2009 Kiteival Blackpool 

You might think that the next Kiteival from the BKSA in Blackpool on a bank holiday would be sunsoaked and potentially windless!

But the BKSA Tour is carrying all the luck of the gods with it this year and the Blackpool Kitival has had the best conditions any wind obsessed being could ask for!

Friday morning the Pros rocked up to epic howling onshore conditions with the addition of just a little bit of stormy rain. The Pro men and Pro ladies hit the stage and reveled in the conditions as the heats progressed.

The points are so close at the top of the leader board as we near the end of the year, tensions were high and every place was valuable.
With some close heats, the finals called for an all star crew of local boy Ali Barret, Sam Light and James Boulding. The ladies then headed out on the smallest kites they could lay their hands on and put on an awesome show.

The girls were going for it so much in the strong wind there were a number of visits to the medical tent, with Helen Thomson hurting her foot on her board and Nicky Rudd banging her head. There was also a hospital check for Mama Bridge after a mega wipe out at the end of her heat, which got her through to the finals.

After a full check up and some morphine pumped through her she was back out of A&E within a couple of hours and back to celebrate middle son Guy’s tenth birthday.  So the girls finals saw Hannah Whitley and Nicky Rudd fighting for first and second, with Holly Kennedy in fourth place making up the numnbers for the injured Steph Bridge.
Pro Men…
1st Sam Light
2nd James Boulding
3rd Ali Barret
Pro Women…
1st Hannah Whitely
2nd Nicky Rudd
3rd Steph Bridge

Day 2

Saturday morning, Blackpool greeted the British Kitesurfing Association’s second Kiteival of the year to blue skies and relentlessly strong onshore wind.  With the Pros done and dusted on Friday, it was time for the rest of the freestylers, the course racers and landboarders and buggiers to hit centre stage.  Registration was packed full, with a record number of entries. 
Blackpool was out in its masses to watch the Kiteival action on the water and on the beach. The day’s riding was so spectacular with Central Pier and the Pleasure Beach rides setting up an amazing backdrop. 
Visit Blackpool’s representative said ‘Its so great to bring a major kite sports event to the beaches of Blackpool.  It really adds a different dimension to the town.’ 
With Flexifoil offering free Have-a-Go sessions and North supporting the event marquee decoration, the locals and visitors of Blackpool were able to have a look at kitesurfing’s impressive equipment and have a try at powerkiting themselves.
There was action wherever you looked, with the day kicking off with the Men’s Ams and the Seniors freestyle on the water side and the landboard guys and girls putting on a terrific show on the beach.  The day continued with some great buggying, the start of the course racing comp and the Ladies’ Ams freestyle.
The BKSA staff did such an amazing job keeping the action going with the strong, gusty conditions.  The day was finally finished off with some mega action from the Juniors.  They were so brave, going for some massive tricks in the consistently strong winds and choppy water on their 3 and 4 meter kites!  The level of the juniors is amazingly high this year and they are really pushing the boundaries for kids.  The Bridge clan was out in force again.  The youngest, Tommy, the smallest rider of the event, showed an astonishing level for a seven year old and made it to the semi finals. 
The day ran like a dream with all the riders having the biggest amount of fun, so a huge shout of thanks goes to the whole race crew for their hard work!  Especially to Tony Kiteboarder.co.uk who then hit the stage with his band The Logicals at the BLCC  Club!

Day 3
With a few bleary eyes, Sunday’s action kicked off with more course races, the Landboard Juniors and some landboard best trick action.  The wind had now dropped off to a light cross-shore breeze, but there was luckily enough to get the competition all finished.
Prizegiving took place to a packed tent as the rain began to set in and the Kiteival crew headed their separate ways home or to the next windy spot before the next round of the BKSA Tour in Bridlington next weekend.
A big thanks to all the race crew for making the day run so smoothly, the first aiders for their fabulous work and the BLCC at SouthShore for hosting the rowdy riders each evening!

1st Martin Coulthurst
2nd Gary Powel
3rd Marcus Hawkins
1st Sam Moore
2nd Lewis Deaves
3rd Chris Forshaw
1st Meg Griffiths
2nd Polly Crathorne
3rd Danielle Durrant
1st Oli Bridge
2nd Dan Sweeney
3rd Scott Sloane
1st Lewis Wilby
2nd Mark Berry
3rd Ned Taylor
1st Will McKean
2nd Dave Roberts
3rd Craig Sparkes
1st Karen Cartlidge
2nd Nicola Hammond
3rd Marie Thorpe
1st Ted Polkey
2nd Greg Chilton
3rd Sam Lawman
1st Lee Harvey                       
2nd = Denzil Williams
          Jason McCafferey
1st Steph Bridge
2nd Nicky Rudd
3rd Sheryl Confue

King of Watersports Best Trick

Mark Berry for an unhooked 720 kiteloop transition on a landboard.

Animal Wind Fest 

The tone of the 2009 Poole-based Animal Windfest event is approachability and encouragement. Keen to draw young, established, new and revisiting kitesurfers to the water, Animal introduces subsidised entry fees for competitors to ensure anyone feels welcome and encouraged to participate.

Gary Willingham, Windfest organiser says “Animal has funded reduced entry fees this year which is perfect when this event is all about attracting every type of watersports fan to have a go.”

This year sees the return of the BKSA course racing to Windfest. The UK’s second season of this concept of racing, it is enjoying huge growth.

Riders simply manoeuvre around a course of buoys with the first buoys usually set upwind of the start line. Competitors undertake between 4 and 6 races and each race lasts up to 20 minutes. Gary continues; “Riders are now using specific equipment - boards with 4 big fins and longer lines. Racing can occur in any wind strength from 8 - 40 knots; it is fast and furious with the first past the finish line being the winner!”

All entrants to the racing save £10 (was £45 now £35) on entry to the racing this year which even includes a free event t-shirt, free pasta lunch on two days, and a half price Saturday night party ticket.

For those not wanting to compete but who want to fine tune their skills, internationally recognised BKSA trainers Christian Harris and Karin Nativel will be providing challenging tuition with some light hearted racing and jumps. For a fee of £30, all participants will enjoy the same benefits of all competitors with free t-shirt, pasta lunches and half price Saturday night party ticket.
To encourage young and beginner kiters, the event is also hosting free kite flying taster sessions on the beach with qualified instructors from both The Watersports Academy and Easy Rider Kiteboarding.


Kitesurfing in Lancashire 

A kitesurfer has been rescued by the the Blackpool Lifeboat off the Lancashire coast.

Apparently, the sportsman was knocked unconscious by his own kiteboard.

He was then rushed to Lytham and was treated in an ambulance.