The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada 2015 has now been launched and you can sign up for this awesome event on the new website which can be found HERE.

Kitesurfers wanting to take part in the annual Virgin Kitesurfing Armada festival at Hayling Island can sign up now!

The event attracts a huge number of kitesurfers!

The event attracts a huge number of kitesurfers!

500 places will be released for kitesurfers wishing to ride the 15 mile course from Hayling Island to Pagham, whilst also attempting to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the ‘Largest Parade of Kitesurfers’ – currently held by the Spanish Kitesurfing Armada.
Virgin are continuing their title sponsorship of the festival and Sir Richard Branson, who participated in the first ever Kitesurfing Armada, said in a video released to launch the event:

“Our support for the fantastic Virgin Kitesurfing Armada initiative continues to grow – and we are delighted to see the event expanding internationally, inspiring thousands of recreational kiters like me to get involved! We will be bringing kitesurfers together from far and wide in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record and raise thousands for charity, and I am really hoping to be there myself this year – so I hope to see you on the beach!” – Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson with kite surfer Tom Wilson.

Sir Richard Branson with kite surfer Tom Wilson.

Once again fundraising for good causes will be central to the event. To date, the kitesurfing community has raised over £120,000 for charity through Armada events, and with the formation of the Armada Trust this year, even more youth and rescue charities will be supported.

“It is such an amazing event to be part of. I love the fact that everyone involved in my sport – including kitesurfers from across the country, the industry and many pro riders – all want to join in and get together at the festival. It feels like a proper kitesurfing community and I’m sure this year will be the best yet, especially if we can take the Record back from the Spanish!” – Lewis Crathern, Ambassador for the event and pro-kitesurfer

Lewis Crathern talking to other riders while they wait for wind - Ocean Images

Lewis Crathern talking to other riders while they wait for wind – Ocean Images

The festival period has been extended this year to open from 11am on Friday through to Sunday late afternoon – in response to feedback from last year’s event.

Kitesurfing Armada Director, Dan Charlish, said, “Opening on the Friday means we gain an extra day where people can come down and visit the festival, check out all the exhibition stands and see all the new gear, hear some kitesurfing talks, watch some kite films and enjoy the atmosphere. The camping and campervan options were really popular last year and a lot of people took the day off on Friday and made a long weekend of it – so the festival timings have been changed to match, and we are looking forward to seeing everybody down there!”

A large event tent will house lots of the brands and also those all important parties!

A large event tent will house lots of the brands and also those all important parties!

The kitesurfing industry continues to increase its support to the event, with 40% more kitesurfing brands getting involved as sponsors and partners this year. A massive exhibition marquee will be designated to brands exhibiting their latest gear and providing advice and information to kitesurfers of every level – especially those new to the sport. Kite flying taster sessions for beginners will also be available during the festival.
The community marquee will host the main stage, jumbo screen, bar area, live music and event parties on Friday and Saturday night, café, talks and chill out zone.

Fancy dress is optional! - Ocean Images

Fancy dress is optional! – Ocean Images

Organisers are hoping for good wind so that the Kitesurfing Armada itself can take place on either the Saturday on Sunday of the festival weekend. Dan Charlish said, ‘In 2013 we had 40 knots by the end of the event and it did get a tad challenging to manage! In 2014, we had no wind to speak of until the last weekend when a lucky 2 hours of 15 knots at least got everyone off the beach and kitesurfing. So this year we are all hoping for one great weekend of 18-25 knot wind so everyone can complete the full downwinder in style, and bring the Guinness World Record back to the UK!’

The organisation is second to none!

The organisation is second to none!

“Last year the whole weekend was a great success with over 500 kiters coming down to attend the weekends festival and lots of brands on hand with the latest kites and boards on show. We were there as well to support it and sadly the only thing missing was the wind. In the end it picked up enough to run a shortened course but sadly the kiting record didn’t get broken. This year the team are determined to reverse their fortunes and have not only an amazing weekend to celebrate kitesurfing in the UK but also to smash the record once again!” – Rou Chater Editor IKSURFMAG

It's an impressive sight and lots of fun! - Ocean Images

It’s an impressive sight and lots of fun! – Ocean Images

Havant Borough Council continue to provide fantastic support the festival and are looking forward to welcoming hundreds of kitesurfers, their friends and families to Hayling Island for the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada this year.

Snow-Camp director Dan Charlish with Guinnes World Record's Craig Glenday and Sir Richard Branson.

Snow-Camp director Dan Charlish with Guinnes World Record’s Craig Glenday and Sir Richard Branson.

The festival is free and everybody is welcome!

If you want to get involved in the downwinder and raise some money for some fantastic charities then get registered on the website and keep an eye out for more information from us nearer the time. There is every reason to get involved, it’s fun, you’ll meet lots of other like minded kiters and it’s a great chance for the UK kitesurfing scene to show everyone just how positive it is right now!

Register for the #VKSA here: REGISTER

VKSA 2015 Final Poster

http://www.kitesurfingarmada.com

Thu 7th May, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

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