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Ray's World Adventures 2004

Ray Wins Big at Long Beach!
Long Beach, Washington - August 16 - 22, 2004
By John Ames

 Ray is inducted into the World Kite Museum Hall of Fame Wow! What an awesome week it was at the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long beach this year. All week long Ray did his usual special magic for hundreds of people that came each day, and all day, to watch him perform in his own arena, including flying some new kites provided by his friend, kite maker and kite sponsor, Dick Barnes (Pizazz Kites). His new kites are called Pizazz Plus's and are extremely good in the low wind conditions that were plentiful this year.

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The biggest surprise, however, was that Ray became ineligible to be the People's Choice Award winner this year. That's because the award was renamed, in his honor, to the Ray Bethell People's Choice Award and it just wouldn't be right for him to win it again. So I guess he will have to be happy with winning it for 12 years in a row?

But wait! There's more?

The World Kite Museum inducted Ray into the Kite Flyers Museum Hall of Fame this year for his North American and international contributions to the world of kiting. These include 11 multiple kite world records, 10 of which were set at this festival. Ray is the first, and only, Sport Kite flyer to ever achieve this honor.

In addition to these awards, he also won first place in Master's Senior Ballet against 15 competitors (in the US you are a Senior at 50, in Canada it is 60). He also flew a flawless multiple kite ballet routine using his new Pizazz Plus kites for Dick Barnes in the manufacturers' competition again winning 1st place. But receiving the award for the best show again this year was Ray's biggest joy.

You would think that he would want to take a little rest after all of this, but not Ray. He is off in a few days to perform his magic at the Kites Over Collinwood Kite Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. This festival is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and it will be perfect timing for Ray to use his Pizazz Maple Leaf kites that Dick Barnes made specially for him for such occasions. After this festival will Ray return home? No Way! He will travel on from Edmonton to Paris then to Dieppe, France where he has been fully sponsored to perform at the famous Dieppe 7 Day International Kite Festival. There will be more than 30 counties participating at this festival.

Ray will return home on the 20th of September just in time for a quick shower and change of underwear (if needed) J, then he is off to California to perform in the Mix 96 kite festival in Sacramento.

Ray will be busy traveling to more kite festivals, since he has been fully sponsored through the end of November. Then he will take a rest from kiting and participate in his many other hobbies including working with bone, ivory, horn, wood and plastics, plus, of course, checking out all his kite gear for his next kite season which starts again at the end of January. He is being booked right now for 2005/2006. Ray is like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going, and going, and going.

John Ames,

"Very proud to be a member of Ray's official ground crew".

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