Kitesurfing Armada Festival Round-Up
Hundreds headed to Hayling Island over the weekend for the beautiful beach, fine weather and a spot of kitesurfing! Voted the Best UK Kitesurfing Event for 3 years in a row, with previous years raising over £200,000 for charity, this year was scheduled to be bigger than ever before, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The festival boasted a weekend of kitesurfing events, live music, fantastic food and drink, brand exhibition stalls, a family zone and a whole host of other entertaining activities. Here at F-One, we thought we’d take a quick look at what went down, so whether you missed it and need to catch up on what happened, were there but want to re-live happier weekend vibes or you’re interested in perhaps going next year, here’s all you need to know about the weekend!
Founded by kitesurfers, for kitesurfers 6 years ago, Lewis Crathern and the team look forward to bringing the community of kitesurfing to ride together at some of the best spots for conditions all over the UK. From super strong winds and overhead waves to calm conditions with flat water, Armada has experienced it all and it’s the excitement of uncertainty that contributes towards the anticipation for the event in the days leading up to the weekend. Anyone with a kitesurfing ticket and an event rashie was welcome to take part, leaving the floor well and truly open. Professionals in attendance included Lewis Crathern, Aaron Hadlow, Nick Jacobsen, Sam Light, Tom Court, Gisela Pulido, The Bridge family and Pete Cabrinha. The pro coaching and demo zone on the beach was launched this year with great sucess, utilising BBTalkin technology so that festival-goers could watch the pro’s give demo’s and some of the best coaches giving professional advice, with live PA commentary direct to the beach. The British Kitesurfing Championships were hosted at the Armada, with junior, amateur and master’s categories available alongside the Pro’s. The final results of this are expected to be released soon.
Kite SUP Run
Sam Light hosted the renowned fundraising event of Kite SUP Run this year, although a lack of wind meant that it turned into a Run SUP Run event. The event hoped to raise enough funds to ensure that 200 young people from around the UK could gain access to kitesports, with 30 of these funded with a bursary to help them to progress further. The event also supported a range of other locally-based charities. The event was as popular as ever, but no one could beat Sam Light himself who took top spot on the podium. Well done to everyone that took part and raised money for such a fantastic cause.
The Armada Festival has something for everyone, be it professional kitesurfers, keen spectators, complete beginners and those simply chasing the sun, sand and sea dream. Aside from watching the pro’s complete impressive tricks and jumps, there’s a whole host of activities that can be enjoyed by all ages.
The line-up was bigger than ever in 2019 with three days and nights of talented artists and bands providing entertainment throughout the day. The very brilliant DJ Ethan Owen kicked off the proceedings at 1pm on Friday and also headlined the evening, keeping the hardcore partiers busy late into the evening. Saturday was headlined by DJ Len 10 and it was another memorable night at Armada by all accounts.
Food and Drink
The food court hosted any number of delicious food stalls and vans, including paella, jerk chicken, burgers, wraps, burritos and various vegan and vegetarian alternatives. The breakfast van was there every morning to kick start your day, serving strong coffee and delicious cakes. The bespoke ice cream bar was a huge hit thanks to the weather and kept people cool over the two days. Armada partnered with Ringwood Brewery this year who provided some delicious beer and ale while the cocktail bars served summer-based concoctions for all adults to enjoy. In efforts to keep plastic use to an absolute minimum, reusable Armada cups were available in 4 different colours and 2 different sizes for an extra pound, providing a fantastic souvenir, minimising waste and keeping the area as clean as possible!
In true festival spirit, many opted for camping this year for the full, authentic Armada experience. There was no shortage of facilities, and many of the parties seemed to continue back at various tents and campers, although there was a dedicated quiet area for those who require a little more shut-eye!
Some little ones might be too little to take to the waters with a kite in hand just yet, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have a good time at the festival! Armada partnered with Horizon Leisure Centre to provide various fun and engaging activities for the kids, including giant Jenga, kite-making, face-painting, games and more. All activities were free, although donations to the Trust were encouraged, and it all took place in the heart of the arena so that grown-ups didn’t have to miss out on any of the action!
That concludes our round-up at what was another fantastic weekend at the Armada festival. Big congratulations to all who took part, winners or not, and we hope everyone that managed to get there had a fantastic time. Are you looking to make the next Armada Festival, 12 – 14 July in Skegness? We have a range of high-quality kitesurfing accessories for anyone wanting to try out some new equipment next month!