Here is the source of my motivation in the effort to develop the "Drift/Fly" technique. You gotta love this honest, entertaining and straight forward description by one of Kiteforums respected personalities. Thanks, Doc!
This describes Dr Lightwinds 2004 Kitemare while performing a self launch using a 5th line:
"I almost had a kitemare today with the 5th Element system.
First of all at 8am the wind was steady 18 knots and I setup my M3 12m. When I was ready the wind dropped to 12 knots so I got pissed and setup the M3 16m first time in this position U like the way you carrie it on the shore.
Because nobody was around I thought it was a good opportunity to see how I could launch it by myself. With the kite facing downwind position like this U with weight on it the middle. The bar with lines were upwind of kite correctly setup and checked.
First I hooked in the chicken loop to the shackle on the bar. Next I walked downwind holding the bar with one hand to keep the proper position than I grabbed the LE where the triplets are and started walking out while I also grabbed my 120 TT. I tied board to a buoy and walked out further in case if shite hits the fan.
As soon as I was ready the wind started hauling again and saw white caps everywhere. First I pulled the trim strap all the way down and by holding the nose line I slowly started letting the kite away from me and to my surprise the kite was hovering about 4m above the water. When it was half way the wind blew the left front and back line under the kite.
I pulled the kite back to undo it but I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so let it out again because I thought it will undo itself on itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own when I try to launch it. After I noticed the stupid lines tangled up and while trying to undo them the bit%h suddenly launched into the power zone almost cutting my fingers off. While IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in the air I crashed the f%%ker. I crashed it, now with the LE facing down pulling like crazy.
I tried to activate the safety system but it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work because of the line tangles. I almost had to pull the shackle, hell with the kite itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my life. Finally on the last attempt I was able to depower the kite by pulling one of the back line in. That was a terrifying experience and looks like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not ready for a self launch yet on the shore, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s for sure.
I walked back to the shore and took an hour to undo the spaghetti factor. The wind was still up and now people started coming and started setting 12m kites.
Now this time I had an assisted launch with the 16m and had a great session, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m happy.
I saw the WipikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s launching video and it looks easy, appears to be in light wind.
Must be a self launching technique for a 5th E. also, and it should be easy isn't it?￼
Additionally how any of you would self launch a kite safely with a 5th E. either on the water or on the shore when nobody is around?￼
Now it's your turn, please come up with something,,,,,,,,,,,,,