On Saturday October 6, 2012 members of SDKC were hired to fly kites at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers State Park in Los Angeles. This was the second time for this event and SDKC’s second invite to fly the official kites of the event. We were told there would be 800 VIP and a couple thousand general public attendees.
This event takes place on the Polo Field in the Park which is 300 by 60 yards. A pretty good size field but unfortunately located in canyon country and completely surrounded by trees. This not an ideal place for a kite flying event. Winds were light and variable all day. Naturally when it was time to stop flying and get out of the way for the Polo Match the wind was just starting to pick up.
There were two official Clicquot kite types to fly. A large box variant, very well made but a bit heavy for the winds. The second was a small lightweight bird shaped kite. These were apparrently quite badly behaved last year but flew pretty well this year. No other kites were allowed.
The general drill was to start at one corner of the field and do a long line launch. Then slowly back up while paying line in and out and generally doing everything possible to keep the kite in the air for as long as possible. When you reached the far corner of the field the kite would land. Then drag everything back to the first corner and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Overall we kept at least a couple kites up at a time for pretty much all day. The organizers seemed reasonably pleased. For our efforts the Club gets a fee that goes a long way to fulfil our yearly expenses.
Polo is apparrently a game played by grown men on horseback who try to hit a little ball with a stick. They play for seven minutes and thirty seconds and take a rest. No kites involved at all. We lost interest after the first period (chucker?) and packed up for the long drive home.
Maybe next year there will be some new faces at this event.
All photos from Diane’s camera. She flew a bird kite most of the day which she shared with a number of children.
UPDATE: We recently learned that these kites were designed and built by Drake Smith. Info about Drake Smith.