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NWF – update us with their latest news –

“It is hard to believe that it is 10 years since the concept of a watersports event for the majority – recreational water sportspeople – was dreamed up by Major Allan Cross. Now, what has become the National Watersports Festival is a much-loved and unmissable annual event – and it is back at Hayling Island for its 10th Anniversary on 2-4th September 2016.

The Fat Face Night Windsurf National Windsurfing Festival hit Hayling Island in a gale in September 2006. Then, it was the biggest recreational windsurfing event ever seen in the UK – but boy, has it grown since!

Event Organiser Allan Cross wants to attract a record number of competitors and has promised a spectacular weekend of on- and off-water activities, which will keep all the family entertained from the minute they enter the Festival site. “This year we want to deliver a weekend that raises the bar on previous years.” says Allan. “We’ve got a number of things up our sleeve that will make this a must-attend event for both competitors and spectators alike.”

The NWF’s fundamental principle of delivering a fun watersports event to participants of every age, ability and with any marque or age of equipment has not changed. However, the size and scope of the event has grown very markedly.

The event in 2006 was for windsurfing only. That changed in 2012 when SUP, (Stand Up Paddleboarding), the fastest growing watersport in the world, took note of the successful format of the National Windsurfing Festival and joined forces. In 2013, the multi-disciplinary event was renamed The National Watersports Festival.

The focus of the original event was about encouraging ordinary windsurfers to participate in the races. Then, around 200 windsurfers took to the water. Now, more than 350 competitors in windsurfing and SUP enter the races each year. Not only that thousands of visitors attend the Festival over the weekend to spectate, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the many other attractions that contribute to the festival feel.

So what exactly is on offer?

Live music has always been a fundamental part of the NWF and that concept has been expanded this year. The awesome beach parties in a marquee right on the shoreline are still a feature, but to add to the festival vibe, there will be live music throughout the day, showcasing a diverse range of talent, both local and from further afield.

For those who want to try watersports for the first time, or for those wishing to improve, taster sessions are available in the featured sports while THE top professional coaches are on hand throughout the weekend offering skills and drills clinics, completely free!

The NWF Trade Show has now become the largest of its type in the country – well, shiny new kit always has a great appeal! All the major windsurf and SUP manufactures are represented, showing off the latest equipment and offering expert advice to those looking to get kitted out or upgrade. There is also a wide variety of artisan stands to browse and delicious food stalls if you need refreshments.

For the young (and young at heart!); The Green Dragon cometh… That means The World Bathtub Racing Championships, Bonga Balance Boards and SUP Tug o’ War, SUP Polo and PugilSUP… The mix of activities will depend on the weather, but expect anything from Archery to Zorbs via Climbing Walls, Bungee Trampolines and Inflatables. To see the sort of thing, check out www.greendragonactivities.co.uk

What happened to the Missing Lynx? Well, we know where it will be on 2-4th September 2016. A Lynx Helicopter will be trailered in to welcome visitors at the NWF! If you and the kids have ever wondered what it is like to climb on board, fiddle with a collective lever and see the view from the cockpit, this is your chance!

NWF is a Community Festival, supporting the watersports community and local businesses on Hayling Island. Over the years, NWF has raised thousands of pounds for charity. This year, NWF is supporting local charity The Rowans Hospice. Every year across Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, The Rowans Hospice supports more than 1,000 patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Lesley Clayton, Community Fundraiser for The Rowans Hospice said “We are absolutely delighted to be one of your chosen charities for your 10th anniversary – it is a wonderful opportunity.”

Well it started as the Night Windsurf and the NWF just wouldn’t be the same without the spectacular, floodlit night event, which is as unique as it is a highlight. Amateurs racing in the Master Blaster heats can win the opportunity to compete in the night event alongside some of the biggest names in windsurfing. Over the years, NWF has welcomed Olympic Medallists Bryony Shaw and Nick Dempsey, World Record Holders such as Zara Davis, Karin Jaggi and Dave White and many World Champions, including 7 x World Freestyle Windsurfing Champion Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo, who wowed the crowds just feet away from them on the shore.

And all this takes place at Hayling Island, the legendary place where 12 year old Peter Chilvers invented windsurfing in 1958!

Where else can you meet your heroes and immerse yourself so completely in the sports that you love? If you are passionate about watersports or just want an enjoyable beach weekend with entertainment for all the family, put the dates in your diary, book your place early and wait for the fun to begin!

Online entry opens 1st June for both competitors and additional party tickets. Entry includes free camping for the duration of the Festival, tickets to both beach parties (on Friday and Saturday nights) and all other water-based and onshore activities. For further information, see www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com or follow NWF on Facebook”




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