Wallop Reloaded – A great event!

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Hey everyone, hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend!

As I am sure you are all aware the Suffolk Kite Festival has
taken a year off. This left many of us a weekend pass going spare so a few of
the Suffolk Kite Flyers decided to redeem their weekend away passes at Middle
Wallop based kite festival, Wallop Reloaded 2011!

A kite event has been taking place at Middle Wallop for many
years. The event takes place on a HUGE airfield. It is approximately 800 acres
and is perfectly cut smooth grass. It is actually the biggest lawn area in
Europe!

Anyway so I got the car
packed on the Friday straight after work, picked a mate up and headed to
Hampshire! We arrived quite late and it was already dark but with help from
fellow SKF, Oobee Dave, Tim2, Simon “Safety” and not forgetting a set of car
head lights we managed to pitch our 12 man tent.  Right time to head to the beer tent!

The next morning we were all woken up with the sound of
flapping tents and the odd coo from an excited kite flyer, it was windy! I
emerged from my tent with a slightly sore head to see who was about only to
find that Mark from MJB Kites & HQ Kites (http://www.powerkites.de) and
Bill from Sports Corner (http://www.sportscorner.co.uk) were both raring to go and
fly!

I went to register and then rushed to grab some kite gear.
Mark offered to lend me a HQ Montana 6 which is a high performance depowerable
foil. I had tried the Montana 5 before and thought it was a kite with great
flying characteristics but just needed a few tweaks to make it more stable in
the gusty conditions.

I got out on the field and saw that many people were already
flying and boosting big! I quickly got out the 12.5m Montana 6 and it quickly
launched into action. I went skidding off down the field in my buggy and my
first impressions of the kite were all good. They have certainly fixed the
issue I had before with the stability and they seemed to have managed to
improve the turning speed and increase the overall performance of the kite while
they were at it.


Tim2 blasting along


X number of hours later and everyone was shattered from a
full day of flying but it was that time again. To the beer tent! I arrived at
the beer tent to hear a live band playing. They sounded pretty awesome. I
grabbed a nice beer and took a seat. The band was called The Golden Boulder
(http://www.goldenboulder.org.uk) and they were incredible! The drummer was
only 16 years old and had been playing for just 3 years but still his hands
were moving so fast you couldn’t see them, what a drummer! The band played for
about 4 hours and everyone enjoyed them, the beer tent was packed and lots of
beer was consumed.

The Golden Boulder

Sunday morning had arrived and many people stumbled out of their
tents to go in search of a cure for a hangover! Again it was windy, probably
more wind than Saturday but I decided to go out and take some pictures of
everyone flying.  Later on in the
afternoon I went out on another borrowed kite, this time it was a HQ Matrixx
15m which is a closed cell depowerable foil and again I was very impressed with
it.

Oobee Dave Flying a HQ Nasa Wing

I woke up on the Monday morning and luckily the rumours of
rain from 4am didn’t come true. Lewis and I quickly had breakfast and got the
12 man tent packed down. We packed everything up making sure that he kites were
within easy reach but unfortunately the heavens opened and it started to rain.  We decided to say our goodbyes and hit the
road!

It was a fantastic weekend and a great laugh. The organiser
is already talking about organising it again for next year so hopefully we will
get many more SKF to come along for the event in 2012.


See you all at the weekender!


Cheers


Hank