On Saturday 10th July the Sport Relief mile was a national success. As most people took to the streets in different cities to participate in this huge charity event, in Swansea the only mile to be done was on water! Everyone was invited to come along to Bay Watersports in Swansea Bay and have a go at doing the mile like so many others across the country but in a different style, this mile was to be done by means of windsurfing or kayaking.
It was only at the beginning of July, when searching for info about our local Sport Relief event that we discovered there was nothing happening in Swansea. This pushed us to bring in our own event for those who live locally and wanted to participate in this fun event. We contacted the BBC and although they were very happy to help us, unfortunately it was then too late to include us in their promotion campaign for this year so we had to do all the work ourselves. We printed over one hundred posters and put them everywhere we could think of and even got a mention on the local newspapers and radio.
Many people now knew about the event, it was simply a matter of getting lucky with the weather! Small detail I know, but one that was bound to affect people's energy to get wet. Not to our total surprise, the forecast wasn't looking great for the weekend and we could imagine people planning their indoor activities for the Saturday but we were going ahead with it no matter what.
We arrived at the beach at 8:30AM to get things ready. Greeted by menacing clouds and isolated showers things were not looking too promising. The official start for the day was 10:00 and we were just about ready to start waiting when... –‘Good morning’- A large family group drops in at 9:45!! Quick get the marker buoy out! Out we flew on our 4 horse power flubber to place the turn-around mark at around 1/2 mile out into sea.
The sun came out a couple of times during the day and we got soaked by a couple of painfully heavy showers but it all added to the fun challenge. For those who could windsurf well we made them attempt the mile with the sail back-winded or made them do silly freestyle. They got theirs back though, we (my brother Arya and myself) were pushed into doing the mile on a Revo, that ’s one Revo for both with two sails coming out of the same mast track! In disbelief we set sail into the sea but were faced with a decent wipe-out at the turn (I'm still trying to figure out how it can be done)
Bay Watersports managed to collect £260 which all went towards Sport Relief. We'd like to thank all those who participated and we are already looking forward to the next Sport Relief event next year. We highly recommend this to other windsurfing/water sports centers around the UK!
Bay Watersports Ltd 74a Carnglas Road Sketty Swansea SA2 9BW West Glamorgan