Please can some of the flyers with more experience in competition part with a few tips.
Not asking for your winning secrets, just some common advice on some of the more obvious problems.
The first, unpredictable wind. I found it quite off putting being thrown in front of everyone in totally unpredictable winds. Usually at home I pick my days to fly, smooth sea breezes, at speeds my Cosmic's seem to love. At Bristol the wind was all over the place. Yet there must be something to do as Bryan, Piero, Chris, Dave, you all seem to be getting in there and making the most of it.
The wind was awful.. but then again it generally is at Ashton Court due to it's location surround by trees, large inflatable slides and coffee stalls. We certainly struggled on Saturday when the wind decided to suddenly drop off. However this is how it is in competition. Generally, it is the same for everyone and you don't have to be perfect to win.. you just have to cope better than the rest.
So firstly.. go and fly whatever the conditions. If you have a full range of kites, there should be no reason why you can't get out and fly. In strong winds you will find it hard to trick, so you need to experiment in adding more weight to give more drag and add more momentum in the spins. In light winds you need to learn how to move on the ground to power the kite. Both are not easy to master.. but you'll only get there if you start trying.
Secondly.. before you go in to the arena.. try to gauge what exactly the wind is doing. Is it consistent? Is it increasing and decreasing in regular 3 minute intervals? What set-ups are your competitors using.. how well did they do with it? The set-up you pick might have to be a compromise.
Thirdly.. when in the arena... use your 'warm-up' period wisely. If the wind has previously been inconsistent and suddenly becomes something you can handle.. don't hang about.. start your routine. If it is gusting and swinging, use the maximum time available to try to wait for it to calm down. Most wind conditions oscillate in this way.. so starting at the point when they are just becoming favourable is part skill and part luck. (might not be applicable for Trick Outs)
Fourthly.. when in your routine you might have to improvise something different to what you've practiced if you suddenly get a strong gust. If this happens, try not to panic so you can think quickly and clearly. Remain calm and instead focus on the next trick. Remember, in bad conditions you can not be expected to be perfect and therefore it can be a damage limitation exercise. Don't make unnecessary errors by taking unnecessary risks.
Fifthly.. use the whole arena you have available to you. You might find that a particular corner has the cleanest wind. Try to work this out in your warm up.
Hope this helps