A group from the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada team visited the Hayling Island RNLI station yesterday to present them with a £5,000 cheque from funds raised at last years event.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Jonathan Bradbury received the cheque and said, ‘We want to say a sincere thank you to all the kitesurfers who participated in the Armada and raised this fantastic amount. We are currently aiming to kit out the entire crew here with new drysuits, specialist helmets and gloves and this will go a along way to achieving this goal, making us more effective on the water in rescue situations.’

Mr Bradbury also explained how the Hayling RNLI branch was effectively founded after a rescue which took place 150 years ago today, and also joked, ‘to be honest these days we actually have more trouble from windsurfers than kitesurfers…’

Dan Charlish from the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada said, ‘Knowing the RNLI are there gives me, and I’m sure many other kitesurfers, a lot of reassurance. They do an amazing job and it’s great that the kitesurfing community can come together once a year and support their work.’

Dan also thanked the volunteers for their fantastic commitment to the event, the sponsors and kitesurfing industry for getting behind the Armada and Havant Borough Council for their ongoing support and partnership.

Sarah Flamson of Havant Borough Council attended the presentation and said, ‘We are fully behind the goals of the Kitesurfing Armada and it brings so much to Hayling Island – we are looking forward to working with the team to make the event even better this year.’

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