Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

Fold your legs, let’s roll …

When the inimitable Sandro Macchi, KAP master, inventor, kite designer and a member of the illustrious 30 kite club from Genova asked us if we’d drive for 1.350 km just to fly kites for a couple of hours, we said – yes, of course! But we weren’t going to suffer on the road alone, so we tricked our friends of the Zmajoljupci – Croatian Kite Association to drive for even longer, coming from Zagreb to Ljubljana and then from Ljubljana all the way across Northern Italy to a cute little seaside town of Spotorno in Liguria.

Squeezed and ready to roll

For a kite festival – the 22nd edition of the Festival del Vento di Spotorno.

Squeezed between the mountains and the sea Spotorno – or, as Ligurians would say, Spoturnu – is a rather typical resort town on the Riviera delle Palme, halfway between Genova and San Remo. In March half of the town was still deserted, the hordes of tourists hadn’t yet covered every inch of its beautiful beach, and the warm Ligurian sun was caressing us: the spring has come, the gloomy February was soon forgotten.

Spotorno from a kite

This year’s Festival del Vento brought together 120 kite flyers from Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium, Hungary, Malaysia, Japan, Croatia and Slovenia. It was again a meeting of old friends, crazy kiters, masters of the wind. Even the weather was cooperating and soon the skies of Spotorno were full of colorful creations …

A rainbow Cody and masterpieces of Japanese kite making

Flying kites on a beach is nice, but we are KAP Jasa, our core business is kite aerial photography – so we simply had to try to lift the camera into the Ligurian sky above Spotorno – but we had a small problem.

István was there too.

István Komjáthy is one of the best and the craziest KAPers there are, flying his venerable Dopero kite from all possible and impossible places, taking superb photos from high above – so it’s hard to compete with him … especially in low wind conditions when the 3m by 2 m Dopero reigns supreme over our Rokkakus.

István’s Dopero – the purple-white-blue one – sneaking behind other kites

But we managed to lift the camera, and we did capture the festival and the town of Spotorno just fine (though István did it better – check out his work here).

MASAG β rokkaku struggling to lift the camera

The night flying session was hampered by a lack of wind, so it was mostly dancing … dancing and music and beer … and later beer and music on the balcony of our room in the cozy hotel Zunino (we have to apologise to Niekol and Marc – maybe that Mongolian heavy metal at 2 AM was a bit over the top).

Day two started disappointingly, as we were yet again fooled by Italian meteorologists (as the old saying goes, lying like a weatherman) … Instead of the predicted strong northeastern wind (for which we got up at 7 AM) we were greeted by a bonaccia – something that only members of the Vento Zero kite club could enjoy: it was completely calm.

We’ve said that before – for a great kite festival you don’t need wind, you need friends. But looking at all those poor kites lying pathetically on the sand can be frustrating. After an hour or two of pulling, begging, coaxing and praying, suddenly our Proteus anguinus llifted its huge head … is that wind that I feel on my face?

It was! The wind started to blow! Let’s roll!

Quick! Hammer those anchors in!

All along the beach strange creatures were rising, filling the sky, scaring the birds away and making the good people of Spotorno twist their necks. Finally, the perfect wind came from the sea and soon every kite was where it belongs: in the air.

The Proteus and the Croatian Centipede going up

It was a perfect day – and it was a sad day, as we had to drive all the way back home. It’s hard to pull down the kites in such perfect conditions, and even harder to leave our friends (who got to fly for hours more, bastards!) … but there was nothing we could do. Fold your legs, let’s roll … 680 km to Ljubljana, 135 more to Zagreb.

Big big thanks to Giancarlo the President of the 30 kite club, to Žuža and Žare, to István, to Niekol and Marc and Andrea and Michele and Iqbal and Antonio and Paolo and everyone else, to all of our kite flying friends who coloured the sky with us, to the intrepid organizers of the festival who made such a great job, to the staff and the cooks of Hotel Zunino (the dinner of Ligurian specials was amazing!), and of course to Suzanna and Sandro. Thank you so much!

See you soon – on the kite field somewhere, with a kite line in hand!

All kite aerial photos shot with Nikon P330 on MASAG β rokkaku.

4 thoughts on “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea”

  1. it was a great pleasure to have KAPJasa and all the other friends together in Spotorno for the Festival del Vento 30 kite club; Istvan is another kiter and friend very close to our heart

    see you in Slovenia, so we will have some kilometers of road from Milan…. with pleasure


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