Rain or Shine, It’s Time to Grab a Line...
We attend Conventions to fly, to see friends, to take workshops, to show-off our newest creations, to compete, and to see what everyone else is doing. Over the years, we’ve held more AKA Conventions in Seaside, Oregon, than any other location. Why? It has steady wind, it’s inexpensive, it has a host hotel directly on the beach where we fly, and a Convention Center that is only a block away. When the weather is clear, the flying beach is absolutely spectacular—great wind, hard-packed sand on a wide beach, rhythmic waves, and epic coastal views.
But the bugaboo is that it can rain on the Oregon coast for days on end. That’s the gamble—it can be a spectacular week of flying or tough to find time on the beach. In 2016 we were in Seaside and had rain. In 2017, we went to Ocean City, Maryland, and had just as much rain. One of the reasons we picked Shreveport, Louisiana, for our 2018 Convention was because the chance of rain during that week was about 15%, and yet it rained and rained!
As kiteflyers, we know there’s no guarantee about the weather but this year we’re planning for it differently. If it rains in Seaside, there’s still going to be an opportunities to fly. The City of Seaside is completing a full renovation of their Convention Center. In addition to new meeting rooms and facilities, we will have access to a large indoor flying space from Tuesday morning to Friday, when the room will be transformed for the Friday night Auction. There will be indoor workshops, competitions, and lots of free flying time all day long. While the indoor flying is gaining excitement worldwide, there are many of us who’ve never had the time or facility to experience it. Now’s your chance. If you don’t have an indoor kite, take a workshop and build one.
Every morning, there will be an amazing choice of workshops held in four rooms for two sessions: 9:00-10:15 and 10:30-11:45. This year, we are adding optional afternoon workshops that will only be held if the weather prevents us from flying outside. The times and locations of these workshops will be posted each morning in the lobby of the Convention Center. As in the last two years, the sewing workshop room will be open all day, rain or shine.
We are lucky to have such a generous community of artists who are volunteering time to share their kite passion with convention attendees. All workshops are free to registered attendees only. Most classes don’t require any materials, while others offer the option of buying materials at the workshop. (If you want to take a sewing workshop, please note that on your application.) The list (see page 28) is subject to change, and an actual schedule (plus a materials list) will be published online no later than September 1, 2019. Go to www.kite.org for more details.
Last but not least, every afternoon we’re planning to do lots of flying. In addition to the competitions and mass-ascensions, there will be space for show kites and demos. The public will be invited to enjoy the celebration. The Convention Committee has worked hard for the last year to make all this happen, and I am honored to have had the time to work with them. I invite you to come join us. Let’s celebrate our 42nd Grand National Convention pulling on a line, rain or shine.
Phillip E. R. Whitaker
Convention Committee Chairman
PLEASE NOTE: CONVENTION APPAREL MAY ONLY BE ORDERED PRIOR TO 8/15/19.
**By registering, you agree to the following:In consideration for the right to compete, as well as participate in the American Kitefliers Association 42nd Annual National Convention and Grand National Competition (the Event), I hereby hold the American Kitefliers Association, the City of Seaside, Oregon, the Seaside Convention Center, the sponsors, promoter, and any and all other persons associated with the Event harmless and release them from any and all liability in connection with my participation. I further agree that the Event may use, without payment, permission or restriction any photograph, film, tape, or digital image in which I may appear for any purpose whatsoever. I understand that the AKA does not control the weather and that there will be no refunds given due to cancellation of any events after September 10, 2019. NOTE: by signing on behalf of a participant less than 18 years old, the parent or guardian also expressly agrees to all of the above agreement.