This week, adventurers & Armada supporters Stew Edge and Islay Symonette started their epic adventure to kitesurf the entire British coastline! We’re calling on the entire Armada community to get behind the attempt!
Stew & Islay first got in touch with us at Armada HQ back in January, with what seemed a pretty remarkable challenge. They were already making their final arrangements and sourcing their support vessel and crew, and they explained their plans to raise £100,000 for the Marine Conservation Society and the Armada Trust by kitesurfing the 3000-mile perimeter of the British coastline, clockwise, over 100 days.
Stew Edge – who’s previous achievements include reaching the summit of Everest, crossing Antarctica by ski & kite as well as sailing the Atlantic twice – told us ‘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 enthusiasts and also help protect our shores, which we all enjoy’.
His partner Islay Symonette – a kitesurf and sailing instructor – said ‘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 be outnumbered by the experiences and people we meet along the way. Someone once took the time to teach me to kite, and this has sparked this journey, I hope it in turn will inspire others to start their own kiting journey, and who knows what fun they’ll find.’
With the support vessel ‘Mentor’ being their home for the next 100 days, the pair set off from Cleethorpes in the North East on Wednesday with the wind Gods on their side during the afternoon:
Islay said “Waking up to a gale warning on the shipping forecast and strong wind in the harbour didn’t bode well for kite travel. The forecast was F6/7 from the South veering Westerly F4/5 later. There was already a large swell and dark skies. At 1pm it looked like the day would pass by, but then the wind veered almost immediately as forecast 90 degrees and the wind dropped. We quickly rigged up and launched! We were on our foil boards and perfectly powered. The sun came out for good measure and Kite Britain was officially underway!”
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 Stew & Islay’s epic challenge.
We know the Armada community and 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! You can keep up to date with the challenge (and show them your support) on their dedicated facebook page www.facebook.com/kitebritain, their Instagram page www.instagram.com/kitebritain, or on their blog www.kitebritain.com.
If you would like to support their fundraising, 100% of your donations go straight to the two charities. Just visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=kitebritain&isTeam=true
For media and sponsorship opportunities, you can contact Stew directly on 07493 306587 or email email@example.com