West Sussex kitesurfing row heats up again as sportsman is badly injured

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THE debate about kitesurfers being given a dedicated zone on the West Sussex coastline has been ignited again.

It follows an incident last weekend when a kitesurfer was badly hurt when he hit a groyne at Bracklesham Bay, near Chichester.

The man, in his 20s, was flown to the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton for treatment to back injuries.

Campaigner Ann MacDonald, of East Bracklesham Drive, has been fighting against kitesurfing at Bracklesham beach for years.

She said: ‘As predicted by residents, we unfortunately had a major accident.

‘We had several ambulances and a helicopter. I hope the man in question is okay.

‘It’s a blessing that no one else was hurt. This is the third airlift in five years.’

A designated watersports zone was scrapped by Chichester District Council in June after a legal challenge by residents who feared the kitesurfers were threatening the safety of others.

James Fitch, owner of Bracklesham Boardriders, said: ‘Kitesurfing is a sport with risk, and we all have accidents. About four years ago a guy in Witterings was in an almost identical scenario.

‘Since the official designated zone was scrapped, it means there is no safe area for kitesurfers, and this accident is an example of why it should be in place.’