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Ray's World Adventures 1996

Belmont Shores 1996
California, USA

Man, am I lucky or does someone up there love me.

I had a great fully sponsored trip to one of the best places I have ever flown in, and I have flown in many places around the world, Belmont Shores, Long Beach California. Miles of beautiful beach with hard packed sand with just a few inches of loose sand on top. A good 1000 yards wide at low tide. Winds like glass right out of the ocean.

I flew from 7am to 8pm each day, it was a kite fliers dream. I was given my own prime spot to perform in. There was no shortage of spectators. They were there by the hundreds.

There is a pathway almost like a road running through the center of the beach, which is used by bikers, runners, joggers and roller bladers. The number of beautiful girls roller blading is unreal, and the outfits they wear, I was wondering if they were outside trying to get in or inside trying to get out. Mind you, I didn't take too much notice as I was too busy flying.

I opened the festival with 3 stacks of 3 Big Dipper Kites, 9 in all, flying simultaneously. They pulled like 3 horses, but it was fun and the organizers were happy. I also picked up gold to take home to the wife just to show her that I was really at a Kite event.

California is full of sport kite flyers. This is where it all started many years ago. I mean competitions and team flying, because the weather is great for flying 11 1/2 month of the year . Where else can you claim that!?

Just a flew blocks away was the illustrious Queen Mary. What a beautiful ship she still is. They have really taken care of her. They have just restored the original 365 staterooms with up to date amenities. Looking up at her it took me back many years when I first saw her in Southampton in 1950. For a few minutes time stood still, it was very heart warming.

It was a great and well organized festival and competitions and everything went like clockwork with plenty of time left for everyone to have a fun day.

On the last day I was asked if I would be going to the 10th Berkeley festival and Championships on the 26th, 27th and 28th of July. I said that I would love to, but that I wouldn't be able to afford it. Well, all my California friends got together and chanted "We Got To Bring Ray To the Bay", that is San Francisco Bay. Before the day was over they had collected more then enough money for the airfare and accommodations. I could not believe it, I didn't know what to say. They said, you don't have to say anything, you have so many California friends . Just be there, we need you. WOW!

I was given a very warm welcome from the kite flyers from San Diego Kite club. All excellent flyers, especially Quad Pairs flyers Ron Despojado and Nicol Meinhardt. They did a super job in Masters Pairs Ballet.

This was Aire Affair last competition for 1996. They have some big plans for Southern California events in 1997.

Thank you for listening.

Ray.




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