Well, 90% of the kites flown by registered fliers anyway! The Adelaide Kite Festival 2011 had a slightly different feel this year, since it was organized by a different bunch of people. A different voice on the microphone.
However, all the usual kites were there. I remarked to my wife as we approached the beach that I seemed to recognize just about every kite in the air! This is our 4th attendance at this event, so perhaps that's not surprising.
From the starting time of 12 noon onwards, the number of kites in the air steadily grew. Overall, the size of the 'kite cloud' seemed down a bit on previous years. However, flying lines were fairly short which kept most of the spectacular flying creations closer to the jetty. Great for spectators and great for kite-site webmasters with digital cameras ;-)Something like this Rainbow Kid's Delta from Amazon is a good choice for your own flying, if you are ever at an event like this. Easy to launch and with light enough pull for any member of the family to handle.
The winds were not exactly ideal for a festival, being a little on the light side for many of the kites. In fact, in the early afternoon, a prolonged lull brought down many of the most spectacular kites. Later, there were short periods where the row of banners on the jetty would start flapping furiously and noisily as a fresh breeze came in from the south.
Come to think of it, the combined noise of the very long row of banners made quite an effective anemometer. A wind speed meter. All you would need would be a decibel meter, calibrated appropriately on a new scale. And take the readings far away from the PA speakers pumping out music and commentary eermm getting off track here aren't we... Back to the kites!
As is my custom with reporting this kite festival, I have decided on a different approach. This time round, it was possible to get a half-decent shot of nearly every individual registered kite! Hence this page is a photo gallery featuring nearly every kite that took to the air, on the 'official' side of the jetty. In no particular order, although some of the best shots are near the top of each section.
Just setting the scene before going down the jetty and zeroing-in on various kites. See all the noisy banners over on the far left.
Can't recall this one from previous festivals, but it probably has been on show before. It certainly shows up nicely against gray cloud.
The FireBird Delta - a familiar sight to festival regulars!
An interesting understated design. Nice kite, and another festival regular.
A colorful reverse star-burst design on this well-tailed Delta. That wavy trailing edge is unusual too.
Another colorful Delta with geometric design. Familiar from years gone by.
A good-looking Flowform kite, tethered close to the ground. Quite a large size.
A fairly large Sled with ram-air spars. Super stable and rather neat and tidy.
A familiar Sled from previous festivals. Simple but attractive color scheme.
Big Flowform with matching tail. Tasteful in blue and pink. (no, I've never worked as a fashion commentator...)
Another sizable Flowform with tubular tail.
OK, the pink spotted thing that ermm ... may appear attractive to some.
Was that diplomatic enough? Anyway - those large drogues were spinners, and certainly grabbed your attention!
A magnificent huge Frog. Thousands of dollar's worth no doubt, and a
great inclusion in any large kite festival. A real crowd-pleaser.
Equally or even more impressive was this large inflatable. A
Frill-Necked Lizard I believe. Incredible! Although not a bulky design,
it was clearly longer than the Frog.
Somewhat hard to categorize, but I'm pretty sure those are air intakes
at the front. So that's some kind of inflatable. It was like a giant
version of those little kids' flat Dragon kites with the long flowing
tails. This was possibly the longest kite in the sky on Saturday. Quite impressive!
Talking about impressive inflatables, here is the trademark
Adelaide International Kite Festival kite - the huge Killer Whale. There
are just so many photos of this thing floating around (sorry) online.
One more won't hurt, will it...
Pink salmon anyone? Quite a large and eye-catching kite, but needs more
than a light breeze to really fly well. With that color, it wouldn't be
hard to spot against just about any background.
This well-endowed mermaid makes an appearance every year the festival is
on, it seems. There's a photo of it on our Festival 2007 page! One of
the larger inflatables to be seen here.
My wife pestered me to get a photo of this penguin. Nothing like a touch of humor to brighten up a kite festival!
On the subject of humor, how about this magnificent set of kicking
Soccer Legs! Can't remember if they were using the matching soccer ball
drogue this time...
Did I say the Killer Whale was the trade-mark kite for this event? Actually, it's a toss-up between the Whale and this big UFO kite! In earlier festivals it was used to cast shade over the hard-working commentator.
The striking geometric design on this kite is illuminated from behind in
this shot. Also, the darker outside edge of the kite doesn't contrast
much with the deep blue of the sky, further emphasizing the art work in
the middle. A great Rok!
Another great-looking Rokkaku, and also in a very substantial size.
Maybe 2 meters (8 feet) tall? The owners were just in the process of
launching when I took this shot, from the jetty.
Just one of a number of large Delta sport kites on display. The pilot
knew what he was doing, making very low passes over the wet sand. Even
dragged a tip in it briefly. Oooops. One of these was a Trick kite,
which was flipped and swung through a series of uhmmm tricky maneuvers...
A great-looking Quad kite, doing its thing over the sand.
A freighter out in the Gulf, being towed by a giant computer-controlled Quad, thus saving heaps of fuel. Just kidding. Another nice Quad.
A big and beautiful Cody. Thank goodness the sun came out to light it all up like that... Love the high-visibility yellow!
We don't have other photos of this purple Winged Box kite, but I bet
it's been here before. Interesting design, particularly with that
dihedral built into those outer panels. Seemed like a very stable flier.
Another good-looking Cody. It's a pity this shot ended up out of focus. My wife took it actually... No, really!
This very unusual kite barely qualifies as a cellular. It does seem to
have a few cells in the middle of the upper section there. It flew
pretty well, and must have easily grabbed its share of attention from
Update in 2012: It might be an EO6 with an Atom attached as a tail.
An awesome Dragon-fly kite. Unfortunately, it was a bit far away from
the jetty, and the sky was still fairly overcast when this photo was
Should this have gone with the other Inflatables? Not really, since it
doesn't fly! It's something different though. After interviewing Anthony
Thyssen, who once made something similar with Diamond shapes, I now
realize that this kind of thing represents a lot of time and effort for an individual. So many stitches...
A Circoflex. Just weird how it manages to hover in the air like that.
See how the down-wind edge has a slightly smaller circumference than the
leading edge. That keeps the whole thing slightly pressurized and
enables it to fly stable. These take quite a while to make too!
A kite messenger on its way up the flying line of a large Delta. If you are wondering what the payload was, just see the next photo...
A parachuting Teddy! The kids love this of course, but it prompted a guffaw or 2 from some adults too, when it descended to the sand.
Hope you enjoyed this mainly photographic coverage of the Adelaide Kite Festival 2011.
To finish off with, here's the first Lolly Drop of the day. Instead of a Teddy, dozens of sweets with little 'parachutes' attached are taken up by the kite messenger then released. Maybe some of those adults were under instructions from their children...