Olly Bridge jumps the press boat at VKSA

Virgin Kitesurfing Armada raises over £150,000 for charity

Virgin Kitesurfing Armada raises over £150,000 for charity

Thanks to the efforts of 442 registered participants the 2015 Virgin Kitesurfing Armada has raised an incredible £30,690, bringing the total raised to over £150,000 since the annual event was first held in 2013.

Contributing to the grand total was this years’ top fundraiser, Andy Pope, who raised £2,250, closely followed by Martin Stocks with a total of £2,214 for the four event charities: Virgin Unite, the RNLI, youth charity Snow-Camp, and rescue charity Serve On.

Event Director, Dan Charlish commented; “It’s been another phenomenal effort from the kitesurfing community. We’re delighted to have past the £150,000 mark over three years, which makes a massive difference to the fantastic causes we support. We know it’s difficult to fundraise and we really appreciate everyone’s effort and willingness to get involved in this important part of the event.”

Members of the all-star family of Volvo Car UK’s sponsored kitesurfers: Team Bridge, showed off their moves with a stunt show on Saturday afternoon in front of the growing crowds on CBK Beach, with some high energy jumps, even clearing the support boats.

Five-time World Champion, Steph Bridge, explained why her whole family loves attending this event “The event gives a huge sense of community spirit where kitesurfers from all over the UK can come together, congregate for the entire weekend and kitesurf.”

Plenty of kiters got out on the water on the day including some of the professional riders who attended the festival. Big names here at Hayling Island today included: Tom Court, Rich Flindall, Georgina Monti, Victor Borsuk. Also a number of junior rising stars: Jack Gardiner, Toby Cooke and Harry Way.

The kitesurfing community enjoyed listening to a range of talks from industry experts kicking off with four-time British Champion Lewis Crathern who has been involved in the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada from the beginning.

The festival vibe continued into the evening with music on the mainstage by Brighton’s leading funk, rock, pop and soul band, The Shakers and Bugbar DJs, plus a premiere of the official event movie.

The Saturday evening entertainment line-up also featured the first ever UK Kitesurfing Industry Awards, hosted by KITEWORLD’s Jim Gaunt and IKSURFMAG’s Rou Chater.

Voted on by a specially selected panel OF 25 industry experts from the UK and abroad including World Champion kitesurfers and combined with public votes, the 2015 UK Kitesurfing Industry Award winners were:

  • Best Kitesurfing Club: CBK-HAYLING ISLAND
  • Best Kitesurfing Shop: EDGE WATERSPORTS
  • Best Brand Representative: DOM YULE – F-ONE, MANERA (TKC SALES)
  • Overseas Ambassador Award: LEWIS CRATHERN

The Awards were introduced by the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Leah Turner, she said; “We are delighted to welcome the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival back to Havant Borough and especially to Hayling Island. Its been super for us to see everybody having a great time. We are sorry we couldn’t arrange the wind you wanted – but come back again next year and we promise to do better!”

While the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title attempt was not possible due to unfavourable wind conditions, all kitesurfers involved can take comfort in knowing their efforts will have a continued positive impact on the Armada Trust and the local community.

MP for Havant, Alan Mak also came down to CBK Beach to see the action for himself and said, “The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival is an amazing event for Hayling Island to host and a huge asset for Havant Borough and the county. We’re committed to supporting the growth and success of the event in the future. It’s a fantastic celebration of all that’s great about kitesurfing.”

The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada plans to return to Hayling Island next year for another for another weekend festival of kitesurfing, live music, talks, exhibitions, kitesurfing demonstrations, fundraising and of course the bid to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the ‘Largest Parade of Kitesurfers’ as part of the weekend.

For more information on the Armada Events visit www.armadaevents.co.uk.