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Ray's World Adventures 1997

The 14th Hawaii Challenge
Honolulu, Hawaii - March 1-2, 1997

Once again I am back in beautiful Hawaii the land of sunshine palm trees and complete relaxation.

This years competitions was based more on the European style of competition, local flyers and very family oriented. The lack of international flyers was again due to lack of sponsorships, none the less it was very well organized. May be it is a good thing that more and more local people are getting involved. For many years it was predominantly International flyers that competed.

This year the winds were trade and pretty steady through out the competition, plenty of sunshine and more spectators than I have seen in the last few years.

Once again I was hosted by the organizer Robert Loera and his lovely wife Barbara at there beautiful 4'000 square foot home high on top of the mountain over looking Diamond Head beautiful ocean and beaches plus the concrete jungle of Waikiki. Can you imagine going home after 8-10 hours of kite flying in the tropical sunshine have a shower, a good super and then relax in a huge hot tub with jets of pulsating water massaging every part of your body and an ice cold beer with in reach of your finger tips. Man what a life!!

The day of the Competitions the first of March, I once again found it was my Birthday: "!!WOW!! where did that year go!!?" And once again my hosts and the organizers of the Challenge Robert and Barbara Leora, had not one but TWO large birthday cakes which were shared with spectators who sang happy birthday between mouth fulls of cake. It was first come first served, and every man for himself. So it was not long before both cakes where gone and not a crumb was left, but I must admit the 6 pieces I managed to grab were "delicious". On top of all this (Wow) I was given two beautiful gifts especially held back for this day. One from England and one from Germany. What a super surprise!!

There will be other gifts waiting for me at home (I hope!). Because after Hawaii I am sponsored to Malaysia and Thailand with visits to Singapore and Hong Kong. What a great start for a beautiful day and what an incentive to go out for the golds and also give the best multiple kite demonstrations possible! SO LET's DO IT!

The competitions ran very smoothly, with Novice Precision & Ballet, Experience Precision & Ballet, Open Ballet, Freestyle, Quad Line Ballet, Open Team Ballet, Train Kite Ballet, and Buggy Racing. They managed to get through all the events in the first day, so that would mean a real fun day on Sunday with plenty of demonstrations by individuals and Teams to thrill the crowds. It was well covered by TV and the news media and I was pleased coming away with two gold's a silver, two live performances on TV, plus one videoed to be aired in a months time. I was also awarded "The Spirit Of Aloha Cup". I am the first individual ever to win this cup and it is indeed a honor and one more notch in my belt, but it also means I have to go back to the land of beautiful Hawaii next year to take the Cup back. Oh well it is a dirty job but some one has to do it. "RIGHT?"

I would like once again to thank Robert & Barbara Loera for their Hospitality and friendship plus being perfect hosts. I would like also to thank Alan Nagao Captain of Team High Performance, for sponsoring me through out 1996-1997 with the Platinum kites by Falhawk Co LTD. Thank you Alan they are a pleasure to fly. I am the envy of many!

Thank you for listening.

Ray.




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