The ochre-washed days of autumn offer more than cooler weather for the teams and fans of Velocity. After the harvest has been gathered, everyone anticipates the Final Joust, which will determine the new champion. But, first, a one week pause for the annual Great Fling for Charity. Sponsored by the two leading castle enhancement centers, the Great Fling is a raucous event that annually raises funds for the building and repair of homes, shops and barns for the infirm and needy. Knights, crews, ladies, townsfolk, armor builders, royalty, guilds, fabricators, bards, clergy, small children and grandmothers - everyone attends and most participate. Homemade catapults are varied in size and effectiveness. The two grand professional trebuchets, however, never disappoint. They occupy the field of contest for a week before the event, strung with banners and sponsor pennants. Both are lit with torches and fairy lights.  (As the awards banquet for all classes of the Great Fling for Charity is held in January, you may travel to Winter for the results.)

Following the Fling, everyone is ready for the final Tournament and the naming of a new champion. Since loyal fans are essential to the Merry Sport of Jousting, the annual Champion's Parade and banquet involves royalty and commoner alike. It would be unfair to have an exclusive champion's banquet, attended only by nobility and held in a foreign, northern land. A telling of the latest Champion's Parade follows:

August through December 2010
Raleigh Convention Center
State Capital
Old North State of Carolina

From late summer into the Christmas season, eight of the oil paintings from the official court collection of the Land of Velocity were on display at this prestigious venue. Among others, the exhibit chronicled two young jousters - Maiden Lizzy of Smith and Sir Alex of Kennedy. Both began jousting at early ages with fire and fervor. From opposite shires of the Land, both benefited from the support of family and excelled because of it.

All of these paintings are back hanging in their virtual gallery, awaiting the next exhibit opportunity.

November 1, 2009
Indeed the COT (Catapult of Tomorrow) did not sit well with fans of the Great Fling for Charity. Wisely RACiSAN removed all restrictions and regulations for commercial catapults and trebuchet. Creativity and innovation were restored and the 2009 Fling for Charity was a “smashing” success.

Lady Ann has been remiss in dutifully recounting the 2007 and 2008 championships of Sir James of Johnson. Actually, one could simply re-read the 11-30-06 posting of events, since Land of Velocity traditions remain rather constant from year to year. Might Sir James win a record 4th straight championship? Or will the sentimental favorite Sir Mark of Martin prevail?

RACiSAN Dynasty Grand Hall of Fame.
Still under construction in the home shires, this towering castle will be the ultimate tribute to everything that encompasses the art of jousting in the Land of Velocity. From the discovery of the faire land by the first benevolent dragon of the RACiSAN dynasty, to current day knights of the land, all will be told in picture, diorama, story and song.

11-2-07
Folks are beyond buzzing over the new Catapult of Tomorrow concept announced last weekend at the Great Fling for Charity. In an effort to curtail excessive hurling distances, RACiSAN the Benevolent has decided to institute restrictions on the two commercial trebuchets in 2008. These machines, constructed by the two castle enhancement centers, provide a smashing finale to the event with their ability to hurl heavy objects great distances. Unfortunately flying crank shafts and derelict track dryers have been landing in hedge rows and neighboring farm fields. Organizers eventually ruled that the losing team must clean and haul away debris. But it seems RACiSAN the Benevolent is dictating stricter measures. There will be very precise criteria for future competition trebuchets. They will be mechanically identical. Now, there has never been such a thing as “tech inspection” in the Lo’V and the good citizens are uneasy.  What if this trend was carried over in to the jousting tournaments ? Innovation and creativity have always been  encouraged in the Jousts. For the fun-loving citizens, this proposed COT might not sit well.

10-24-07
"It’s that time of year when NASCAR fans are engrossed in the Chase. And, for added brain-freeze, fans are scrambling to keep up with the latest crew/driver/sponsor/owner merry-go-round.  If a refreshing diversion would be welcome, plan a trip to the Land of Velocity for the Great Fling for Charity, scheduled the weekend of October 27. And, unlike attending a Charlotte race, absolutely NO inoculations are required in the Lo’V !  The cornfield at the Spencer Estate has been harvested, groomed and the row hedges trimmed in white fairy lights. After the Parchment Clip Joust last weekend, knights and crews formed hunting and fishing parties and vanished on their 5-day break. Of course they will be back in time for the Great Fling, rested and ready for merriment.

The mighty trebuchet’s built by the Velocity castle improvement establishments have been rolled into place on the field and festooned with their traditional torches, fairy lights and banners. These competing machines are geared and ready to roar into life for the grand finale of the Great Fling. Oddly enough, though, a puzzling banner has been strung between the towering wooden uprights. It reads, “Coming in 2008 – The Catapult of Tomorrow!”  Townsfolk are abuzz over what a “COT” might be and how it will affect the annual Fling. Look for an announcement."

11-30-06
This year the parade was led by the children of the Southern Shire. Their marching band was especially enthusiastic, if somewhat out of tune. As always, they were followed by the families of the Land, winding their way through town, eventually lining the avenues of the Royal Castle of Petty. In ascending order, pages, squires, crew squires and finally the mounted knights arrived at the castle grounds and paraded past the assembled fans. As has been the custom since 1995, neither knights nor chargers wore armor. The opulent finery of gentlemen and their mounts was breathtaking.  (Sir Junior of Earnhardt's Irish Draft Horse, Whiskey River, had flames painted on his mighty hooves. This will no doubt become a popular trend.)

In the final position of honor, the 2006 Champion, Sir James of Johnson, was astride the reliable Charlotte. Together they ringed the circular drive twice, arriving at the base of the sweeping castle stairway. Sir James dismounted with agility (in spite of a sore wrist) and strode up the steps to where King Richard and Queen Linda were waiting to present the be-jeweled champion's chalice. Dame Louise Smith leaned on a carved cane but with vibrant voice presented a platinum necklace to Sir James for his Lady Chandra.

At the torch-lit supper-on-the-grounds  that followed, the South-lands theme continued with a feast of pit-roasted wild boar, roast corn on the cob, hush puppies, slaw, bowls of warm banana pudding, tankards of sweet tea, steamed cider and hot spiced mead. At eight chimes from the town clock, the children gathered on the marble stairway where the castle doors swept open and revealed Santa Claus himself.  He was clothed in red velvet, ermine trimmings, black leather boots and had a white peacock feather dancing in the band of his red cowboy hat. Everyone knew Santa's eyes were twinkling behind his dark glasses as he tossed out candy, whistles and small toys. Thus began the official start of the Christmas season which was spent with family and friends - visiting, attending church, feasting and exchanging gifts. 

The Prince of Crew    
© 2005 Ann Boyer LePere    

THE PORTRAITS:
Citizens of Velocity

The Prince of Crew
Lady Wendy of Venturini
Tournaments of August
Viewing Yon Qualifying
Squire Alex of Kennedy
The Rookie Knight
Squire Gannon of Hollywood
Pocono Flag Maiden
Thanks, Dad
The Dream
Lady with a Squirrel
The Page
Squire Coleman of Dollarhide
Zoey's Tapestry
Thanks, Mom
Squire Lizzy
The Earl of Peletier
Mystery Squire
Rockingham Royalty
Tournaments 4 U
Champions

   

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