The sidewalk flying team consisted of:
Dean Jordan, Jordan Air Kites, Gainesville, FL
Actually, Dean didn't get to do all that much in the way of flying. He was in charge of the group of us and he did a lot of other stuff at the WFK. He wanted to fly more than he actually did, and when he did get the opportunity, it was usually at Japan, using one of the new fighters that Jordan Air is producing.
David Brittain, sponsored by Revolution, Colorado
Widely regarded as one of, if not *the* best rev flyer in the world, David was the primary pioneer of indoor flying, and brought short-line and 3-D flying to the public's attention. David has worked for a number of kite companies, including Skynasaur, and seems to spend most of his time travelling to kite festivals around the world, where he's an invited guest.
Dave Arnold, sponsored by Revolution and Jordan Air, Alexandria, VA
Dave's an old friend of mine; I've been flying with him for years. Dave and Sherrie were instrumental in getting me down to Florida for this event, though I'm still not clear whether or not they brought up my name as a potential flyer or not. From what I've heard, it sounds like my name came up independently of Dave and Sherrie.
Dave split his time pretty evenly flying dual (Jordan Air Specs and Milleniums) and quad (a Rev I SUL).
Manuel Mercado, sponsored by R Kites and Guildworks, Orlando FL
Manuel's a Puerto Rican fellow who's been flying for about two years and is one of the top experienced class flyers on the east coast. He's a very good flyer, but had some trouble with the extremely light, variable wind we were dealing with. When the winds got really light, he usually flew a Minergy Zero-Wind on about 10' lines, and the kite had a tendency to disappear next to him.
Curtiss Mitchell, Guildworks and sponsored by R kites, FL and MA
Curtiss is a 15 year old prodigy, originally from Florida. I'm a little confused on the details, but as I understand it, he was home-schooled by his mom, and I believe he may have already gotten his GED. He's working for (or in partnership with?) Guildworks Flight Studio, up in Massachusetts.
Tim Elverston, Jordan Air, Gainesville, FL
Tim is Dean's boy wonder. I think he's about 20 or 21, a great flyer, and a great kite maker. He's been rather innovative about kite designing, and has made numerous improvements to the Jordan Air line, not only in tweaking sail designs, but in hardware as well. Tim, for instance, was frustrated that he didn't have any bamboo he could shape for a fighter spine, so he spent about 15 minutes and came up with an ingenious way to simulate the curved spine of a traditional fighter from a few sticks of micro-carbon and small pieces of superthane tubing as connectors. The resulting fighters, made on 1/2 oz icarex sails, weigh about half of what a comparably sized fighter made of Carrington, bamboo, and carbon weighs.
Not only is Tim a great flyer, but he's also rather frightening to watch with a set of devil sticks, and he does *great* impersonations of people. A couple of times I saw him make Dave go speechless and bright red, trying to not spew a mouthful of food everywhere over something Tim has said.
Alex Mason, Revolution and Skynasaur, Savannah, GA
Alex is the 7 year old wunderkind on the Eastern League. He came down for the second weekend of the festival, the 15th-17th. While Alex is a good flyer when he has a big field to work in (he usually beats me in competition!), he's simply not competent for the sort of conditions we were working in -- short lines, heavy crowds, variable/non-existent winds. He was getting frustrated and didn't particularly want to fly a lot of the time.
I was the only person on the sidewalk flying team who isn't sponsored by any company. This had advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage was that I could fly whatever I wanted, which for the most part meant my own custom Rev IIs and my Rev 1.5. The primary disadvantage was that I buy and maintain all of my own equipment. Flying on pavement is *very* tough on kites. I was very lucky with my sails, though I trashed some endcaps and blew bridle attachment lines several times, leading to night-time repairs back at the hotel. I also blew a stick of SkyShark IIp. Since the IIp's have changed substantially since these were bought, I'm going to have to reframe the entire kite, at a cost of probably $40. Dave, David, and Curtiss all got shipments of new kites and extra spars while we were in Florida.
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