A bit about Rich (oh ok, a big bit then!)

Where do I begin? As Shirley Bassey would say! I was going to begin with… when I was 8yrs old I managed to get hold of and eat, 48 out of a new bottle of 50, orange flavoured junior aspirins; and my parents rushed me to hospital where they gave me the stomach pump to get them out again! Don’t worry, I wasn’t trying to end it all, I just thought they looked pretty, and tasted like sweets! And since then I’ve had a phobia of everything hospital! But that’s going back a little too far for this occasion so I’ll begin a bit later


As a young lad (just after they invented the wheel), I always loved flying kites, but in my later teens at school, the hobby disappeared as most of my mates were more interested in girls, a hobby I chose not to get into! Then as far as the kite world was concerned, there was a HUGE gap right up to the present time. I don’t know why I didn’t keep up the kite flying but in the back of my mind I always loved seeing anything to do with kites. They also were pretty, but didn’t taste of sweets (I think)!


One of my now friends, Amanda, used to go power kiting with a mate, but whilst flying one day up at the Haven, she noticed another group, a posh group, with tents, and flasks! They were all calm and collective looking (not the flasks, the people), flying what turned out to be Quad kites. She asked her friend what they were and later that day she found them on Youtube.


The next day I went to visit for a cuppa and Amanda asked, as she knew I always liked kites, had I seen these Rev kites? I had no idea what she was on about so she showed me a video of the Haven Flyers on Youtube. OH MY GOD!!! I was in a state of shock! I’d never seen a kite like that before! We watched, we clapped with excitement; we celebrated our new find, we drank tea! (Well, Amanda drank a bottle of cider! But that’s another story lol).


Later that night I got back online and sat up till the early hours of the morning, just watching video after video, until my eyes could not keep up any longer (and on a school night!) I had work the next day but don’t remember much of it, but who cares!


Before I knew it I had bought myself my first Rev! With thanks to the boys at Kiteworld.co.uk it was a 1.5 full sail SLE in outrageous limey green and blue! Nothing too over the top for me! Amanda bought hers a little later, same kite but in a more sombre arrangement of black and red (very nice). I’ve since then bought my first B Series full vent in a voluptuous pink and light grey (does my bum look big in this! I ask myself).

Then the first weekend I could, I parked up on the sea front and started my walk down to the Haven to fly my kite there for the first time. But as I got nearer I could see a Quad kite fly up into the air and stop, then a second, then a third and a fourth! I panicked and my first thought was “oh hell, they must be the professional ones that know what they’re doing, and they will just laugh and poke sticks at me when they see me trying to get my kite off the ground. So I decided to turn about and go home. But then I thought, what could be the worst that can happen? They could laugh and poke sticks! Surely I can cope with that? So off I went to the Haven for the trial!


I slowly edged my way towards them, watching in total amazement as this was the first time I’d actually seen Quad kites flying in real life and not just on the Internet. I was almost rendered speechless (as you can imagine it would take a lot to make that happen!). Then one of them turned around and called out “hi, you alright”? (not one of the kites, one of the people!), I thought, “shit, they’ve made contact! What do I do now?” Maybe if I run away really quickly they will forget they saw me. My second choice was to take a deep breath and carry on the conversation, thank the Lord I chose the latter!!! It’s been the best choice I have made for a very very long time!


After making all introductions, the time came for one of the guys to say, “why don’t you get your kite out and have a fly with us?” Again, the silent panic crept in, underneath my hopefully calm and casual looking appearance, was a screaming nightmare of terror, I could almost see them looking around for those sticks, to poke me for being so rubbish at flying a kite! but to my amazement they didn’t flinch one little bit, in fact, after a short time, Colin, the chap I was standing next to, started to show me “the ways of the Quad” or “the dark side” as it’s known by, and there began the next huge part of my journey in life…(a bit dramatic for some maybe, but I love a bit of drama as you might have worked out by now).


Excuse the pun, but it’s not been all plain sailing from here on, as I know it will take me many months or more of practice to ever be good enough to be able to join in on any team routines, but I have to say I’ve learnt more to date with these guys (that includes Margaret, I just call everyone guys, it’s a lazy thing), than I would have ever learnt in years on my own! For that reason, and the fact that they have accepted me so readily as part of “the family” I am truly privileged and thankful to be a part of it.


I’m not telling any of them so this is just between you and me, (so, ssshhhh) as I don’t want them getting big headed, but meeting everyone involved in the Haven flyers has to be right up there on the list of happy moments in my life!


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“a bit dramatic for some maybe, but I love a bit of drama as you might have worked out by now”.....I think you may have given us a clue Rich.

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