Kites take to the sky

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kites of all shapes, sizes and colors take to the sky at a recent kite-flying event on the Outer Banks. (Photo courtesy of Kitty Hawk Kites)

KITTY HAWK — The Outer Banks continues to be busy, with plenty of activities, events and competitions as the summer draws to a close.

Kitty Hawk Kites was the site of a unique exhibition as its fifth-annual Watermelon Festival was held Thursday.

Amanda Baker, events coordinator for Kitty Hawk Kites, provided some details about the festival.

“There was a crowd of around 500 throughout the day. The Outer Banks chapter president of Wright Flight, Cleo Mason, attended and volunteered. as well as board members of Wright Flight who volunteered,” she said. “There were also several Wright Flight graduates who helped during the event. The Watermelon Festival is a family, fun festival with a backyard feel that helps support a local charity. Tourists and the local community come together and support the cause while having a great time.”

Wright Flight programs use aviation to motivate students. Every student enrolled in the program sets specific academic and behavioral goals as part of Wright Flight contract. Also, each participating student receives a series of seven, one-hour aviation-history lessons in the classroom.

Kitty Hawk Kites will host its 12th-annual Ocean Games and Surf Kayak Competition on Saturday.

Baker said the Ocean Games event is for fun.

“The ocean games do not focus on professionals. The three-mile race we have involves some advanced kayakers, but the other races which take place right in front of the hotel focus on people who are beginner to intermediate, who want to try out some different ocean activities,” she said.

In the past, 50 to 75 people have the participated in Ocean Games, which involve kayak races throughout the day. Anyone who wants to use a kayak or paddleboard during Ocean Games may do so for free.

Elsewhere in the area, the Eastern Surfing Association hosts the ESA Easterns, a water-sports event, at Cape Hatteras from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24.

The organization has a membership of 7,000 surfers.

Jemelle Craig is in charge of membership services for the Eastern Surfing Association. Craig said the event will feature a variety of talented surfers.

“There should be about 400 competitors by the time it starts. Each one has competed and was in the top 10 of their division in their district,” Craig said. “From there, they are invited to compete in our regionals, of which there are three: the Southeast Regionals, the Midatlantic Regionals and the Northeast Regionals. The top winners of each of those Regionals get an invitation to Easterns. We have 26 districts, and each district has their own stars. I’m not in a position to judge who’s really good. We have 23 divisions, and each competitor tries their best to impress the judges with their surfing abilities. We try to have the contest done by Saturday afternoon, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we use Sunday as a weather day.”