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Kite buggy rally and fun-fly. May 16-19, 2012, Jekyll Island, Georgia

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Airial view of Kite Beach Cruising in Buggy on Kite Beach
Kite Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia Cooling off in a tidal pool. They are always deeper than you think. Photo: Mel George
Buggy on Jekyll Buggy on Jekyll

What, When & Where
The JIBE is Jekyll Island's first, and the Southeastern US's only annual kite buggy rally. It is planned as a loosely organized, informal get-together for kite-buggy pilots, but ATB/ landboarders, Blokarts and all traction and power kite fliers are welcome. A Portion of proceeds from the event will benefit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, located on Jekyll Island.

For 2012 We will again start on a Wednesday so that we have three weekdays with fewer other people on the beach. Jekyll beach is never crowded anyway and this is still pre-season, so we will have a better shot at extended distance runs. During JIBE 2011, some of our best days were on weekdays with clear beaches allowing four-mile-plus runs. Most of the picutrees here depict typical weekday beach scenes during JIBE. Sunday is reserved as a travel day.

Wednesday, May 16th, noon, through end of day Saturday the 19th. On Saturday morning there will be a Triatholon on the island that will use part of the beach, but it will be done and cleared out long before the beach is usable for us at low tide in the afternoon.

Map of Southeast USA Showing Location of Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island is located on the southeast coastline of Georgia, about halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida (about 30 miles north of the Florida Border). It's an easy 15 minute drive from Exit 29 on I-95 (see "Getting There", below)

The event staging area will be located on a stretch of beach we have come to call "Kite Beach", located in front of "Fins on the Beach" Restaurant (formally known as Blackbeard's), just a half-mile north of the main island entry point. The stretch of beach is favored by power kiters and kitesurfers since it offers a wide area at low tide and is relatively crowd-free. (Jekyll Beaches don't get too crowded in the first place). When the few crowds do clear in the late afternoons, a 4+ mile stretch is available for buggy runs with the right winds (east to southeast is best, west winds are second best). For 2012, there will be some restrictions as to how far south we can travel (no runs to the "shipwreck") in order to keep clear of established wildlife habitats. Veteran JIBE riders have already commented that this is not a siginificant restriction, since the sand down there can be soft.

Jekyll Island is a unique venue. From the 1860's through the first part of the twentieth century, the island was the home of the Jekyll Island Club, owned by America's elite and wealthy industrialists, including names like Astor, Rockefeller and Carnegie. In 1947 it was turned into a state park and to this day, development remains highly restricted, leaving over half of its area and all the beaches as a public wildlife preserve. The Island is home to all kinds of wildlife including alligators and American Bald Eagles.

The island is also a nesting ground for Loggerhead and other species of sea turtles, whose lives, health and nesting areas are now under the care and study of the new Georgia Sea Turtle Center located on the island. The Center is unique and includes medical and rehabilitation facilities as well as a public education program. JIBE attendees may attend a private group tour of the facility during the weekend (during high tide).

I have a JIBE Guide PDF that you can download. It has directions, maps, checklist, schedule, registration and waiver forms for faxing.

If you just want to download the Waiver and fax it to me (number is on the form) prior to the event then you have more time to buggy. You must sign and submit the waiver and put a helmet on before you do anything with wheels and a kite on the beach.

Schedule of Events (preliminary and subject to change)

Wednesday, May 16th
Low tide: 12:21 pm, Sundown: 8:15 pm

12 noon - 1:00 pm

Extra Sea Turtle Tour tickets will be available for family members who come along but do not buggy. Anybody can static-fly any kite on the public beach without registration.

Full Registration ($20) will include...