Hayling Island kite surfers to be given their own beach zone

ZONED IN Kite surfing is a popular sport on Hayling's beach
ZONED IN Kite surfing is a popular sport on Hayling's beach
Leading WEM Phil Phillips, from Fareham, waves to his wife, Lynne, in the crowd as HMS Liverpool returns home after seven months on duty

THIS WEEK IN 1997: Volcano veteran back with a bang

Have your say

HAYLING is set to confirm its place as the country’s best kite surfing spot with an area of beach dedicated to the sport.

After a successful eight-month pilot Havant Borough Council is to consider making the part of the beach east of the funfair at the bottom of Chichester Avenue a permanent spot for adrenaline junkies to take part in the sport.

Since kite surfing became popular 10 years ago it has provided a boost to tourism on the island and people travel from all over the south to surf there.

The winds and shallow waters make it the ideal location for kite surfers, who stand on a board attached to a kite and are pulled along by the wind.

But there were fears the sport would make beaches dangerous for swimmers.

Now it seems those who were concerned have been won over.

Councillor Victor Pierce-Jones, who represents Hayling West on Havant Borough Council, said: ‘Initially people were unhappy because they felt it might have got in the way of swimmers and people sunbathing. But as the months have gone by people have accepted it.

‘The reason is that the kite surfers can’t go out in all weathers, only when it’s a sharp wind. And that’s exactly when swimmers don’t want to go out.

‘I admit I was suspicious and unhappy at first but it has worked out fine.’

There is no bylaw to stop kite surfers using whichever part of the beach they like.

But up until now they have abided by the Hayling Kite Surfers Association (HKA) code of conduct and used only the part of the beach belonging to Hayling Golf Club.

It is run by CBK and members pay around £100 a year.

But more competent kite surfers have called for their own zones where they do not have to pay.

Councillors will decide whether to allow the zones at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.