Mega kites will soar above Timaru’s first Seaside Festival

A collection of show kites made by Ashburton's Peter Lynn Kites will be on display at the Seaside Festival in Timaru.  (File photo)

Peter Lynn kites/provided

A collection of show kites made by Ashburton’s Peter Lynn Kites will be on display at the Seaside Festival in Timaru. (File photo)

While some events have yet to come to fruition, organizers are touting a kite day to be held as part of Timaru’s first seaside festival as a breath of fresh air.

The February 3-14 festival is organized by the district tourism organization Venture Timaru, with approximately $25,000 in central government funding allocated for regional tourism events.

The Let’s Go Fly a Kite exhibit and public kite will take place in the fenced festival area in Caroline Bay on February 5 and is expected to include a blue whale, several stingrays and a football-playing teddy bear.

“We are truly fortunate to have a number of prominent New Zealand professional kite flyers coming to Caroline Bay,” said event manager Simon Carter of Carter Consulting.

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“The public will also have the opportunity to fly their own kites or buy kites there. Some of these pros will go around and help you teach your kids or yourself how best to fly a kite, because it’s not as easy as everyone thinks,” he said. declared.

Christchurch professional kite enthusiast Julie Adam, also known as The Kite Lady, is one of the kite aficionados who competes with Peter Lynn Kites in Ashburton who has been creating them for nearly 50 years and owns Guinness World Record for tallest.

Adam said the Timaru event will feature several kite professionals who would normally bring their expertise around the world if not for the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Adam hopes to fly his “midi ray” over Caroline Bay. The ray-shaped kite is about 20 meters long.

“I almost don’t ride it now because I’m getting older and it’s sticking my arms out of my sockets.

“It pulls on a one-ton line and needs to be attached to a car.”

Adam, who has made, sold and taught how to make kites for decades, said she prefers flying “real kites”, smaller, more maneuverable kites that fly on their own rather than with the help of a pilot kite.


“The Kite Lady” Julie Adam flies a kite on New Brighton beach. (File photo)

“When you see half of the huge kites up there, if you look above them, they have little squares of fabric called pilot kites, which they put in place first to lift the big blue whales and dragons and stingrays and octopuses.

“They look like kites, but there’s actually another kite on top of them that helps lift them straight up and hold them in place.”

But she said the larger display kites are visually impressive.

“When the blue whale goes up and people stand under it, they actually see the size of a blue whale.”

A Stingray Peter Lynn Kites, designed by Simon Chisnall, who will bring similar ones to the Seaside Festival (file photo)


A Stingray Peter Lynn Kites, designed by Simon Chisnall, who will bring similar ones to the Seaside Festival (file photo)

She said kites are often designed to represent sea creatures, “because things move in water the way they move in air.”

She said the kites will need a “nice gentle easterly wind off the sea, medium to moderate wind – nothing too strong, but enough punch to lift the kites”.

Adam said the ideal breeze is a “light to moderate wind, where you can feel your hair and clothes blowing but not buffeting.”

She said that if there was a total absence of wind, nothing would fly, in which case “we do stupid things like strap them to a car…and drive slowly across the field with them.”

But Adam doesn’t care about the worst-case scenario.

“It’s summer in Canterbury – there won’t be any wind”.


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