By Dave Black [For PDF version Click Here]
I am always fascinated on the dark subject as to why some kits kit longer in the dark than others. After all to our rules, once a kit splits in the dark, you have only one hour left possibly to fly the kit, but you must have the kit down and trapped within this hour. I don’t know if other club’s rules are different by the way, but this is a main subject that gets talked about all of the time. Our (NTU) 8 competitions are often won in the dark.
My theory is that it is something you can’t teach a kit not to split, as it is out of the flyer’s hands once they reach dark and the birds split. There’s nothing we can do to avoid this. But there are other things you can drum into the birds, but kitting is a thing you can’t teach I feel, as I’m sure the birds don’t realize that they are doing anything wrong. The reason they stay together in the dark I feel is for security. And the reason one pulls out is because it is weaker minded or not as physically strong as the rest.
All I have is a theory that can help this split rule. Fly all the same breed/strain, all the same sex, and don’t push them well over the time you expect to be dropping them in a competition or in training. Try and drop them as a kit in training if you can.
Look for a kit in training that rarely splits, this I know is different once the birds are under more pressure and after flying longer hours in competition. Also look for breeds/strains that are renowned for longer kitting in the dark.
I’ve heard sayings of it’s just getting that bit of luck and getting a kit that kits in competition.
This I firmly do not believe. I know it is down to experienced flyers that know what they are looking for. Management must play a big part, as it is the same names year in year out who usually are in the national placings. Also, they must have the right birds for the job.
The best kit which I have ever seen in a competition in the dark, were a kit of 5 blue cross Boden hens of Darren Kelly, which took the national record without splitting. Looking at the weather that night it was well overcast, not a sky you would think a kit of Tipplers could clearly see each other.
I had seen this kit on many occasions either in training or in competition and all of the facts that I mentioned above, this kit had going for them. That’s the only solution I can think of for kitting.
I rarely get any kitting time and have to fly long split times to get placed in the nationals.