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Kite enthusiasts take to skies

Kite designer Jan O'Loughlin shows off one of her interesting creations as she enjoys the atmosphere at the Coolum Kite Festival.
Kite designer Jan O'Loughlin shows off one of her interesting creations as she enjoys the atmosphere at the Coolum Kite Festival. Darryn Smith

If you can't fly your kite, why not take a drive instead?

Kite artist Jan O'Loughlin, like a few others, was having trouble getting some of her larger creations up in the fluctuating winds on day one of the Coolum Kite Festival, but she made sure a few others could have just as much fun with one of her smaller pieces, a kite-car with room for a “driver” to push through the middle, even picking up a “steering wheel” to complete the picture.

Gold Coast visitors Lincoln Williamson and Mimi Dona were much taken with Bundaberg-based Ms O'Loughlin's “engineuity” and could not resist a photo-shoot.

Ms O'Loughlin is a regular visitor to the festival, as a member of the Queensland Kite Flying Society - but she sees herself as more of an artist than sportswoman or hobbyist.

“I have been coming here since 2004, and started making my own kites that year,” she said.

“I have developed a style.”

That much was evident with her car, array of turtles, not to mention larger regulars such as Dino from the Flintstones and Felix the Cat.

“It's not a business, more of a creative outlet,” she said.

“I used to work in mosaics, but now kites are really satisfying when you have success - people come up and say 'wow'.”

As for last Saturday, Ms O'Loughlin was happy to sit back and let what wind there was be taken up by overseas kite-flying visitors, knowing there was a south-easterly change on the way which would suit her well.

“I feel sorry for the guys; it's really hard getting kites up today,” she said.


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