Barrow kite festival to kick off British Tour
Britain’s National Kitesurf Tour come to Earnse Bay , Walney Island , Barrow in Furness
The three-day kite sports festival – Dong Kitefest Barrow – will run from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st July.
Propelled by powerful kites, the UK’s top riders will compete in the main freestyle disciplines, while on the land the freestyle kitelandboard and kite buggy riders will have a Jam format.
Richard Gowers of the British Kitesports Association said: “Barrow is a great venue to hold our events – it’s a fantastic kitesurfing beach with amazing views up to the Lake district in the north and Morecambe Bay in the other direction.”
“Earnse Bay is excellent for spectators; the shingle ridge gives an elevated view over the beach so people can take in the action on the sea, and the kite landboard and buggy competitions on the beach.”
This will be the fifth year we have held a round here and we always seem to be lucky and get good wind conditions, so we’re looking forward to a spectacular start to the season.”
Kitesurfing freestylers judged on their ability to pull off complex jumps and manoeuvres close to the shoreline, whilst competitors on kite buggies and landboards will be impressing the judges and earning points with their freestyle tricks on the sand.
Last years tour winners Dan Sweeney from Goring and Polly Crathorne from Kent will be looking to make a great start to the season and gain maximum points after a long winter training.
Also local top Amateur Dave Wilde who in his first season won the title is looking forward to the event –
“Competing at my local beach for the first time will be interesting. Having all the guys I usually kite with on the beach watching will add a bit of extra pressure but hopefully that will be balanced by knowing the local conditions well. We have a big tidal range here and the conditions can vary a lot more than at other beaches – we get some nice lagoons forming as the tide pushes back but generally it can be quite choppy and you need really good timing for your takeoffs.”
Professional kitesurfing heats will start on Friday and run until Sunday, with amateur divisions contested on Saturday and Sunday.
Kitelandboard and kite buggy freestyle competitions also start on Saturday for the head-to-head heats lasting between five and eight minutes.
The event is supported by title sponsor Dong Energy. Cliff Pullen, Project Manager for Walney Extension, said: “DONG Energy’s sponsorship of the BKSA Championships shows how proud we are of our offshore windprojects in the East Irish Sea and our continuing community engagement in Cumbria. By sponsoring the Championships, our hope is that people can enjoy watching the UK’s best kite surfing athletes compete whilst also learning more about DONG Energy’s objective of using offshore wind as a long-term and indigenous sustainable energy source for the UK.”
Local schools will also be given the chance to try out these exciting sports with a programme of free powerkite taster sessions run by BKSA-approved instructors. To find out more about how to take part in these sessions contact Richard Gowers on [email protected] or 07980 553057.
Champions in 7 divisions will be crowned at a prizegiving ceremony on the afternoon of Sunday 21st July
Friday 19th July
Pro Men & Pro Ladies freestyle kitesurfing
Riders’ briefing 9.00am
First possible start 10am
Evening – BBQ
Saturday 20th July
Amateur Men, Amateur Ladies, Seniors, Youth and Juniors
Buggy and Kitelandboard
Riders’ briefing 9.00am
First possible start 9.30am
Evening – TBC
Sunday 21st July
First possible start TBC on Saturday
All fleets compete
Prizegiving 2-6pm TBC
Location: Earnse Beach , Walney Island , Barrow in Furness, Cumbria
Location Sponsor: Dong Energy
Tour Sponsors: Palmera Local.
Disciplines: Kitesurf, kite landboard, kite buggy freestyle
Facilities: Showers and toilet on site. Free parking.