Festival of flight

By Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer July 23, 2013 09:37 pm

A couple work on kites under a shelter at the Southern Oregon Kite Festival at the Port of Brookings Harbor. The Pilot/Jane Stebbins
A couple work on kites under a shelter at the Southern Oregon Kite Festival at the Port of Brookings Harbor. The Pilot/Jane Stebbins
Light winds and foggy skies greeted hundreds of kite aficionados at the Port of Brookings Harbor kite field last weekend, but neither the single-string or team flyers were deterred by the less-than-ideal weather.

Kites of all colors and types — stunt, stacks, dual-lines, revolutions and fighters — were free to fly to music and choreographed to dance and spin over the field, impressing those below who lined up in lawn chairs for the duration.

“It’s color in motion,” one spectator was heard to say.

Scores of internationally famous kite flyers were at the kite field Saturday and Sunday, showing off their tricks and skills, outlining to interested bystanders how to best maneuver their new flying machines and smiling as the kites dipped and dove or soared above.

Of note this year was the iQuad team, comprised of members from Oregon, Canada, California and Washington, who performed their last demonstration as a team, as they are all retiring from decades of collective experience.

The team — John Barresi, T.K. Barresi, Steve DeRooy, Willow Robin, Barry Poulter and David Hathoway —  made their debut in 2007, and have participated in events in France, Japan, England and throughout the United States.

In their first two years, they flew freestyle, or improvised routines, based on the directions given to them by their team captain, all the while adjusting their tempo and speed. By 2009, they’d crafted their first choreographed four-person routine to AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”

In 2010, iQuad went to a six-person routine to “The Raider’s March,” and soon went on to specialize in flying the Revolution kite, a four-line construct designed by flyer Joe Hadzicki in 1987. “Rev” kites can fly forward, backward, sideways and at different speeds — even stopping in the air mid-flight, hovering motionless in the sky.

Now, they fly an updated version of those kites, the B-Series, designed by iQuad member John Barresi and Revolution Enterprises. Their work with that model has helped make it one of the most popular commercially produced kite in the world.

Sunday, each team member slowly dropped their stacked, red, white and blue kites for the last time as they ran out of room on the kite field, and gathered together for farewell hugs.

A standing ovation brought them to the field again to soar six stacked patriotic kites through the skies as the winds died in the evening sunset.