The Armada

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

The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada is a fantastic weekend kitesurfing festival held annually at CBK beach, Hayling Island. We are 100% focused on kitesurfing, so the festival operates using a wind window format, and will run the first weekend of good wind on either 13/14 September, 27/28 September or 11/12 October 2014.  The event will bring together kitesurfers and their families, the kitesurfing industry and the public for one awesome weekend, aiming to combine World Record breaking kitesurfing on the water, alongside a festival including international kite brands, pro kitesurfers, kite films, music, bars, entertainment and fundraising.

This year, the Armada itself has an ambitious target to get over 500 GPS tracked kitesurfers to ride together on a mass downwinder between Hayling Island to Pagham, 15 miles down the coast. Managing this attempt safely and efficiently is a big challenge, but we learnt a lot from our experience last year. If you haven’t seen the film from the first ever Kitesurfing Armada – you can watch it here, it should give a helpful overview of what the kitesurfing and fundraising side of the event is all about.

One of the best aspects of VKSA 2013 was the atmosphere and sense of community created by kitesurfers who had come together from all across the UK and beyond to ride together, promote kitesurfing in a positive light and challenge themselves in order to raise funds for charity. This years event aims to build on this platform, developing into a festival for kitesurfers, retaining the charity focus and improving a number of aspects of the downwinder.

One thing is certain; we are sticking to our commitment to run the event when there is wind. Despite the challenges of having multiple dates, we know the success of the 2013 event was because everyone got to kite together, so that’s what everything else has to be built around going forward. Having three possible weekends gives us a very good chance of achieving our goal.

As before, we will stay regularly in touch with all participants, sponsors and partners in the run up to each possible weekend. 48 hours before there will be an official decision based on all the forecasts – we will be getting our own bespoke Windguru Station, so that should help – and if we are go, everything kicks into action. Building a festival from scratch in 48 hours – it’s going to be fun!

Of course, there are loads of details you will want to know – about safety, boat support, tracking, coach transfers, locations, kit requirements, timings, insurance, rules, kiting levels, wind levels needed, buddy systems, parking, camping and more. We have tried to put it all in one place in the FAQ section, which should cover all you need to know in detail.

How do I get involved?

So if you are an intermediate or above kitesurfer and would like to be part of this year’s Virgin Kitesurfing Armada we would love you onboard and you can sign up online today. There are only 2 commitments: A registration fee of £40 detailed below, and a commitment to raise (or donate) a minimum of £100 for our charities through your own Kitesurfing Armada fundraising page which you create when registering.

What does my Registration Fee Cover?

  • A Mystic event rash vest to keep
  • Safety boat support over 15 miles
  • Individual live GPS tracking of you and your buddies
  • Coach transfer back to the festival at Hayling from the landing point at Pagham
  • Unlimited Water Direct bottled water during the Armada event
  • Rider wristband enabling free access to the festival all weekend
  • The chance to be a World Record holder
  • Your name on the official VKSA 2014 souvenir poster produced after the event.

Places are expected to sell out, so sign up today!

More about fundraising

We love the idea of bringing together kiting communities across the UK and further afield, kiting together, breaking a World Record and having a festival of kitesurfing that everyone should enjoy. But even more than this, the main reason we organise the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada is to raise funds for 3 fantastic charities: Snow- Camp, Virgin Unite and the RNLI.

Kitesurfers participating in the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada last raised over £70.000 for charity collectively through their Virgin Giving pages. Some individuals raised thousands and we were amazed at the way people got behind the event and fundraising side. We feel lucky to be able to kite, and we want to use the opportunity of the Armada to help others too – so we thank you in advance for your support by raising a minimum of £100 per person, in order for us to make a massive difference through our partner charities. Thank you.