FAMILIES flocked to witness history in the making as kite enthusiasts from across the globe set a new world record in Portsmouth yesterday.
This year marks the 26th Portsmouth International Kite Festival and the theme is ‘The Seven Continents’.
Run by the Kite Society of Great Britain and Portsmouth City Council, the two-day event, which began yesterday at Southsea Common, has seen fliers from as far afield as Australia, Canada and South Africa visit the city – and a world record has already been broken.
Speaking yesterday Jon Bloom, from the Kite Society of Great Britain, said: ‘At 1pm we attempted to break the record for flying the most number of trilobite kites in an arena at once.
‘We did it, and managed to get 23 going at the same time.
‘The day has gone really well so far, we could do with the wind speed decreasing a little bit, but it’s turned out to be a nice day.
‘Overall, conditions are pretty good and we’ve got lots of kites in the sky.
‘I think we’ve got a lot more people here this year than we did in 2016, so we’re very happy with how the festival is going so far.’
Kite enthusiasts will attempt to break the record again today.
The event is internationally recognised, and is listed as one of the 23 biggest kite festivals in the world.
The festival hosts a colourful demonstration of the art of kite flying and kite making, reflecting the tradition of kites across the globe. These include single-line kites, cellular kites, 3D soft kites, and a range of skilfully flown kites performing tricks and routines to music.
Visitors are also able to enjoy a range of stalls and activities.
Sue Collier, 41 and from Drayton, attended the festival with her husband Mike, and six-year-old daughter Imogen, yesterday.
She said: ‘We’ve been coming to the festival for about 10 years now. It’s fun for the family and we’re not kite enthusiasts, but we have a go at flying some every time.
‘Imogen loves the day and the display is great too, it’s not often you get to see so many colourful kites in the sky at once.’
Fareham couple Dawn Clancy and Richard Allen were admiring the display with their two children, five-year-old Isabelle and four-year-old Archie.
Dawn said: ‘This is the first time we’ve been to the festival and we all think it’s great, it’s easy to get to.
‘We brought a little kite with us so we might have a go later on, but we’re happy just watching all the kites.’
Isabelle added: ‘The rainbow fish kite is my favourite because it’s got lots of colours on it.’
By the end of the day today, organisers hope to have had kites and kite fliers from all over the world.
Graham Butcher, 76, went to the festival with his wife Alison Butcher, 76.
The pair are from Gosport and have been a number of times previously. Alison said: ‘This is one of the best festivals we’ve been to over the years. We love the day and watching all the kites, there’s always lots to see and do.
‘The kite that is in the shape of a diver looks very real because his fingers move in the wind, as if he was swimming, it looks good.’
The festival is on today from 10am-5pm.