Riders take to the seas in successful windsurfing festival

1130107_WINDSURF_03/09/11''Action from the first race of the festival, Tushingham Cup. ''National windsurfing festival at Hayling Island sea front, Hayling Island, Hampshire. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113107-203)
1130107_WINDSURF_03/09/11''Action from the first race of the festival, Tushingham Cup. ''National windsurfing festival at Hayling Island sea front, Hayling Island, Hampshire. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113107-203)
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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AMATEUR windsurfers arrived en masse to make Hayling Island’s annual festival the most successful ever.

Boasting more than 400 participants – including around 250 freeriders who have not competed in national competitions – the two-day event featured numerous different races catering to all ages and abilities.

It also gave participants a chance to have some fun with a fancy dress windsurfing event and a unique night race illuminated by floodlights.

Organiser Major Allan Cross of the Royal Logistics Corps said: ‘It has definitely been our biggest and best event to date.

‘The festival is unique. No-one anywhere else in the country does anything like this, where so many amateurs can take part and compete.

‘It is all about just having fun and promoting the freeriding side of the sport, where you can compete regardless of your age or how expensive your equipment is.’

Maj Cross added that the age range of entrants varied from just eight to 74-years-old.

Also taking place at the same time was a stand up paddle surfing festival which also attracted dozens of participants.

The event took place at the Inn on the Beach, West Hayling.