The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada will take place on the 11/12th October 2014.

Please find below the answers to your questions relating to Kitesurfing, The Festival, Parking & Camping and Safety & Security. 


Am I registered?

You are registered if you have completed all three steps of the registration process (filled out the form, set up a fundraising page and paid your registration fee) and received your official welcome email. You can check here if you are fully registered.

What kite size should I use?

Guidance on wind speeds and conditions will be available on the day to help guide your kite choice, but as a kitesurfer you need to take responsibility for choosing your kite size for the event based on the conditions, kite type, your weight etc.

What is the wind range for the World Record Attempt and Downinder?

The event will aim to run with winds between 12 knots to 25 knots.

When do I have to arrive?

It all depends on the wind on the day, we will send out an email to all participants with all the details as soon as the date is confirmed. All details will also be published on our website and facebook page. But in an ideal world we will all be arriving from 7am for registration.

What is the target for the number of kitesurfers?

The current World Record is 352, set in Spain in August 2014, so we are aiming for above that – around 400 would be ideal for this event.

What happens if there is no wind on any of the proposed days?

If there is no wind on any of the days, the festival will take place regardless on the weekend of the 11th/12th of October.

What happens to my registration fee and my fundraising if the downwinder doesn’t take place?

Sadly the registration fee is non-refundable – you will still be able to come down the festival, claim your rash vest, enjoy all the entertainment and there will no doubt be other activities we can arrange on the water. But the majority of costs your registration fee covers will need to be paid in advance regardless of wind, meaning we wouldn’t be able to give refunds. The funds raised will still go to the charities.

If I can’t make it on the day, can someone else take part instead of me?

In order to run the event safely and be clear exactly who is on the water – last minute changes are very unlikely to be approved.

What if I can’t make the day when the event is due to go ahead?

We understand it’s difficult for people to put aside 3 weekends in September/October to ensure they are free when the event actually happens – but there is no way around organising the event this way since we need wind. If you sadly can’t make it on the day for whatever reason, your funds will still support the charities – and we will hope you can make it the following year.

How do I get back from Pagham to the festival at Hayling Island?

We will be arranging coach travel to cater for all participants from Pagham back to Hayling Island. This is included in your registration fee.

How does the Buddy System Work?

Instead of insisting large teams stay together, a Kite Buddy system will be used. Basically, every participant must designate 2 other friends who they will kite with for the whole downwinder, or as far as you all go. They must be of similar ability, and must agree to stick together throughout. The benefits of the system are:

a)          You don’t have to try to keep an eye on a large number of other kitesurfers in a team. So long as the three of you are going well – you can continue at your own pace.

b)      If one of the three of you needs help, you all wait together for boat support or go to the beach together if near the beach.

c)       If for some reason someone needed to go for help on water or land, one buddy can stay with the person needing support and the other can kite / walk to find help.

d)      Once safely on the beach or in the boat, marshalls / boat volunteers call in the number of the participant they have supported, and the other two members can continue on if they wish to and are cleared to go. If the buddy team land before Pagham because one rider has a problem, they must call in to Basecamp that somebody is stopping, confirm their location and confirm whether they are carrying on as a two, or all heading back to the festival together.

I don’ have a buddy. What should I do?

No problem. Others will be in the same situation. Just turn up early on the day and find a buddy in the Buddy Meeting Zone at Hayling Island.

Can I kite with my mates in the same buddy group?

Groups of 3 friends can of course be a Buddy Team but should be of a similar ability. Please note though to be officially registered and to ensure safety, each individual has to go through the registration process so we have full details of everyone involved – and you will state who your buddies are as part of this process.

What are all the wristbands for?

One for your wrist, one for your kite, one for your board and one for your gear if you don’t have a car to leave it in (there will be a kit drop area at Hayling). The wristbands contain your unique rider number, essential for your safety.

Do I need a Buoyancy Aid or Impact vest?

It is highly recommended that you wear a buoyancy aid or impact vest, in the event that you are in the water for some time, this could be a huge help to your safety.

Who will launch me at Hayling?

There will be 5 clearly marked launch zones at Hayling. Each will have 80-100 kiters and a launch team in High Vis vests controlling the zone. The launch team will guide you as to where to set up with your buddies and they will be the ONLY people launching kites on the beach that day. Please respect this, as it could be very dangerous if others start launching kites with so many people on the beach.

How long will the downwinder take?

Depending on your speed, between 1 and 2 hours.

What else should I take on the downwinder?

We recommend one of your buddy team has a mobile phone in an aquapac. And each of you have £20 on your person to get yourself back to Hayling if you land early and need other forms of transport.

Will there be a safety briefing?

Yes there will be a safety briefing on the day, a video will be circulated beforehand for all to watch and safety documents emailed to all participants prior to the event. Your safety is obviously our biggest concern. You can watch the safety video here.

What about my spare gear, clothes etc – do I leave it at Hayling?

If you arrive by car, we recommend you leave everything in your car and set off on the downwinder leaving nothing behind on the beach. You will travel back in your wetsuit, coaches will be prepared! Water and refreshments will be available at Pagham.

What about pumps?

Yes take your pump to the beach to launch, it will be identified as yours at the beach and taken back to the festival area after your leave the beach, for you to collect later.

Can my family and friends track me while I am on the downwinder?

Yes they will be able to track all participants live and online. We will circulate the unique website and URL before the event. We will also have a big screen with live tracking at the festival.

Can I go on kiting after Pagham if I want to?

The event, and the safety cover, ends at Pagham and everyone has to land, sign in and return your GPS at Pagham beach. If you choose to continue after Pagham, whilst we do not encourage this, we can’t stop you and it is at your own risk. However, as you can imagine, we are very clear that you MUST check in at Pagham, so we know you have completed the event safely – and we avoid search and rescue operations that are not needed! If you disregard the event rules and continue past Pagham without even landing, signing in and returning your GPS at Pagham, you may be excluded from future events.

How do I get back from Pagham to Hayling Island?

We will be arranging coach travel to cater for all participants from Pagham back to Hayling Island. This is included in your registration fee.

Is fancy dress allowed?

Yes it is positively encouraged! So long as you can still get your event rash vest and buoyancy aid on, and it doesn’t impede your kitesurfing  – go for your life!

I’m not sure I want to do the whole downwinder but I’d love to get involved in the World Record attempt – is that ok?

So long as you are of the required intermediate standard and you are still happy to fundraise – no problem – just let us know on the registration form and we can put you in the appropriate group to be part of the World Record Attempt only.

Can people get involved if they are 16 or under?

We are happy to have kiters of 16 and under involved if they are at the level required – but they will require an adult to kite with them on the day and take responsibility for them to ensure Health and Safety and Child Protection requirements are met. Please contact us to confirm.

I’m not sure I am a good enough kiter to do the challenge – how do I know?

Each participant must sign to say they are competent riding up and downwind, can manage winds of up to 25 knots, have undertaken downwinders before, are able to confidently relaunch their kite in open water, confidently body drag back to their board and able to manage an open water safety pack down and self rescue – if this is you, you can attempt the challenge.

I do not have a specific Kitesurfing Insurance, can I participate anyway?

We need to ensure everyone is covered on the day and therefore everyone needs to have BKSA or similar kitesurfing insurance. If you need to get insurance please see: www.britishkitesurfingassociation.co.uk/bksa-membership/join-the-bksa.html

What does my registration fee include?

Your £40 registration fee includes a Mystic rash vest, your contribution towards safety boat support on the water, coach transfers back to the festival at Hayling from Pagham, personal GPS tracking, water before and after the downwinder, entrance to the festival, entrance into the World Record attempt and a digital souvenir event poster.

Will there be a booking fee?

No all the payments will be made through Virgin Money Giving and you won’t be charged a booking fee.

Will I receive a ticket?

No, but you will receive a confirmation email from the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada team with your individual booking number.

When is the deadline for registration?

Registrations close on the 24th of August or when the maximum capacity of kitesurfers is reached. Please note all places are now filled.

What about Safety Boats?

There will be safety boats positioned along the whole route. If you get into trouble, cant relaunch your kite, get separated from your board or need any assistance – they are there to help and get you to the nearest beach safely. Please note after that, you are considered safe and they will need to get back to the course, they can’t drop you back at the finish or start…

Who is providing the boat cover, and can I help?

Safety boat cover is provided by a range of local rescue services, sailing clubs and private RIB owners and organisations. The RNLI are also out in force, they did a great job last year but we are not allowed to rely on them for cover, as in the case of an emergency elsewhere they would have to attend.  Your registration fee helps towards covering safety boat cover costs. Boats are coordinated from a safety centre run from the Inn on the Beach. If you have a RIB and want to help, if you have the correct insurance and experience, we would love to hear from you.

Can we register / fundraise as a team?

To ensure we know exactly who is involved and can run the event safely, everyone has to register as an individual and go through the full registration process as described earlier. Each participant has their own fundraising page and fundraising target. Of course if you wish to ride together with other buddy teams, so long as you register on the day together, you will be allocated the same launch zone.

Why do I have to fundraise anyway?

The Kitesurfing Armada was founded as a charity fundraising event, and has great potential to help others through the bringing together of kitesurfers in this way. We are committed to continuing this element of the event, we raised £70,000 last year – we aim to beat that this year. We ask each kitesurfer to commit to raise a minimum of £100 – which we feel is a reasonable amount for the experienceeach rider will enjoy, and the effort that is needed to organising the event for everyone.

What if I don’t raise the £100 – can I still ride?

We hope there will not be this situation, but every kitesurfer signed up knowing there was a fundraising target of £100 per person, and since there is a waiting list of 200 people awaiting places, we will kindly ask you to honour this commitment on the day. We can’t, and in any case don’t want to, enforce this – but would thank you for understanding and support of our charitable goals for the event. Let’s face it the RNLI might be rescuing you next time! Find out more about our charities here.

I can’t make the event but I’d like to support anyway – can I make a donation?

Yes please! Just go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1006888



When does the festival open?

The festival will open on Saturday at 9am and close on Sunday at 10pm.

How much are festival tickets? 

Kitesurfers who are fully registered for the downwinder will have free access to the festival with their wristbands. All other festival visitors will be asked for a £2-3 donation in support of our 3 charities.

Can I buy festival tickets in advance?

No need to buy a ticket in advance, just turn up on the day! Please note we have a limit of 2000 guests in the festival area, so if we approach this number it will be managed by security.

Will there be cash points available?

No, there won’t be cash points available on site. Please bring enough cash with you for the weekend. There are cashpoints nearby on Hayling Island, but they may be well used and could run out.

Can I kitesurf on the day the downwinder doesn’t take place?

There will be clear guidelines in place for this, with so many kitesurfers in one place – but if it is windy enough you can kite at Hayling Island CBK beach but you must wear your event rash vest.

Can I bring my friends and family? 

Yes please, there will be many different activities taking place throughout the weekend at the festival for everyone to enjoy.

What will be the programme if the festival takes place on the last weekend without wind?

We will show the latest kite movies, all the brands will be there exhibiting, there will be live music, a DJ, the bar and food stalls, Q&A with Pro’s etc. Please check out the festival poster here.

What food will be available?

There will be a number of food stalls onsite including breakfast options and a variety of burgers, pizzas, sausages, ice cream, etc.

Are there baby changing facilities available?

Yes – we do have a baby changing facility available.

Can I charge my phone at the festival?

No, we do not have any charging facilities available at the festival.

Can I bring my pet? 

We are only allowed to have guide dogs in the festival area, the beach or the camping area, all other pets have to stay at home.

Will there be medical support on site for emergencies?

Yes, Pro Event Medic will be onsite for medical support.



Where can I park?

Parking will be available on site at Hayling Island West Beach car park. Parking passes can be bought on the day but we do advise to book your parking passes in advance. Additional parking will be available between the West Beach car park and the Beachland offices. Please also see Travel & Parking.

How do I book a space in the disabled car parking area?

Please contact julia@kitesurfingarmada.com if you require a space in the disabled car parking area.

Is parking included in the registration fee? 

Parking is not included in the registration fee, car parking is available at £5 per day. We advise you pre-book your parking space when you register, otherwise we cannot guarantee a space. Please also see Travel & Parking.

I forgot to book parking or camping when I registered, what should I do now?

If you would like to book parking pass please go to: https://snowcamp.wufoo.com/forms/virgin-kitesurfing-armada-parking-camping/  All camping passes are now sold out.

Can I park next to my tent?

We will do our best to give you a parking space close to camping area but no vehicles are allowed in the area where tents are set up. Please also see Travel & Parking.

When does the campsite open?

The campsite will open on Friday at 5pm and close on Monday midday. Please note you can only camp if you have pre-booked a ticket.

Will there be water available at the campsite?

There is a water stand pipe near the campsite and drinking water can be purchased at the Water Bar in the marquee.

Can I use a camping stove or barbecue?

Fire regulations mean you can’t have barbecues at the campsite but there will be a barbecue area on the beach.

Can I bring my pet? 

We are only allowed to have guide dogs in the festival area, the beach or the camping area, all other pets have to stay at home.



Do I need to bring my ID if I want to buy a drink?

Yes – please do bring your ID we operate Challenge 25 policy.

Where do I report lost and stolen items? 

Please report any lost or stolen items at the Event Control. Any stolen item must also be reported to the police.

What should I do with my valuables?

Please leave them at home if possible, or in your car. We cannot be responsible for items lost or stolen at the festival.