When: 5th & 6th July 2014
Where: Hove Lawns, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex
What is it?
Brighton and Hove’s annual Paddle Round the Pier takes place on 5th and 6th July with surfers, canoeists, and paddlers taking to the sea for charity.
The first event was held back in 1996, organised by a group of local surfers wanting to raise funds and awareness for the charity Surfers Against Sewage. The event has continued to run every year thanks to a group of unpaid volunteers. The Paddle Round the Pier has raised over £150,000 for charity over the past few years.
Competitors for some of the races have come from as far afield as Belgium, France, Brazil and Hawaii. However, only one dog has completed four of the paddles; the infamous ‘Flip Flop’ sat on the front of a longboard for two years, a kayak for one year and swam around another year!
This year’s event is expected to attract in the region of 60,000 visitors across the weekend. Over the weekend there are many events, races, attractions and displays that make up the Paddle Round The Pier Beach Festival. The Paddle Round The Pier is the main event and is a mass sponsored paddle which takes place on Sunday afternoon. There is also the Paddle Something Unusual event which is an increasingly popular raft race with a difference. Another challenge, the Maritime Marathon, is a competitive race for professional paddlers and will test endurance to the limit.
Other entertainment over the weekend includes a stage with entertainment for the whole family, a giant sandpit and a shopping village with hundreds of stalls. There is also a Tuaca Music Stage playing host to some of the best local bands, plus artists from further afield, and a Ukulele Stage which will have guest performances from across the UK. A food and drink area will supply visitors with food from across the globe and liquid refreshments for the thirsty. Finally, there will be a Skate and BMX Ramp Park with three ramps for demos and free sessions.
This year the Paddle Round the Pier will be giving an equal share of the money raised to the RNLI, Freddysmile and SLSGB.