October 15, 2012
Guest Report from Varennes
by Carlos Simoes

Les Grands Airs de Varennes is in its 7th year. Itís a fantastic event held in August at the Parc de la Commune on the banks of the mighty Saint Lawrence River. The town of Varennes is on the southern outskirts of Montreal. Itís only a fifteen minute drive to downtown Montreal from the kite field! This is a big selling feature for the museum and shopping lovers in my family and I suspect yours too!

The entire weekend event is put on by the city of Varennes. For the past seven years Normand Girard of Vent díEkinox kites has organized everything involving the kite demonstrations. Many of you either know Normand or are at least familiar with the beautiful unique single lines kites that he has created. Norm and his kites were featured in a past AKA Kiting magazine.

St Honore Kites St Honore Kites St Honore Kites

There are two huge kite flying fields. The field closest to the vendors and public is set up for single line fighter kite, stunt kite, quad line and power kite demonstrations. Quebec has become rich with dozens of highly skilled stunt and quad line fliers. The influence of iQuad is clearly evident in the great team work and fun to watch kiting routines of the quad line fliers. Most of us have seen buggies and traction kites before but this power kite demo is something completely different. Voiles 4 Saisons is a company that teaches paragliding for both the novice and the advanced flyer. There are plenty of paramotors and paragliders sent aloft all weekend long. A huge crane is set up near the field to hoist people up and then release them. They also have an ATV that will pull people with parasails into the sky. Itís similar to how a glider is towed up into the sky by an airplane and released at altitude. Itís fun to catch paragliders hovering over the kite displays!

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At least once a day all the power demos stop and the childrenís candy drop is announced. A group of clowns wearing blue makeup and blue outfits turn the candy drop into a fun experience for the children. You can see the kids smiling in anticipation at a chance of catching a candy treat! A simple pull on the release and a barrage of parachuting candy drops from the sky. Once it all gets picked up there is always someone there handing out extra candy to ensure all the children get some.

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The second demonstration field is for show kites such as artistic single line kites and inflatables in all shapes and sizes. Most of the kite fliers are from Quebec, Southern Ontario and a few from travel from New York as well. Itís a large field that many of us are familiar with. We all work together to share the space. It works very well and this yearís sky was filled with some great kites! Some of us buy our kites and some of us get a lot of satisfaction out of making our own kites. Several new pieces were flown for the first time at Varennes. The display looked fantastic! One riding attraction featured a cute multi-coloured scale model train. It was always filled with children, parents and flashing cameras. It is a great way to tour the large park and see all of the kites.

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SeaHorse Sale

Guest Reporter Carlos Simoes is co-designer of the GKPI SeaHorse.

We'll make you a Sea Horse in any colors you like. Choose the standard 5 foot Horse for $40 each, "super size" up to the 10 footer for $200, or dominate the field with a "maxi" 20 footer for $450.

Order one in any size between now and October 31, and we'll take 20% off.

Sea Horse

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