Eight Bells: George Baskette
Published on April 13th, 2014
The kite community lost a beloved founding father on April 6, 2014 when George Baskette died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack while out ice sailing on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire.
George began flying kites at an early age. He was an early promoter and performer of fancy indoor kite demonstrations and trick flying. He was one of a handful of pioneers who started kite skiing and traction kiting in the US.
From Revolution stacks to the introduction of ConceptAir power kites in Quebec, Baskette was there – charging hard. He flew kites with buggies, and skis at a time when many of today’s kite sailors were still in diapers. He flew often and hard. He was an inspiration to many, always willing to give advice and to help introduce others to the sport. His enthusiasm, patience, and delight were infectious.
In addition, he was an avid paraglider having achieved many long distance flights here in the US, Canada and Mexico.
On his final day, with 22 Kitewings engaged in the 9th annual “Tour du Phare” race on Lake Sunapee, George set his kite down on the ice. He lay down and was unconscious when approached. Emergency responders arrived quickly but were unable to receive him.
George may have died doing what he loved, but at age 54, he himself was loved, and he is sorely missed. Keep flying George. You are an inspiration to all of us. – William Tuthill