The team kicked off 2015 with the International Super Kite Festival held in cities of Goa & Pune, India, from 24-26 Jan. This is the first time team AirNergy will attend a kite festival in India and we are super excited to be one of the invited fliers to be here.
Logistics were handled smoothly by the organizers and we arrived in Goa on Thursday, 22nd of Jan with a slew of international fliers from USA, UK, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, China, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, & not forgetting Andreas Agren of Sweden :). We had a tour of the Goa area the next day, visiting historic churches and temples, as well as the Miramar beach and the wine festival. The journey to the locations were a feast for the eyes as well.
The festival in Goa kicked off on Saturday, 24th Jan, at the Miramar beach. Winds were very light for the few hours in the morning. Luckily, by mid-day, we had a constant and smooth onshore wind for the rest of the day will sunset. Big show kites and smaller stick kites occupied the whole sky and that formed a beautiful backdrop against the clear blue sky. As there is no fixed schedule for performances, the team took to the public areas for some team flying, interacting with the crowd with our Revs and having a great time! It’s a pity that this is only a one day event in Goa as I’m sure most of the kite fliers wouldn’t mind another day of flying on the beach of Goa.
The group traveled to Pune via Mumbai the next day. I’d have to credit the organizers for a fantastic job of herding 40+ kite through Goa airport check-in and baggage security to make it to the domestic flight to Mumbai given the usual crowds at the airport. Following the hour or so uneventful flight we arrived at Mumbai airport, followed by an adventurous 3hr coach ride over the Sahyadr mountain ranges to reach Pune after nightfall. The 3 lane expressway gains nett elevation to Pune, with heavy trailers, oil tankers and chemical transporters sharing the harrowing lanes that wouldn’t be amiss should it be mistaken for a take from a potential Fast & Furious India drift edition :). (Here’s a screen grab of our journey from Goggle maps. You can clearly see the Sahyadr mountain range that lies mid-way between the 2 cites).
The Pune event held on Monday at the International Exhibition arena was a totally different affair from the relatively lower-keyed on in Goa. Numerous Bollywood stars graced the event, meeting the crowds that lined the barriers throughout the day, flying kites and doing interviews. Being further inland, the winds were shifty and erratic throughout most of the days. Kudos to the A-list of big show kiters from Peter Lynn, Los Hermanos, AWITA (+ kids), Andreas Fischbacher, Kite Couple (Ron & Baew) and many others who worked hard to keep the kites where they are meant to be, up in the air. As the event space at Pune is relatively confined, the team flew on shorter lines to interact with the crowds with out Revs. It’s a pity that winds only picked up and stayed relatively smooth by early evening. However, it was already time to call the event to a close and it was time for one last group “Horray” of photo taking to close the event.
This has been an unique experience for the team to be flying in a unique location among many friends. Special thanks to Siddarth and Prateek for the organization and helping with the non-flying needs of the kite fliers. Till the next time, take care, fly high and fly safe!