Windsurf@Wittering was a storming success with around 3000 visitors to the
beach over the weekend. It certainly was the biggest event since we
started, six years ago and the wind gods were favourable as we had a top
end of a force four on Saturday and force two to three on Sunday. Sunday
was even a perfect sunny day with out a rain cloud in sight.
A full range of demo kit was there from all the major manufactures
including F2/Arrows, JP/Pryde, North/Fanatic/Mistral, RRD/Ezzy, Hotsails
Maui, Wipika, RRD kites, Flexifoil, Slingshot, Cabrinha, Air Rush, Lost
Cause and North Kites. Suppliers also brought with them some brand new toys
which had not been on test before. These included a Fanatic Freestyle Wave
board, the new Neil Pryde Saber sail, Mistral’s new Screamer II, the F2
Powerglide range and a hydrofoil kite board from Flexifoil. We had a kite
test zone on the beach with Jason Furness and the Flexifoil team, free
windsurfing tuition tips from Jem Hall.
On Saturday morning we held an impromptu kitesurfing expression session on
the water as we had some major international visitors including world
ladies kitesurfing champion Cindy Mosey and Will James who currently lay
second overall in the world kitesurfing championships. They were joined on
the water by Jason Furness, Danny Seals and Andrea Wharry from the
international Flexifoil team. In the far from ideal conditions approaching
high tide Danny Seals was the clear winner with the biggest moves of the
day. Other top kiters were on the beach included Chris Gilbert from Maui,
Uk’s Chris Calthrop and local south coast riders including Neal Gent, Stu
Holland, Colin Mcullock, Ian Whittaker, Paul Metcalf and world ranked
Saturday night saw more than three hundred people enjoy a fantastic party
organised by 2XS, sponsored by Flexifoil and held at Pump Bottom Farm (home
of "The Blues on the Farm"). A good spread of food was provided before
alcohol proceeded to flow in vast quantities with tequila shots being
worryingly popular. A live band warmed up the dance floor before the wheels
of steel got going. The DJ kept the tunes pumping and the dance floor was
packed all night. Some of the dance moves were a little risqué but the
majority of people left the dance floor un-scathed. It was good to see so
many party goers camp over night and it was the busiest the camping field
has ever been.
On Sunday world ranked freestyle/wave sailor Nik Baker turned up on the
beach to see for himself what is happening on the British windsurfing
scene. When Nik is not competing he spends most of his time in Maui so it
was really good to see him on West Wittering beach. To add to the celebrity
status Chris Evans and Billy Piper were spotted on the beach with the usual
paparazzi hunting them down.
The RNLI were on hand over the weekend giving advice on safety tips for
windsurfers and kiters. Simon Bassett event organiser was one of the first
to sign up having lost his gear out to sea on Friday evening in force 8
conditions further down the coast. He had to swim for over ½ an hour
back to the beach as the light was fading.
The next demo weekend at West Wittering will be held on the 27th and the
28th September 2003.