other Good Stuff

 Join Ray's Mail List

 Site Map

 Click to visit Kitelife Magazine

Ray's World Adventures 2001

The 16th Berkeley International Kite Festival and
West Coast Sport Kite Championships

Berkeley, California USA - July 28-29, 2001
Photos provided by Jim Strealy

 Photo by Jim Strealy I can't believe a year has passed by since the last time I was sponsored to this great festival. I say the same thing every year, "this festival just keeps getting bigger and better with each passing year" and this year was without a doubt the best yet. Weather and spectator wise it was great, and we must not forget the famous Berkeley wind -- the saying goes if you can fly in the Berkeley winds you can fly any where on this planet -- and I know this to be very true as I have been there and done that.

Saturday was the best day. The weather was great and it was estimated that between 50,000 to 60,000 people supported this year's festival. Photo by Jim Strealy In one of the make shift car parks there was over 1200 cars, the traffic coming to Berkeley's kite festival at Caesar Chavez Park was over a mile long. In all the years that I have been coming to this festival I have never see such a huge display of kites of every description, beautiful designs and color filled the sky over Caesar Chavez Park and attracted people from wide and far. There is a small hill just inside the park entrance and this is a haven for single line flyers off all ages. At times it was a very scary for me, as it seemed the word was out "Let's cut Ray down":).

 Photo by Jim Strealy I really had to keep my eye on the kiddies $1.49 kites, which they seemed to delight in flying over my demonstration field. This was also a good test for the 200lb Blue Line I was using. As a mater of fact I would like to mention I have been using Blue Line since I used it last August for the 21 Fanatic kite record, I particularly like and enjoy using Blue line, it positively is "Good Stuff".

This year I noticed in the arena that I am given to do all-day demos that the gopher population had increased 50%. There were just masses of gopher holes, you will not believe this but I swear it is true, several times as I was putting in my ground stake it was being pushed back up! It is quite a challenge to fly multiple kites in the strong Berkeley winds and try and keep your footing at the same time.

 Phot by Jim Strealy Same as last year, the festival demonstration arena was never empty. It was so well organized, no sooner was one demonstration over and there was another talented flyer waiting to demonstrate his flying skills. Thrilling the thousands of spectators, this was a non-stop event from 10:30am until 5:00pm. Michael, as he always does, did a great job in keeping the spectators enlightened on what was about to happen. This is very important especially to the people who have never been to a Kite festival. The famous Team Sundowners, had the spectators spell bound with their great routines -- they are true blue crowd pleasers. I have shared many kite arenas with these great guys, who are always on hand to help me set up for my multiple kite demonstrations (Thanks Guys). The Berkeley festival is so very fortunate to have so many talented performers.

 Photo by Jim Strealy The competitions were on time and ran very smoothly both days. It was great to see John Baressi. After being away from competing at Berkeley for a few years but he showed everyone he still has it, by walking away with 1st in Masters Precision, 1st in Masters Quadline Ballet, as well as open Quad Precision. Torrey Lindmunn a young man all the way from New York State won 1st place in Masters Ballet with an awesome routine. And what a treat it was to watch the unbeatable Danielle Fermin do her stuff and winning 1st place in Experience Precision and 1st place in Ballet. As always, Phil Kalenowsky did a super job in winning 1st place in Experience Quad Ballet. This just names a few you can check out all the other great events and results at

 Phot0 by Jim Strealy For the past 6 plus years, one of the highlights for me is spending some prime time with my mate Brian Champie at his home in San Ramon. His home is always open to any flyer that needs a place to put there head down, this year he had a full house, including Susan Shampoo, Jim Strealy and Phil Kalenowsky. Brian had his work cut out babysitting this Team, but nothing ever seems to be to much trouble for this friendly giant. I love staying at his home as it is full of very valuable and interesting antiques, his vast collection of clocks, which range from Grandfather clocks to clocks smaller than a match box has to be seen to be believed. I have spent many a happy hour browsing through some of his rare books. Brian's' home is a haven for people that are interested in the bygone days. Brian is also a fully pledged Clock and watch repairer.

At the end of the second days festival and competitions every one looks forward to the awards dinner and cruise aboard the Hornblower. This is a wonderful way to unwind and relax after giving all one has to give over the past 3 days -- great food, super company, and having the opportunity to stand on the deck seeing San Francisco, the Golden Gate, etc, as though one has never seen it before. The camera cannot capture what is seen by the eye or the way you feel while gazing at the wonder of it all, this is a magnificent way to end a awesome 3 day weekend.

Thank you Tom McAllister for once again sponsoring me to this great event, Thanks Brian Champie for your hospitality, friendship and letting me share your home once again, See Ya on the Beach at Long Beach.

Thank you for listening.


 Top of Page

Website enquiries: webmaster@raybethell.com

 Copyright, Ray Bethell

NEWS . Ray . Records . Adventures . Sponsors . Friends . Kites . Flying . Stuff . Mail . Site Map