ADVENTURERS PREPARE TO BECOME THE FIRST KITESURFERS TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE BRITAIN
Adventurers Stew Edge and Islay Symonette prepare to start their epic 100-day adventure to kitesurf the British coastline to raise awareness of just how important our oceans are to us, the problem of plastic marine litter and to inspire the next generation of kitesurfers.
Starting in April 2018, Stew Edge – who’s previous achievements include summitting Everest, crossing Antarctica by ski & kite as well as sailing the Atlantic twice – and his partner Islay Symonette – a kitesurf and sailing instructor – will launch Kite Britain, a 100 day adventure to become the first people to circumnavigate Great Britain by kitesurfing.
The 3000 mile adventure starts in Hull and will see the pair kiting clockwise around the British coastline, kiting anything from between 20-40 miles a day depending on tides and wind-conditions and connecting with local kite clubs along the way. They will be flying the latest in foil and LEI kites kindly provided by Peter Lynn Kiteboarding and will have a 45ft liveaboard support boat skippered by Joe McIvor as they travel around the coast.
Stew Edge says: ‘This will be the biggest challenge I have undertaken by far, and I have done a few! I am super excited to explore our coastline, finding hidden coves and meeting up with kitesurfers all around the country. I hope we can inspire the next generation of watersports enthusiast and also help protect our shores, which we all enjoy’.
Islay Symonette says: ‘Despite living in England for the last 16 years, I’ve not seen the white cliffs of Dover, I’ve never been to John-o-Groats, and I’ve not eaten a deep fried mars bar. All things on a typical British bucket list. This adventure will show me the country from a unique perspective; sure there’ll be challenges, but they’ll
As well as the challenge of becoming the first to complete the endeavour, the pair are setting out to raise £100,000 for two charities close to their hearts – the Armada Trust and the Marine Conservation Society.
The Armada Trust is run by the team who manage the Kitesurfing Armada Festival on Hayling Island. The Trust is dedicated to supporting a range of grassroot kitesurfing activities in the UK, including the annual Kite & SUP Youth Tour giving free access to these sports to young people across the country. The Trust also raises additional funds for a range of youth and rescue charities. The Marine Conservation Society were established to drive political,
cultural and social change for healthy seas and coasts that support abundant marine wildlife, sustainable livelihoods and enjoyment for all.
Dan Charlish, Director of Armada Events says: ‘We’re honoured Stew & Islay have chosen to support The Armada Trust with their Kite Britain challenge. With the growth of the Kitesurfing Armada Festival over the past 5 years, the work of the Armada Trust has grown with it – and we are looking forward to generating even more positive impact through this new partnership. And I’m sure kiters around the UK will come out in force and show their support for Stew & Islay’s as they reach each kite spot around the country!’
Dr Sue Kinsey, Senior Pollution Policy Officer, Marine Conservation Society says: ‘This is an mazing effort by Stew and Islay and I am sure will help keep the problem of marine litter high on the agenda. Litter is a problem all the way around the UK Coast. We find so much on our beach cleans, and well over 60% of it is made up of long lasting, often single use plastics. We want to stop the plastic tide, and the efforts of Stew and Islay will help us achieve that goal. We can all play our part reducing the amount of plastic used from refusing straws, reusing our shopping bags and taking refillable cups and water bottles when we are out and about. Good luck on what will be an incredible adventure!’
Sponsored by Peter Lynn Kites, Suunto, Helly Hansen, Salcombe Distilling Company and Ribeye, with current support from Blueberry Wave, the pair are making their final arrangements and welcoming sponsorship opportunities.
Nick Dixon, Director of Blueberry Wave says: ‘Blueberry Wave are delighted to be sponsoring Kite Britain on this remarkable adventure. As a business we felt that it was appropriate for us to be helping to raise awareness of just how important our oceans are to the planet, wildlife and for our enjoyment.’
To find out more about Kite Britain visit http://www.kitebritain.com/
To find out more about the Marine Conservations Society visit www.mcsuk.org
For media and sponsorship opportunities, contact Stew Edge on 07493 306587 or email [email protected] For Armada Trust enquiries, contact Dan Keeley on 01273 242383 / 07803 876455 or email [email protected]