Where: Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset
£: The daytime event is free
What is it?
After wowing the crowds last year, the Red Bull Matadors return in 2011 with their three gleaming gravity-defending planes. Tricks and turns with smoke trails and growling engines bring the event to its peak on Sunday afternoon.
Sponsored by Breeze Volkswagen, FCWatersports, and Fruit, the many sports represented include windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, skateboarding, slacklining, sailing, Frisbee, volleyball, surf ski and sea swimming. Many of these sports will be represented competitively by UK and International professionals and amateurs throughout the weekend and, where possible, free demo or trial sessions will be made available to the visiting public.
There is also lots to see and do on dry land with the beach and promenade becoming a showcase of all things relevant to the watersports and beach community, including a Kids Zone to keep the juniors entertained. A dedicated marquee will provide activities, face painting, colouring and acoustic live music for young families.
UKWA British freestyle returns to showcase some of the UK’s best windsurfers, battling it out to be crowned the champion of this year’s event. The RYA Team 15’s is an opportunity for young people to compete for the South Zone interclub championships, while the ‘Master Blaster’ is fun racing open to anyone who simply wants to have a go!
There are also evening events including Friday night’s more formal ‘black tie and board shorts’ charity ball, raising money for the Richie Keefe Life and Soul Trust amongst other charities. The Saturday night legendary party will feature the usual selection of live bands, DJ’s, silent disco, and beach bars for the full sandy feet effect.
Gary Willingham, event organiser, says: “As each year goes by we try to up our game and this year is no exception! Windfest has become so established in the annual calendar that we always aim to bring something new to the mix, whilst maintaining its free status making it accessible to all. We’d like to see even more visitors have a go at something this year and perhaps try a sport for the first time or reconnect with an old hobby – there will be lots of free opportunities for them to do so. The hope is they might get hooked!”
More info: www.windfest.co.uk