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Kite Altitude World Record
Left to right: Michael Richards, Roger Martin, Bob Moore, Michael Jenkins
In the woolshed at Cable Downs. We took shelter from violent storms after camping on the airstrip for the first time in 2009. We now stay there to avoid the time consuming camp setup on the airstrip. The woolshed is 400 meters from the eastern end of the airstrip.
Owner of Kite Magic at Coogee, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney,
Michael has run his business from small premises on Malabar Rd for nearly 20 years.
However, his main work is in the broader community and he often travels to events in distant parts of Australia and overseas. Michael is a Member of the Australian Kiteflyer's Society. He runs a well-respected kite program for primary schools with his Tyvek diamond kites. He has developed exceptional kite building skills and also uses these skills in projects far removed from wind sports such as art works, public event banners and fiberglass structures. He sells kites of course but he has developed a reputation as a great kite builder, designer and flyer and will give anything a go. Michaels interests are very diverse and even includes teaching juggling and unicycle riding. He has shown determination and enthusiasm for the quest to break the world altitude record. What started out as my project is now our project and we are equally excited by our achievement in breaking the world record.
Roger lives not far from Mike Richards's kite shop. They have been friends for years having met each other through kites and wind sports activities. Roger is an expert kite builder and is adept at flying multi-lined kites and driving kite buggies powered by traction kites. He can be seen at kite festivals assisting Mike Richards with big kite displays and entertaining children and adults with his Sponge Bob trick kite. Roger is a keen fisherman and loves nothing better than to throw a line off one of the nearby headlands into the Pacific Ocean. Blackfish are one of his favourites. Roger is our unofficial photographer and movie man, documenting the record attempts. This as a very important role as it forms visual evidence of the record effort and the basis for YouTube videos and an upcoming documentary. When he is not filming or taking photos, he mans the telemetry laptop, calling out the altitude and position. Without Roger and Mike's footage there would be no Website, YouTube videos nor the upcoming documentary. Thanks’ Roger!
I live in the North-western suburbs of Sydney, 42 km from Michael Richard's Kite Magic shop. I am a member of the Australian Kiteflyer’s Society. I worked in the nearby Prince of Wales Hospital for several years. My lunch time visit to Kite Magic in 2004 was one of those chance meetings which can change the course of a life. I must have impressed Mike with my enthusiasm and determination because he joined the altitude record campaign immediately. Perhaps he recognised that I have a tenacious character but some people may say bloody minded stubbornness which has been a key to reaching record heights but can be my flaw at times. Other team members have come and gone in 6 years, and they have all made valuable contributions to our efforts, but for the last 5 attempts it's been a cohesive and very effective team of expert kite enthusiasts. As well as my enthusiasm for this record quest I am a keen motorcyclist and I love MotoGP. I am also a regular chess player. I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. I am a member of the Australian Kiteflyer’s Society and have been building flying kites on and off for 50 years. The last 12 years have seen an intense focus on the altitude record.
Michael joined our attempts when he learned of our activities from Michael Richards in 2008. I met Michael at Festival of The Winds in 2005. He joined our crew at the 2009 attempt series. Michael is a qualified horticulturist.
Michael was a regular visitor to Kite Magic and is a keen kite builder, winning several categories at Festival of The Winds competition. He is also adept at building and flying multi-line trick kites. He is a member of the Australian Kiteflyer’s Society. Michael is a sailor and can be seen during the yachting season on Sydney Harbour flying on a racing skiff. Combined with sailing and kite flying he has an excellent understanding of wind, weather and sail. Michael is our cook on our record attempts. Michael's down to earth "no bull" approach keeps me grounded. He is our "co-pilot" winch operator and can claim to have "flown" the kites to 6 fights over 10,000 ft including 14,188 ft. and the world record at 16,038 ft.
Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™
Mike Richards, Bob Moore, Barry Coppenhall, Ethan Viant, Hugh Moore 2007
Bob Moore 2003 Crestwood reserve, Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Australia
Michael Richards, Cable Downs airstrip. "I'm excited!"
Michael Jenkins, Lord Of The Flies.