As usual, the good auld British weather kicked up a storm fer the WHB*, wi' winds o' 20-40 mph tearin' boughs from trees an' flattenin' whatever we were hopin' t' grow in the garden. Of course, it also banjaxxed our hopes o' a pleasant seasonal day out the minnows, but eventually we couldn't stand bein' cooped-up indoors any longer, so we grabbed coats an' kites an' headed off t' Bosworth Park.
We set up Anna's 1.2m foil first, let it go an' it were bein' overhead no time, pullin' hard but still manageable.
Next we started t' set up Ella's 1.6m, but part-way through a good gust caught Anna's kite, it were bein' too much fer one o' 'er lines which promptly pinged an' snapped. We decided t' put Ella's stronger lines on Anna's kite an' arranged fer 'em t' take turns wi' it, on the basis that Ella's kite would be too much fer Anna t' hold down.
All seemed t' be goin' well wi' 'em, so I unpacked the Ozone Imp an' 'ad a think about which lines t' use wi' it...
On breezy days I usually fly it on a pair o' 30m 70kg Climax Protecs, these lines have virtually no stretch an' be really thin an' slick, meanin' that there be a lot o' control an' 'tis easy t' wrap/unwrap twists made durin' spins. The longer length also means that 'tis easy t' find more wind at the edge o' the flyin' window. On windier days I tend t' stick wi' the 18m 100kg braided Edelrid SK75 Dyneema lines that came wi' the kite - they're thicker an' heavier, meanin' that there be more wind-drag on 'em, cuttin' down the responsiveness an' feel, but the shorter lines allow a more direct contact wi' the foil, there bein' less slack than an equivalent long line.
In the end, I set up wi' the Protecs. Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? Chris 'ad the controls while I held up the kite an' launched it. It went up like a rocket, but Chris couldn't control it an' it were bein' soon back on the ground. Yaarrr!, an' dinna spare the whip! Chris di'nae want t' fly it any more, so I took the leashes while she put the foil into the air. Yet again it went straight up wi'out complaint, so I started t' hunt around t' find where the good an' bad air were bein'. Right at the top o' the window I ran into some slack air an' the kite-cells emptied, resultin' in a fold-up an' a relatively gentle fall back t' earth. Walk the plank! I gave one o' the lines a gentle tug t' free a minor wrap-around an' the thing were bein' back in the air immediately, pullin' like a good 'un, we'll keel-haul ye, by Davy Jones' locker! Then...
The left line snapped a few feet below the kite which started t' spin out o' control 50ft up, I'll warrant ye. The one remainin' line now 'ad t' contend wi' the full force o' the wind combined wi' the force o' me recoilin' from the breakage...
"Is it still attached?" asked Chris.
I looked up at kite. I looked across at the line.
It were bein' hangin' on bravely, but it were bein' all too much... there were bein' a slackenin' in the line...
"Err... Prepare t' be boarded! NO!"
And it were bein' off, o'er the field, no longer fightin' the wind but bein' whisked away by it. An' hoist the mains'l! It went up an' o'er a huge oak tree, showin' no signs o' comin' down beyond it. I were bein' transfixed, in utter disbelief.
And all o' a sudden Chris were bein' off too, chargin' o'er the field in hot pursuit! I were bein' doubly-transfixed, an' in utterly utter disbelief! Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? I've ne'er seen 'er move so far so fast - she must have covered 250, perhaps 300 yards in well less that a minute, which be impressive fer an asthmatic wearin' walkin'-boots an' a full complement o' Paramo "waterproofs"!
The winsome lass caught up wi' it when it snagged in some bushes at edge o' the housin' estate, bundled it up an' strolled back in triumph, mutterin' thin's like "have ye any notion how much I paid fer this?" an' "I can't believe that ye just stood there an' di'nae chase it yourself."
Ella an' Chris went fer a walk around the park while I packed up an' retired t' the boat, disgraced, t' untangle the mess an' salvage whatever good line were bein' left. Anna came wi' me, she'd 'ad enough fun fer one day.
Next time I'll use the 100kg lines, or the replacements that I'm considerin'.
*WHB: the result o' a brilliant "triumph o' mouth o'er brain" by a Radio Cumbria presenter back in the 80s. I were bein' checkin' out the weather forecast on the boat radio while site-campin' at Castlerigg Hall near Keswick when I heard "... an' here be the weather forecast fer the wank-holiday beak-end...". The sharks'll eat well tonight! I laughed so much that I ached fer days. I do hope the lass di'nae lose 'er job because o' it, but I ne'er did hear 'er on the radio e'er again.