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Kite festival soars higher

As a 25-knot wind buffeted Stumers Creek last week, the Coolum Kite Festival officially had lift-off.

Kiteflyers, performers and kite surfers hit the beach to promote the free event, which will be held on October 11-12.

Now in its eighth year, the festival is reportedly the world’s fourth largest kite gathering and is expected to attract more than 40,000 people.

Kiteflyers from around the world will be showing their stuff, including Qian Jian Guo, the kite master in residence at China’s premier kite museum, and his artist wife Lang Feng Liang.

Also busting out the kite moves will be Australia’s own sport kite pilot Steve Donovan, who is fresh back from France and China where he won two world championship team titles.

At home on the sand with his cutting-edge $480 kite made from NASA materials, Mr Donovan, of the Gold Coast, said kite competition was all about precision, timing and the “angle of attack” to the wind.

“We are pushing the kite flying edge even more every year,” he said.

“But what I like most of all is not competing but putting on displays for the public.

Makers of the world’s biggest kite – a 1019sq m, 200kg, inflatable Kuwait flag requiring two water tankers to hold it down – will also be heading to Coolum with a selection of works.

The program will also include a night-time spectacular themed theatre production, kitesurfing races, a pouring waters ceremony, live entertainment and food stalls.

For more details or to volunteer, go to the event’s website, www.coolumkitefestival.com.


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