Poole WindFest, the watersports event held at Sandbanks, and now in its fourth
year, has gained title sponsorship this year from Animal, and further support
provided by Poole Tourism. Held from Saturday 8th to Tuesday 11th September,
this investment has ensured a higher profile, and increased features, for the
event in 2001.
Gary Willingham from French Connection Watersports created Poole WindFest in
1998. His aim was to bring windsurfers of all backgrounds and abilities from
all over the UK to Sandbanks for competitions, demonstrations, and social activities.
Each year the event has developed, gaining national and international interest.
In 2001, Animal has invested in the event to introduce an international pro/am
freestyle windsurf and kitesurf competition, a marquee village for the public
to see and try all the new season's watersports equipment, and a large evening
party at Bournemouth's Oceanarium.
Gary says, "I am very excited about how WindFest is growing. With Animal's
significant support and Poole Tourism's backing we can take the event onto its
next level. As Poole becomes a major UK centre for kitesurfing we have introduced
a pro/am kitesurfing competitions. In total we are offering over £2500
in prize money for the Pro's, as well as Animal product prizes for the Amateurs,
for the wind and kitesurfing. The competition is attracting interest from contestants
all over the world. We also have word that a few of the big names will be coming
too which is a first."
Other features of the event includes displays from the Animal Mountain Biking
Team, social events every evening throughout the four days, and the Animal /
F2 Party at the Oceanarium with top local DJ's and live music, drinks promotions,
and other entertainment.