Kite SUP Run Charity Challenge
We love the idea of bringing together kiting communities from across the UK and further afield, kiting together, breaking World Records and having a kitesurfing festival that everyone can enjoy. But alongside this, a key part of the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada is always to raise funds for charity. (See more below on this)
Every year people remember the massive Armada of 2013, our first event, a 43 mile behemoth that began in 15 knots and ended in 40. It was pretty epic and an amazing platform for the event – but as the numbers grew, safely running the mass downwinder became increasingly challenging, if not impossible, to achieve. However, we all still love big downwinders with our mates – so this year we are offering you the chance to recapture something of the original Armada for yourselves…read on!
We have been thinking about a new charity Challenge at the festival for a while. It needs to be engaging as an idea, manageable around the Hayling area without people heading off for miles down the coast, challenging enough to deserve some sponsorship but fun enough that people want to do it whilst at the Festival.
So this year, we have come up with the Kite SUP Run Challenge! And if you sign up take part – you will get your kitesurfing ticket for the whole Armada weekend for FREE.
The plan is to use the first leg of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD mile as the first part of the new Challenge. You kite your one mile with everyone else, break a record (hopefully) and land when you are ready at the public beach. Then, you store your gear in an assigned spot, and begin your run, in wetsuit, back to the festival. (Hundreds of people running through Hayling in their wetsuits should be quite a site!) You get back to the beach where a SUP is waiting for you with your name on – you jump on and paddle the same route, a mile along the coast, back to the finish and your gear. Medals and glory await, and a nice coach to take you home this time.
Sound fun? Of course it sounds fun! And you just need to set yourself a £100 fundraising target and your kitesurfing ticket and rashie are free. What’s more, with the new registration system we are using, Race Nation, your fundraising page is automatically set up as you register so you don’t have to do anything – just send it round and tell people what you are doing!
There will be fantastic prizes for our top individual fundraisers, youngest and oldest participants and fancy dress – and we also have one special prize for teams…
The Golden Rashie and Downwinder Prize
If between a team of 4 kitesurfers a total of £4,000 is raised for charity, you will trigger a very special prize.
Not only we will commission bespoke golden rash vests for all your team members, but we will cover the costs of your own personal safety boat to accompany you on any length of downwinder you want at a time of your choosing over the following year. Your downwinder must take place in one day – and the route must be agreed as safe and achievable with the RIB company – but apart from that you can plan your epic downwinder yourself. Good luck!
Fundraising for the Armada Trust and Virgin Unite
The level of fundraising that the kitesurfing community has delivered through these events has led to the formation of the Armada Trust, a new charity dedicated to maximising funds raised from Armada events and distributing them to a range of fantastic causes.
Over recent years we have supported youth charities, overseas charities and rescue charities such as the RNLI and Serve On. It has been fantastic to be able to help in a big way, as over £160,000 has been raised to date.
We recently launched the first ever Kite & SUP Youth Tour with Armada Trust funding – and we really want the Festival to be able to continue to support the grassroots of our sport going forward.
So this year your fundraising will support two clear areas:
1) It will enable us to develop the Youth Tour project, enabling children and young people who would otherwise never have a chance to participate in kitesports to get involved and get linked in with their local kite and SUP schools.
2) It will support the fantastic work of Virgin Unite both in the UK and Internationally
If you don’t fancy the Kite SUP Run Challenge but would like to support our fundraising efforts through the Armada Trust, you can make an online donation at Virgin Money Giving. Every donation makes a difference, so whatever you can give, thank you – we are very grateful for your support.