Rob Kent wins the Round Hayling Island race for the fifth time, just a few minutes ahead of Louis Morris. And the SUP racing is won by some familiar windsurfing names, with Paul Simmons taking the win and Marie Buchanan taking second and the women’s course record! Full report below, by Annie Riley.
Over 140 competitors took part in the Round Hayling Island Event on a rather grey and misty Good Friday. Seven OC6 (six-man outrigger canoes) created an impressive spectacle as the Mayor of Havant raised the flag to start their race off just before mid-day. They were closely followed by 70 windsurfers, ranging from the team from Seavets to the young Team 15 entrants. Ten minutes later, 20 Paddleboarders started in the first ever SUP Company Challenge.
Competitors were able to finish at Northney (4 Miles) the Ferry (9 miles) or complete the full 14 mile circumnavigation.
The first windsurfer to reach the bridge was Louis Morris, closely followed by four time winner Rob Kent, with his wife Annette in fifth place through the bridge. Each tried to keep up the momentum as they had to drop their rig to glide under the bridge. The SUPs in the first ever full circumnavigation, were led by Paul Simmons from Tushingham.
As the fleet approached the ferry point, the weather closed in and mist descended over the course. The ferry point was later closed as a safety restriction.
The first windsurfer to complete the full 14 mile course was Rob Kent, making it 5 wins in a row, rounding the Island in 2 hrs 18.44 mins. Louis Morris came in 10 minutes behind Rob, followed by Lewis Barnes and Alan Jackson. Annette Kent, in fifth place, was the first lady to complete the course in 2 hrs 36.21 mins.
Completing the silver course were first Nigel Tailyour, followed by Partick Boyce and Alec Henry. The windsurfer bronze course winner was Hannah Maunder followed by Murray Maunder and John Message.
In the SUP class, Paul Simmons was the first to ever complete the SUP Company Round Hayling Island Race in an impressive 2hrs 34.33 mins. Marie Buchanan came in second with a ladies course record of 2hrs 53.33 mins and Philip Plume took third.
Tony Jones from The SUP Company provided a complimentary mini bus to ferry competitors back to HISC, where most needed a warm shower.
There were amazing prizes provided by sponsors, Tushingham, The SUP Company, Andy Biggs, Starboard, Red Paddle, Jobe, Action Van and Havant Brewery.