The team is honored to be invited once again to the Miaoli County international kite festival in Taiwan, held from the 22nd-30th Oct, in conjunction with the Hakka food festival. This has become a yearly event for us since 2013, with the exception of last year due to clash of personal commitments.
This year’s event spanned 2 weekends, with different groups of kite fliers for each weekend. We were slated for the 1st weekend of the festival from 22nd-23rd Oct, together with local Taiwanese stalwarts Team 8plus and Team OA. International participants for the first weekend include friends from Japan (Team air-rex), Malaysia (Azemi kite family), Rolf Zimmerman from Germany, Show Kites Singapore, Lee Xiao Hu (mechanical kite master) and team from China plus many local fliers from Taiwan.
Based on the event’s history in the past years, we were reasonably expectant of the northern winds during this time of the year in Taiwan. However, Typhoon Haima would throw a spanner into the works 2 days before departure. Although Taiwan did not lie in the path of the typhoon, it did cause regional weather disruption and a 180 degree shift in wind direction. Throughout the first weekend, winds were shifty and spotty. This was especially challenging for the single line inflatables as the terrain of the event’s location added to the turbulence. Dual and quadline kite teams tried as much as possible to get clean drafts whenever possible and megaflies tripled in difficulty.
It was great to see more local Taiwanese dual and quadline teams this year. The quadline megafly is one of the largest we’ve seen, flying to the tune of poco-poco (a line dance routine made famous at Bintulu International Kite festival) and “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, all arranged by Team 8plus. The team also put in an impromptu performance of “Stairway to Earth” with Azemi and Alia. This has become quite a staple whenever we are attending the same festival.
The night fly of past years was replaced with a fireworks display. We were awarded first class seats from the rooftop of our hotel, where the manager kindly granted us access in order to take in the full view of the show that lasted almost 30mins.
The Monday following the festival is typically a designated sight-seeing day for the international participants. We visited the Assam tea farm, pineapple cake factory and the infamous Sun Moon Lake in the Nantou region. It also coincided with the birthday of Rolf Zimmerman and we took the opportunity to give him a surprised birthday party.
We are extremely grateful to the efforts of Ms Joe Cheng, from the event organization team and Albert Chen of Team 8plus for taking great care of us babies, ensuring we are well-fed and comfortable throughout.
It wasn’t hard to notice that this event has grown from strength to strength throughout the years. We hope that this can continue and much of the credit goes to the city county, event organizers (Kevin, Joe and team), with the able assistance of Team 8plus and many other local kite fliers. Till next year, wishing all friends a happy new year and have a great festive season!
Just found a video to one of our performances captured by a local participant. Here’s the link to it on YouTube. Hope you like it!
P.S. Most photos here are the works of kite friends that I’ve unbashfully used for writing up this post. I beg for your kind forgiveness 🙂