We arrived at Hayling Island as the sun was rising, checked in while dodging showers and settled in to wait for the wind - there was growing optimism that it would arrive but if there was no action by 3pm the world record attempt would be called off. By lunchtime the flags still weren't moving and at the briefing we were told that there was wind up the coast which would hopefully reach us soon. Time was ticking away and the crowd was told to get kitted up and be ready on the beach at one! The sight of hundreds of kitesurfers walking to their launching zones made for a great memory. But still there was no wind, many people were gazing at the clouds - if willpower alone counted then there should be a hurricane! After an hour on the beach we had almost given up hope. And then it came, weaker than we had hoped but enough to go for the mile required for the world record! The kite launchers leapt into action and I'll admit to screaming and waving my husband off who was one of the first to get going and set off past the first buoy.
Sadly despite a massive effort we were just 9 people short of breaking the world record - although a new UK record was set. But then came another idea - let's do it again with SUPs! So on the Sunday we were there inflating our Red Paddle SUPs using my new electric pump (feeling very smug!) and hoping for no wind - of course a frisky north easterly was now picking up!
The Easyriders team was prepping the course and beach and the start line was crammed with SUPers. It was a mile course along the beach so half a mile was into the ever strengthening wind. It was a tough paddle but the atmosphere on the water was great - so much laughter and everyone was having a great time as we went round. The last slog into the wind was hard work but I was buoyed up to see plenty of people going through the finish in a headstand! And it would have been rude not to join in!!!
After a tense wait it was announced - 256 people in total and a new WORLD RECORD! I am so proud to have been a part of this. The Kitesurf Armada will be back next year so get involved and lets raise the bar with even bigger numbers in 2015