The race consists of the letting out and winding in of a kite on one quarter mile of string. The boys set their reels ready for the best speed and they group themselves quite close together, but far enough apart to prevent mix-ups, and at the proper time are handed their string that has been measured and labeled which they attach to kite. Each boy in the race is allowed one helper and the kite may be held by the helper a hundred feet away, ready to toss it in the air at the sign for starting. When all is ready, the one in charge of the group calls "ready! go!" The kites are tossed up and are given the string as fast as it will be taken. The boy with a steady head will sometimes stop playing out and work his kite up a little to get more breeze. If there is plenty of breeze, they are fed all the string as fast as it is pulled out. If a kite drops it may be worked up again, but it must go to the end of the quarter mile and back. A time keeper is placed by each contestant, and officers are needed to keep back the onlookers. As soon as all the string is out the boy slips the loop on the end of his string over a hook on the reel and winds in as fast as he can turn. The kite mounts up in the air and is pulled with great violence toward the reel. If a string breaks, the time keeper stops the winding until the kite is again attached. No allowance is made for mishaps. The kite that is jerked down into the reel first is winner, and the owner is usually a pretty warm boy. The helper can take turns in winding.
Other races should be similarly conducted. We have had races in the construction of a tailless kite, including the lashing and stringing of framework and covering, attaching of bridle and the kite must fly. In all pulling contests, spring scales are used. In the light weights, the twenty-five pound scales are best, but the fifty pound is more serviceable for all around purposes. For very heavy pulling, large ice scales might be borrowed for the day from some hardware man.
To measure the pull of a kite, the string is looped about the hook of the spring and the record made. Several records are made of each kite over a period of about thirty minutes or so. The judges going to and fro measuring this one and that. The kite should be ascending to get the best register. It is well in trial events to set the number of times that each aeroplane may be tried or tests of pulling permitted, as some will tease for a continual performance.
The art supervisors and teachers are good as judges for the artistic events. All kites are in the air most of the time, so a general survey is made of the whole field. It is well to have about five judges on this group. Less will do the work all right, but it is well to draw many into the service.
If the director could be on horseback so as to be easily seen, and also be able to get about easily, it would help out considerably. Messengers from judges to director or information would be useful.