On saturday, it was a nice day. Kathleen was working all day and I was at a bit of a loose end, so I decided to do something I haven't done for ages. I just went out to fly a kite.

  • No festival
  • No organisation
  • No arena
  • No music and PA
The nearest suitable place was on the green by the shore on the South side of Largs. So I packed some stuff in the van and went off to the local park at Broomfield Place. This is a raised area of grass, where the council have kindly provided substantial benches, bolted into concrete, set into the edge of the slope, so there was no shortage of secure anchor points. I pulled an 8m pilot out of the bag and noticed the local police van pass by. By the time I was ready to launch, he had done a circuit and parked a distance away to watch. There isn't a whole heap of excitement for the police in Largs, particularly out of season, so I they sat back at a distance, pretending not to watch.

I have launched Manta Rays hundreds of times without incident, but seldom on my own, so it was with growing trepidation that I put first the pilot in the air, then slowly filled and launched the Ultralight Ray in the very gentle breeze coming off the sea. It all went according to plan.

Before long, the Manta was flying and lines adjusted to stay within the rather confined flying space - short lines so that I stayed under the 200' height limit and carefully checked to make sure that I never got too close to overflying the road at the back of the grass. Next, a tiger went up to join it and during the day, I experimented with a spindly blue fish, a green guppy fish and the space racer but the ray and tiger seemed to be the best combination on the day.

I flew continually all day in a relaxed atmosphere as people young and old stopped to chat, eventually bringing it down and packing away when the wind died in the late afternoon.

The local paper was interested and later in the week, the story made front page news:

It also caught the attention of the Largs Event group. Later this year, the town will be celebrating the 750'th anniversary of the Battle of Largs and we may well be flying as part of the celebrations.

On the Sunday, we took the kites further South to Ayr, to fly with the Kite Club of Scotland. There were no suitable anchors available, mostly due to the wind blowing exactly parallel to the shore. so we hand flew the tiger, and a midi fish and when the wind dropped towards the end of the afternoon, we hand-flew the Manta for 20 minutes or so. No pictures of Sunday - we were too busy flying!