Photographer: Steven Smuts / SnapSport Media
On 30 January 2016, the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada set a new World Record in South Africa. Cape Town gathered the local kitesurfing community on Blouberg shores in order to break the record for the ‘Largest Parade of Kitesurfers’. If you had the opportunity to experience the spectacular sight of hundreds of kites adorning the sky, you will know that it was a historical moment.
WeChat, a free messaging and calling app that allows you to easily connect with family and friends across countries, was one of the main sponsors and was used during the course of the event to connect everyone and to communicate updates.
Spain was the record holder up until now, with 352 kitesurfers in the water. This year, the aim was to get 354 kitesurfers in Blouberg’s water. However, a whopping 415 took part – crushing Spain’s record!
The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada event team worked closely with One Movement Events and the South African Kitesurfing Association (SAKA) to deliver the event last weekend. Dan Charlish, the Founder of Armada Events expressed his gratitude to everyone who supported the event. “We always hoped the Kitesurfing Armada in Cape Town would be spectacular – and it didn’t let us down. It was an amazing day, the wind couldn’t have been better and the view of hundreds of kiters together in front of Table Mountain was awesome. A huge thank you to everyone who came down, got involved and made the event such a success!”
Lewis Crathern, a pro kitesurfer and ambassador for the event, was impressed with the turnout. “We did it! After three hours of kitesurfing the World Record was smashed – with kitesurfers completing the one-mile course between Dolphin Beach and Doodles. I can’t believe how this event has expanded and I am proud to have been one of the ambassadors since the beginning. A huge thank you goes to the sponsors, including Virgin, WeChat, Vanhunks, Dolphin Beach Hotel, Cape Town Council and the South African Kitesurfing Association,” says Crathern.
Vanhunks Boarding, one of the main sponsors of the event, is a key local player in the active and extreme sport lifestyle industry. Cobus van Zyl, the Founder, agrees that the event was a tremendous success. “It was a great day not only to bring the whole kiting community together, but to also give back to the less privileged. There was a good camaraderie amongst riders in the water, including beginners, pro riders, and intermediates. We want to thank all the riders who participated as well as the sponsor¬s who helped to make this fantastic event possible. As a South African company, Vanhunks is very proud to be a part of such an amazing event and to help uplift the local community through sport,” expresses van Zyl.
The event supported three charities, including the local SAVE Foundation. This organisation helps township children through sport development, and many of them were there to assist on the day of the event. “Being a part of such a prestigious event and breaking the world record was an honour for SAVE Foundation and the children that benefits from the programme. The children and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the
kitesurfers. Seeing all the kites in the air was spectacular, and it has inspired the children to work hard this year so that they can join the world of kitesurfing,” says Carla Ferreira, Owner and Founder of SAVE Foundation.
Overall, this international event allowed Cape Town to make its mark. Local promoter Andre de Wet said, “After 18 months of planning it was an amazing day for Cape Town and kitesurfing – now we just have to keep the record every year!”
For more information, go to www.armadaevents.co.uk.