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Ray's World Adventures 1996

The Hawaii Challenge 1996
Honolulu, Hawaii

The Hawaii Challenge was not as wide scaled as the Falhawk Paradise Cup or the Honolulu Kite Festival because of the lack sponsorship. None the less, it was well organized and well attended.

The competitions ran very smoothly on the Saturday. The weather was great with trade winds of 15 - 20 mph, gusting at times to 25 mph. That is one of the reasons it is called the Hawaii Challenge. The winds are so unpredictable and can change direction four times in a 5 minute routine.

I got good TV and news media coverage which brought all the Canadians, that were on holiday in Honolulu out to the festivals to support. There were hundreds of spectators from all over Canada and they all made themselves known to me. It was very heart warming.

After finishing a demonstration I was asked to come to the main tent. There were a couple of hundred people gathered together and as I got closer they parted and started singing "Happy Birthday" and on one of the tables was the biggest birthday cakes I have ever seen, compliments of the organizers and owner of Kite Fantasy. What a super surprise! Everyone enjoyed the cake.

Robert put the first Challenge on in 1983 and this was his 14th year. Hundreds and hundreds of top flyers from around the world, team and individuals, have competed and performed at the Challenge over the years. I hope it carries on for many more.

Sunday, the second day of the competition, was overcast with winds blowing 25 mph and at times gusting to 30 mph with heavy rain showers, which kept a lot of spectators away. But somehow we managed to complete the competitions. I flew 3 Kestrels for the TV sports channel, which was aired later that night. In spite of the high winds and the rain it came out very well.

The award banquet was very warm and friendly with great food. The awards were won predominantly by the Japanese, who were very good flyers with great routines. I managed to pick up a couple of gold's.

One evening alone with Robert, I did some night flying to the joy of many spectators that were strolling the beach. I was putting on a show with three kites in a very small confined area. I had landed two kites and was just about to bring the third in for a landing when it got caught in the biggest tree in all of Honolulu. No way could this kite be retrieved unless we borrowed the $40,000 crane, brought in for the Big Boy Carp. But no worry, a phone call to my kite sponsor and he sent me a new one by fast post and I got it the next day. It was still in the tree the day I left. The kite flyers were calling it the "Kestrel Bethell" monument.

I would like to thank Robert and Barbara Loera for their sponsorship and for their hospitality and friendship, plus for being perfect hosts. "Good Stuff".

I would also like to thank Alan Nagao and Falhawk Co. Ltd. for their kite sponsorship and sponsoring me to the Paradise Cup and the Honolulu Festival. I had a super time and I hope I was able to add a little to make the festivals the success they indeed were.

Thank you for listening.

Ray.




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