THE bigger-than-ever Virgin Kitesurfing Armada Festival kicks off tomorrow.
And thanks to the weather forecast of wind and sun, organisers say visitors can expect some of the best displays yet.
Those interested in the water sport along with groups of friends, families and those simply looking to enjoy a festival vibe will turn out in droves on Hayling Island.
Dan Charlish, organiser of the free three-day beach event, said: ‘The event is now in its fifth year and actually started out as a charity fundraiser involving kitesurfing.
‘It’s grown year-on-year and this is the first time we’ve invested in a full outdoor music stage.
‘We have a full schedule of bands and lots of other activities we haven’t had before.
‘The event isn’t just for those interested in kitesurfing. We’ve taken it to another level with music, family fun, food and drink, and more.’
Funds will be raised for youth and rescue charities, and there’ll be a brands marquee and pro and industry talks. New to the beach is the Fat Face Family Zone offering a range of activities, while the Neilson Recovery Zone provides a ‘beach club feel’ with its own hot tub and massage area.
Dan added: ‘Watersports are crucial to the island, where the conditions are amazing.
‘We’re really happy to try to play a positive part in developing watersports, and getting more people playing.
‘That’s why we’re holding free taster sessions for children across the weekend, we want to encourage youngsters to get away from the TV more.
Lewis Crathern, from Worthing, is a professional kitesurfer of 14 years and one of the event’s ambassadors.
He said: ‘One of my roles is to perform an interactive demonstration, where I’m kitesurfing and telling those watching on the beach what I’m doing using a special system.
‘They’ll be able to hear me up to one mile out at sea.’
‘We’ve currently got the best weather forecast we’ve ever had for the event, I encourage everyone to come along to witness kitesurfing action in its best form.’
The festival opens at 11am tomorrow. Entry is free.
Visit armadaevents.co.uk for more details.