Lewis Crathern’s October update
“The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada was a huge success and I am having the most amazing time in Asia! Seeing new places, running clinics, meeting new people and taking part in the Kiteboard Tour Asia and PKRA World tour. Enjoy my latest news from October.”
Virgin Kitesurfing Armada
After a long wait for the right conditions The British edition of the 2014 Virgin Kitesurfing Armada broke the national record for the largest parade of kitesurfers, with 344 in the water, at CBK Beach, Hayling Island. We were so close to breaking the Guinness World Record (352 kiteboarders) set in Tarifa- Spain this year, but just missed out by 8. However as Kiteboarders we love to get together and do things and I am so happy to say on the Sunday of the event we broke the stand up paddle boarding Guinness World! 256 SUP enthusiasts rode a mile and set a new mark in the famous record book.
It was an amazing weekend with so much going on. Thank you to everyone that helped raise over £45,000 for three charities: Virgin Unite, the RNLI and youth charity Snow-Camp.
Watch the video here.
On my wall in my bedroom at home I have a large map with stars on all the places ‘I have kitesurfed’ and places ‘I want to kitesurf’. One of the places I have always wanted to visit is Taiwan. It is relatively undiscovered for kiteboarding, but I have looked at the forecasts for some years now and noticed its extremely windy. Everything came together for an awesome trip as the Kiteboard Tour Asia ran an event here which I commentated at and also ran some clinics. The event was such a success the full write up can be read here. I applaud the KTA trying a new format which included Old School and New School which encouraged so many more people to compete.
The conditions in Taiwan were incredible. It felt like a dream to be riding wind from the right on a sea state that was so similar to Worthing. I could only explain the feeling as being at home riding on the best days of the year, but riding in shorts. After the kitesurfing we would hang out with everybody at spot.com.tw which has everything you need to enjoy the kiteboarding in Taiwan. It is right on the beach in Jhunan with a guest house, kite school and bar.
Whilst on my trip I am running clinics with Best Kiteboarding Asia for the local kiteboarding communities. Things got off to a great start in Taiwan with over 30 people registered for the clinic here where I covered all sorts of things, Boosting, Transitions, Handling Strong Wind, First handle passes and more. Of course somebody translated for the participants and we had some great engaging discussions. I want to thank everybody in Taiwan that made my stay so amazing, sometimes you travel places in the world where you instantly connect with. I can see myself spending at least 1 month a year out there, can’t wait to be back 🙂
China – Pingtan
Following on from the PKRA World Tour in Brazil, the next stop was in Pingtan- China. Best Kiteboarding had a clinic running nearby so it made sense to register for the event in all disciplines. This was my first time racing in the slalom discipline which I always thought looked so much fun. It is a quick downwind race with up to 10 racers at a time. Tangles, crashes and collisions can all take place as you make your way through the course which involves negotiating 4 buoys at top speed. On the first day I finished really well which meant I just needed one good result on the last day. When they announced me as 3rd place I was so happy. It is my first podium on the PKRA World Tour and felt great to finally stand there.
A nice touch during the event involved being asked to help with the voice overs and commentary. I love doing this stuff as I have explained before and I captured this shot you show you just how it works when we are recording. Take a look at the end result here
I also competed in the Freestyle which I really enjoyed. With the racing its all about going as fast as possible and getting the best start but Freestyle is more about holding it together. It was great fun to be out there again and competing against the top guys in the world.
So I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest news in October. Right now as I write this I am in Haikou- Hainan Island which is part of China, I’ll be off to Vietnam before I return home and I’ll tell you all about it next month.
All the best,