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Ray's World Adventures 2002

A New Kite and the Best Year Yet for the Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge
Ocean Shores, Washington - June 1 - 2, 2002
By Dan Millsip

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After several weeks of e-mails and phone calls with Dick Barnes of Pizazz Kites in Whidbey Island, Washington, Ray's new kites were ready for the first try at the Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge. Ray will be using these kites in yet another world record attempt at this years upcoming Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach, WA. For more information about this please see the bottom of this article.

We arrived at Ocean Shores around noon and checked into the Nautilus Condominium Motel where we had also stayed the previous 2 years (and would highly recommend to anyone visiting Ocean Shores). After dropping off our bags we were off to Cutting Edge Kites to say hello to owners Jim and Monica Barber. We met up with a few kite fliers at the store and then headed off to the beach for some flying. The wind was pretty strong, blowing around 20 mph. Ray felt it best not to try the new kites in the strong wind and instead flew his Kestrels for a few hours.

The next morning we woke up to cloudy skies and 8 mph winds. After breakfast we headed to the beach and Ray tried the Pizazz's for the first time. Dick Barnes had done an excellent job of setting the bridles and as if Ray had flown the kites for years, he had them up in the air in a perfect refuel maneuver. A crowd had begun to gather behind Ray to watch his aerial display. Several spectators made positive comments about the new kites -- it was obvious that the new design was an instant hit.

After about an hour of flying, Ray attempted and succeeded in achieving his first ever landing with the kites in the refuel formation. Although the crowd couldn't know that Ray has tried unsuccessfully to do this maneuver with several other kites over the years, they watched in amazement as the three kites all tucked in behind one another landed perfectly on the beach in front of them. The crowd broke into a huge round of applause and Ray turned around towards them grinning from ear to ear for finally being able to do this maneuver that had previously eluded him.

Ray spent the rest of the afternoon flying for the crowds of spectators and finessing the bridle settings to get them where they worked best for his style of flying.

The day was ended with a banquet that was held at the Ocean Shores Civic Center. The dinner was a pot luck affair and was excellent. As the year before, the food was great and plentiful. After dinner awards were presented by hosts Jim and Monica Barber. In all it was a very enjoyable evening.

Sunday morning arrived with sunshine and 10 mph winds, it was a perfect kite flying day. We arrived on the beach at about 8:00 am and Ray took the Pizazz's and set them up. He mentioned that this was the first time in years that the Kestrels had not come out of the bag for more than a couple of days!

If you didn't attend this year's Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge, you missed a really great kite festival. It was extremely well attended by participants and spectators and our guess is that next year will be even better yet.

Thanks to all the folks at Cutting Edge Kites for putting on such a fine event and to all those who watched Ray perform -- your support is greatly appreciated.

A new world record -- if anyone can do it, Ray can.

Ray will be flying the custom designed Pizazz kites this year at WISKF to attempt to break his incredible record of 21 kites flown simultaneously in 2000.

30 kites have been prepared and are waiting for Ray at Above It All Kites in Long Beach. Each kite will be numbered and signed by Ray and Dick Barnes. The kites are available for $250 each and can be purchased in advance or at WISKF by contacting Dave at Above It All Kites. You'll have to hurry though as these kites are sure to sell out early.

Related links:

Cutting Edge Kite Shop in Ocean Shores

The Nautilus Condominium Motel in Ocean Shores

Above It All Kites in Long Beach, WA.

Thank you for supporting Ray.

Dan - Ray's webmaster

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