The Sand Yeti

   Introducing the Sand Yeti

Sand Yeti

Sand Yeti

Some people wonder about my origin. Simple to explain because I was born in Wales but lived most of my life in Bern, Switzerland (German speaking part) and was just as enthusiastic about climbing mountains or anything for that matter as I am with kite buggying today. I have dual nationality and depending on my mood and/or situation become eitherone or the other. Despite being 50/50, I have a very strong affinity for both theUK & Switzerland. Brig (Brigitte) my Mrs. is from Geneva (French speaking part). She too loves the outdoor life and never hesitates to take a trip into the desert.

One of my mates back home in Switzerland got me flying his two line delta recreational kite back in 1997 & figured this was fun, so took one back with me to Dubai. The local Dubai public beach used to be fairly quiet back then (no kite surfers, jet skiers etc.). I noticed in strong winds that the delta would pull hard, so I pumped up an old truck innertube, which I then used like a boat. It pulled me gently along the Persian Gulf. I couldn’t steer very well and often had along swim or rather back to shore.

I stopped that activity for a while & concentrated on off-roading. I led an 8 day expedition of 4X4?s through the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter). At the end of the first day, after we had pitched our tents, Glenn, a New Zealander produced the first power kite I’d ever seen. He launched it into the neutral zone, walked with it up to the top of a 40 foot high dune and jumped off the top. He floated down & continued with a snaking scud for about 200 yards. He returned back to camp with very bloody shins. I thought ‘magic’, I must try this.
He later introduced me to a chap called Angelo who then owned a kite shop in Dubai called Fatima Sport. This was a political move by him to enhance family harmony because that’s his Mrs’s name. He was a great help especially in those early days, when I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing.

I flew my first power kite in 2000 on a borrowed Sky Tiger Hi40 on a large area of virgin sand in Al Barsha. This area today has been ruined by Dubai’s rapid construction & growth. There is a huge shopping mall on it that includes an indoor ski slope with a 400m snow piste to rip off the masses.

I thought the Hi40 was tame but later realized it was because of the poor wind at that time. This experience prompted me to buy my first kite, which was a Hi60 and followed by a standard PL buggy soon after my first power kite flight.
Since then, I haven’t looked back & the only time I didn’t kite was when I had to attend work, no wind, been sick (not often) and the odd family obligations, which we are kind of forced into.

A lot of people think of me as a desert buggier but I keep my old kites back home and try my hand at kite-skiing in my fields during winter when I’m there.

 

Adventures

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