Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival: The weekend round up of the big, free, music and beach festival
Last weekend (9-11 June) Hayling Island hosted one of the biggest kitesurfing festivals in the world with over 6,000 visitors. Backed by Virgin, what started out as a charity fundraiser has grown into one of the best beach festivals in the UK. The free beach festival attracted some of the biggest names in kitesurfing, including ten-time female World Champion Gisela Pulido, British Champion and Brighton Pier jumper Lewis Crathern, Aaron Hadlow a British five-time World Champion and the current King of the Air Nick Jacobsen.
Families enjoyed the festival that was bustling with fun and live music throughout the weekend. The Fat Face Family Zone kept the kids entertained with a range of activities, whilst the Neilson Recovery Zone provided its own hot tub and relaxing massage area. The festival’s brand marquee brought together the biggest collection of kitesurfing apparel ever seen under one roof in the UK, including the latest gear from North Kiteboarding and Cabrinha.
On the water, festival goers were treated to unique stunt displays by the world’s top kitesurfers. Never before have spectators been able to enjoy a kitesurfing display from the world’s best kitesurfers, whilst listening to live commentary transmitted to speakers from the water to the beach whilst hundreds watched on.
Hayling Island provided an amazing backdrop for the British Kitesurfing Championships, foiling clinics and kitesurfing taster sessions on the beach. The festival raised significant funds for the Armada Trust and Virgin Unite, which support the grassroots of kitesurfing and Virgin Unite’s innovative projects.
Dan Charlish, Founder of The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival:
“This year’s Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival was the biggest and the best by far. We were extremely lucky to have perfect sun, wind and wave conditions for kitesurfing over the weekend. The new outdoor music stage was a fantastic addition to the festival. This year it really felt like the festival went beyond all we could have hoped for it to achieve – great kitesurfing and a brilliant festival on land that kept everyone entertained. Breaking Guinness World Records is always a great thing to try and do and we’re delighted to still hold the record for the largest parade of kitesurfers. But on top of that we’ve now created a successful and unique music festival that combines the best that kitesurfing has to offer with festival fun that everyone can enjoy.”