Last weekend saw Ramsgate host the 2021 British Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships on Ramsgate Main Sands, with a new Championship event taking place for the first time ever in the UK.
Active Ramsgate, a tourism initiative of Ramsgate Town Council to stimulate economic growth in the town through the development and promotion of sustainable, outdoor activities on the coast, sponsored and hosted the Championships run by the British Kitesports Association, which saw the country’s top kitesurfers gather together for the first time in two years to take part in the event – including Team GB and Paris 2024 Olympic hopefuls Francesca and Mattia Maini from Herne Bay.
Amongst challenging wind conditions, the weekend saw the first British Freestyle Wing Foiling Championship event take place – with male and female competitors taking part in a never-before-seen event. Wing foiling, an offshoot of kitesurfing, is an up-and-coming sport quickly growing in popularity and still very new.
Aside from the competing, there was an incredible amount to see and do – with music and stalls along the beach raising awareness of local activity businesses such as kite surfing and kite foiling schools, yoga, cycle hire, surfwear and coastal support services the RNLI and Sea Cadets.
Over 150 adults and children took part in free kitesurfing and wingfoiling taster sessions on the beach, including Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara. For those that are keen to try kitesurfing for themselves, Ramsgate-based kitesurfing and SUP school Kite Pirates is accredited by the British Kitesports Association and offers lessons in both kitesurfing and paddle boarding – visit www.kitepirateskiteschool.com for details.
Four times British Champion and former Vice World Champion Lewis Crathern was in residence and kept everyone informed of the action on the water through his upbeat commentary, and when there wasn’t enough wind for competing to take place, other fun competitions took place on the water keeping the excitement buzzing and a cool beach vibe for both competitors and spectators.
Media interest was high before, during and after the competition with TV, radio and newspapers all covering the event and Academy FM broadcasting live from the beach.
Dr Cheryl Mvula, Project Manager for Active Ramsgate comments:
“The weekend was an outstanding success for Ramsgate. Not only were we delighted to see a beach packed with competitors and spectators, but it’s really cemented Ramsgate’s reputation as one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the UK, and THE active destination to visit on the south east coast.
“The Active Ramsgate initiative set up and funded by Ramsgate Town Council works tirelessly to promote Ramsgate as an active destination, and a successful event such as this will only lead to more visitors in the future taking part in a wide range of exciting outdoor activities on the coast. Visit www.visitramsgate.co.uk/activeramsgate to see what the buzz is all about! We can’t wait for the Championships to return next year.”
For pictures of the weekend, please contact Sarah Whelband.
Active Ramsgate – www.visitramsgate.co.uk/activeramsgate
BKA (British Kitesports Association) – www.britishkitesports.org