Notable Fliers

Notable kite fliers who have performed in the past at Rockaway include:

Team Island Quad

Terry Wiggill

Terry first started flying in 2006 on an old-style dualie called a “stinger” given to him by a friend who flew kites with his father. Hooked on kite flying immediately, Terry became fascinated by the precision and control the local fliers demonstrated with their strange-looking four-line kites. By early 2007, Terry was flying Revolution’s quad-line kites exclusively. In 2009 Terry, along with several other “Rev” pilots, created Island Quad. Team flying, and all its aspects, has been Terry’s main focus since then. As leader of the team, it is Terry’s responsibility to create and call out the moves during a demonstration. “Always a challenge but always way too much fun.”

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Brad Bixby

Brad resides on beautiful Whidbey Island, Wash., and flies the No. 2 position for Island Quad. He first witnessed the wonder of flying Revolution kites in 2004 while attending the Whidbey Island Kite Festival. A former bookstore owner, he retired in 2005, picked up his kite handles the following year and never looked back. Hooked by his passion for kite flying, he concentrated on building his team flying skills with a commitment to practice at every opportunity. He was asked to join Island Quad in 2008. Brad’s approachable nature has made it easy for him to develop lasting friendships with the fliers he meets. His positive attitude and analytical mind benefits Island Quad in many aspects of team flying.

Mario Di Lucca

Mario, originally from Argentina, lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and has been flying kites longer than he can remember, but seriously for fun since 2003. Mario has competed at the experienced level in individual, pairs and team precision and ballet competition events organized by the Northwest Sport Kite League. He flies outdoors and indoors using a diverse array of single, dual and quad-line stunt kites. His latest passion is kite building, and he proudly achieved a first place at the apprentice handcrafted competition at the Washington State International Kite Festival. Mario’s favorite entertainment is Revolution Kites team flying. He is a core member-founder of Team Island Quad and formed a pairs team with Terry Wiggill called Quad Amigos. Both teams have performed synchronized choreographic routines at several kite festivals throughout British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Washington, Oregon and New Jersey since 2009.

Mike Tracy

Mike is the newest member of Island Quad and lives in Seattle. Flying single-line kites for most of his life, he started flying quad-line kites after seeing iQuad flying at night with lights on their kites at the Washington State International Kite Festival in 2005. Mike has been flying quad-line kites since 2006 and was asked to fly with Island Quad in 2011. Mike loves the social aspect of flying kites in a mega-fly and making lifelong friends with those who have the same passion for the sport. At any kite festival (usually early in the morning) when there is very light winds, you can find Mike making giant bubbles and interacting with all the kids (regardless of age), bringing his “bucket of smiles” filled with bubble solution.

Spencer Watson

Commonly known as “Watty,” Spence began flying sport kites in 2005, at the age of 13. Now in his 20s, Watty is a well known Revolution kite flier with his signature Red and Black kites. After flying for two years, Watty began flying indoors, and soon became one of the most prominent indoor kite fliers. Until 2011, Watty had flown exclusively using Revolution kites, then he began picking up John Barresi’s Kymera, from Into the Wind. Watty co-founded the indoor kite team FlyForm along with iQuad members John and TK Barresi in 2012, and became an alternate member of iQuad several months later. In 2012, Watty joined with Barresi and David Hathaway as the managing editor of Kitelife magazine. Watty has been a driving force behind archiving the 14 years worth of content, as well as aiding in the web services side of Kitelife.

Connor Doran

Connor Doran flew his way to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Top 12 spot on Season 5, making him one of the world’s best-known kite fliers. Connor auditioned, along with 90,000 people, and brought indoor kite flying to the world. His skill and love of flying qualified him for the Las Vegas rounds, and he was brought back by Howie Mandel for the Live Wildcard Quarter Finals show, in Los Angeles. Connor’s worldwide support gave him a spot in the top 24 for the semifinal round. He then remained in Los Angeles and landed in the top 12 of “America’s Got Talent.” Now attending South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Wash., Connor shares his love of kiting with new fliers, as well as learning from the masters who have supported him and helped him in his journey. He has developed the Dare to Dream Program that has been shared in venues all over North America, inspiring others to believe in themselves, to follow their dreams, and to speak out against bullying. The Dare to Dream Program has moved people of all ages to become empowered and inspired. Connor also works hard to raise epilepsy awareness and to advocate for epilepsy education.

Penny and Steve Lingenfelter

Penny is known for her individual kite flying and short kite shows. She has been seen around the world flying alongside participants from the audience who are dressed in costumes and armed with kites as well. Wind or no wind, the short kite skits Penny brings have come to be a crowd favorite. Credentials for kite flying include Penny placing in the top three at America’s Kite Association’s National level in Master Quad, Open Innovative, and Open Indoor. She’s taken first place in many Mystery Ballets across the Northwest as she dances her kite to the music. Penny has been indoors and outdoors, Malaysia to Canada, traveling and flying professionally for more than 16 years. Penny’s favorite activity besides flying her Revolution kites, (which have brakes, reverse and speed control) is giving free Revolution kite lessons. With more than a decade of lessons, that‘s a whole lot of shared smiles. She says it’s part of the magic that keeps kite fliers young. Another favorite for Penny is meeting friends, watching the kids at the events grow up, and having her own grandchildren join her in kite flying. Penny and Steve are from Port Orchard, Wash.

Amy Doran

With four AKA Grand National titles under her wing, Amy’s goal is to share kiting and the joy it brings with people around the world. Amy has been privileged to work with Revolution Kites to create Masterpiece Series Revolution kites. Her latest Revolution kite “SkEyes” was featured in the Masterpiece Revolution Challenge. In 2007, she qualified for the American Kite Association National Championships in Ocean Shores, Wash. That’s where the “Charlie Chaplin” routine emerged in the Outdoor Open Individual Ballet. “Charlie” has now won two national championships and continues to have fun with crowds all over North America. Along with her son, Connor Doran, who made the top 12 on “America’s Got Talent” Season 5, Amy helped develop the Dare to Dream Team to help raise epilepsy awareness and money to support research and support for the National Epilepsy Foundation.

Brett and Diane Morris

Brett Morris is an avid kite flier from Medford, Oregon. In 2000, Brett bought his
first dual-line kite and loved flying circles, figure-8s and making loud noises as his kites flew through the air. In 2007, Brett attended the Lincoln City and Brookings kite festivals where he discovered tricking duals and Revolution quad-line kites. After watching skillful kite fliers, he was hooked. Now his kite bags are overflowing, and he is still buying new kites and learning new tricks. Brett loves to fly alone or in a group team. Brett and his wife, Diane, travel to as many kiting events as they can. Diane is always there to support the kite fliers, taking pictures or untangling lines. They often are the first on the beach and the last to leave. Brett recently has become director of the AKA Region 9, which covers Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Look for the AKA banner and Brett should be nearby.

Team Evidence

Team Evidence took off the summer of 2011 when Scott Davis and Toby Arndt paired up and hit the beaches, competing and doing demos. The next spring they went to Berck, France, and flew their routine for crowds of more than 500,000. Their enthusiasm and love for what they do is contagious. Now the team is nine members strong and able to mix and match for demos and comps anywhere they go.

Scott Davis

Scott has been into kiting since 1997, got into competing soon afterward, and, in 2000, qualified and went to his first nationals. His involvement in kiting has been growing ever since. In the early years, he was  part of Team 6th Sense and now is a major part of Team Evidence. Scott is now the AKA Region 10 director and the president of the Northwest Sportkite League. You’ll see Scott at most events in the Northwest, sharing what he loves.

Kristian Slater

Kristian has been flying kites since he was just a boy. He started out flying single-line display kites, but eventually found his way into sport kites in 2007. Kristian began competing indoors and eventually took his talents to the outdoor competitions as well. He began flying with Team Evidence in 2011 and has since become an intricate member of the team. Kristian currently holds the positions of indoor coordinator for the Northwest Sport Kite League and Youth Liaison for the Washington Kiteflyers Association. Kristian also is a student at the University of Great Falls in Montana, where he runs cross-country and track and field.

Travis Reedy

Travis first started flying kites indoors in the winter of 2011 at age 10. He has since joined Team Evidence and started flying and competing outdoors as well. Travis has the heart and the hands and is becoming an amazing flier. He was the only indoor competitor to fly at every indoor competition for the 2012-13 season. He has been busy doing indoor demos at schools around the Northwest.

Tobias Arndt

Toby started flying kites in 2006, at age 12. A year later, at the Windless Kite Festival in Long Beach, Wash., Toby was in his first competition. Just a few years later he won the national indoor champion title. His dedication to indoor flying is strong, and now he is the organizer at the Windless Kite Festival in Long Beach. Toby joined Evidence in 2011 and has flown outdoor competitions and demos with the team. Toby and Scott Davis flew demonstrations at the World Cup competition in Berck, France. Toby is a valued member of Team Evidence.

Dale Ray

Dale began flying at the tender age of 6. Dale has years of sport kite flying with legends such as Peter Bettancourt, Bill Watson, and Jerry Cannon. His interest in Peter Lynn show kites in 1990 began one of the largest U.S. collections of giant inflatable creature kites. On rare occasions, you may catch Dale with his newer collection of Revolution sport kites, but most likely you will be mesmerized by his 35-foot-wingspan dragon, which he refers to as “Puff.” Dale was a part of the world record “Octopile” composed of 22, 90-foot-long Peter Lynn Octopus kites in Berkley, Calif.

Ray and Donna Hertz

Ray and Donna of Auburn, Wash., started flying kites together 13 years ago. They specialize in large inflatable kites. They belong to a wonderful flying team called Team Suspended Animation, which broke the world record at Long Beach, Wash., for flying 115 Toy Story box kites. This coming August they plan to break that record and fly 220 at one time. Their show kites include unique one-of-a-kind pieces from master kite makers around the world.

Rod and Cindy Thrall

Rod and Cindy from Newberg began flying kites in 1992 when they were on an anniversary trip to Lincoln City. They bought a 6-foot rainbow delta and took it for a walk on the beach. From that humble beginning their kite collection began to grow, and they began attending kite festivals along the North Coast. Soon Cindy was designing and sewing banners and Rod began sewing kites. It was not long before they became a fixture at kite festivals up and down the West Coast. They have had the opportunity to attend several international kite festivals over the years. They are known for Cindy’s ground displays, their display of three Teddy bears, and Rod’s custom Jordan Airform kites.

Barry and Susan Tislow

Barry and Susan met in 1996. Barry has been working for Delta Marine (a yacht builder) since 1990. Susan has been working in sales for Marshall Tool (a distributor for machine shop tools) for the last 11 years. Barry already had a small kite collection of about 10 kites when they met. He took Susan to the beach to fly kites, and she was hooked. Their kite collection quickly grew. Over the years, their kite collection has grown so much they don’t even know how many kites they own. The couple used to fly about 30 kites at a time when they were flying smaller kites (up to 8-foot wingspan). About 10 years ago, they started flying large, inflatable show kites. They go to every kite festival on the Washington and Oregon coast and are founding members of Team Suspended Animation, a group of friends who own more show kites than any other group in the country. The team flies a variety of giant show kites.

Pete and Nadine Zweifel

Pete and Nadine make their home in Federal Way, Wash., and are members of Team Suspended Animation. They started flying kites six years ago after being introduced to the hobby by Ray and Donna Hertz. Starting with smaller kites, things quickly grew to the larger pieces you see today. As Pete’s wife will tell you, he has become obsessed with their newfound passion. The flow forms they fly are of their design and built by others, including Rod Thrall of Newberg. Interested in growing the sport, they welcome your questions about getting involved in this family-oriented hobby.

Bob Wendt

Bob is the president of the Pierce County Kitefliers Association and a member of the Westport Windriders. He is involved with all aspects of kiting, including indoor and outdoor flying, sport kites, display kites and kite making. He has been the announcer at many Northwest festivals over the past eight years, including the 2005 World Sport Kite Championships in Lincoln City, the 2008-2012 Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach, Wash., the AKA Grand National Convention in Seaside (2010) and Ocean Shores, Wash. (2007), as well as festivals at Whidbey Island, Rockaway Beach, Lincoln City, Camas, Milton and Ocean Shores. He was awarded the AKA Volunteer of the Year award in 2010. The best part of all of this is he gets to do this with his wife, Donna, who is his No. 1 kite-flying buddy and DJ at most of the events.

Donna Wendt

Donna is a member of the Pierce County Kitefliers Association and the Westport Windriders. She competes in indoor kite flying with the Northwest Sport Kite League and has several experienced class wins to her credit. She also flies outdoor sport kites, display kites and handcrafted kites. In 2010, Donna won a third-place novice award in the AKA Grand National Kite Making competition. She is active at most West Coast kite festivals as the DJ.