Alex heads back to the UK for the Middle Wallop Land Kiting Festival
Words by Alex Brown
Posted Saturday May 26th 2007
Thursday 24th May
I don’t really know how I get myself into these situations half the time. At this point, I’m sat in an editing suite in Northwest USA with my buddy Gabe, the guy from the RV. This weekend it’s the annual Middle Wallop Land Kite Festival in the UK. It attracts thousands of kiters from around the country over the weekend and is a sight to be seen. So anyway, we decide to pack our gear and jump on the next available plane for England, which happens to be in 10 hours. Crap.
We had 3 guys searching various last minute websites looking for a deal but it wasn’t looking like it would be cheap. I couldn’t find anything less than $2200, not the price I intended to pay for a weekend visit to the UK; and on top of that, I never thought I would be going on vacation back to the UK!
To bring you into perspective of our position, it's now midnight, we have no flight and to get there on time we need to leave in 8 hours. We didn’t sleep the night before as we were video editing, and we went kiting in the day so we are super beat up. I love this!
Gabe has a breakthrough; $1300plus a rental car, bonus; it’s a shame you lost your licence flying from Texas, hey! After making a frantic pack, calling my parents at home to let them know we are coming and dropping Buddy the chocolate Labrador off, we were on our way to Portland to start what I think will be one of the most bizarre trips yet. Oh, we fly back to the US in 3 days ;)
Friday 25th May-
I woke on the plane to the food cart. I love plane food, so I got one of each from the menu and chomped while speaking to some guys from Arizona who are on a working student exchange for the summer. We had a smooth flight and landed to some lovely weather. After grabbing our bags we jumped on the Gatwick express down south to go visit my parents.
It was strange being back in the UK. I had been on the road for 3 months, and the local accent, food and smells actually felt foreign to me! It was fun, and seeing everyone at home again was awesome. I caught up with my girlfriend in the afternoon before her Prom.
Tomorrow was the day I was waiting for.
Saturday 26th May
Today we set out for Middle Wallop. Middle Wallop is a huge airfield in England that is home to the world’s largest annual land kiting festival. Hoards of enthusiasts take flight of every type of kite you can imagine from single lines to foils and tube kites. It’s a site to be seen, and the turn out this year was incredible.
We set up our camping tents and dropped the gear into our new homes. I caught up with a ton of people I had not seen in a long time, and met some great new people. The wind really wasn’t in our favour, blowing a mere 10mph and occasionally gusting to around 13. Welcome to England!
One of the main reasons for flying to the Event was to play the trailer of my new movies at the film festival. I have been on the road with Best shooting Drill 2 for the past 3 months and I was super stoked to be able to finally play it to all the fans waiting to see what we had in store.
I was speechless when I saw the 50ft square screen that had been set up where our movie would play. The HD video and the surround sound was going to be killer. Only a few hours to go!
Of course this being England and beer being mandatory there's always the chance that you might fall asleep after ahard days kiting, luckily we had the kids to make sure we didn't fall asleep for too long. They are such good kids always willing to help out with a Jenga brick wake up call...
Loads more to come from as soon as get back to the US, time to get my head down before the flight.
To read more about what Alex has been up to, visit his team rider page at www.bestkiteboarding.com/Alex-Brown.