The planning for this year’s National Watersports Festival (NWF) on Hayling Island is well underway, with the official date of the weekend of 4 – 6th September now firmly in the watersports calendar.
Incorporating the sports of stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and kitesurfing, the NWF is the largest multi-discipline watersports event in the UK, which has steadily grown over the years to attract around 500 competitors and some 10,000 spectators.
The event regularly draws in the top professionals – including world and Olympic champions – with the elite class putting on phenomenal displays to the captivated crowds, throughout the day’s events and during the floodlit night-time activities. This year looks set to attract all the big names again, who support the event and bring their wealth of knowledge and skills to the three day festival, often imparting their experience during the ‘clinics’ which they take, providing specialist lectures and practicals on the sports.
Tickets to compete, camp or party at the event go on sale in June from the website www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com although the NWF is totally free for spectators. Spectators can take full advantage of all the on-the-water race viewing, wonder round the trade show – the industry’s largest, showcasing all the new products and kit for 2016 – and enjoy many of the food and drink stalls and facilities on site.
The taster sessions are also a big draw for visitors, with many rookie kayakers, SUPers, windsurfers and kitesurfers giving it a go. The SUP taster sessions were particularly busy last year, when the wind gods went on strike, with the sea a mass of boards and people cruising around, enjoying the late summer sunshine.
No festival is the same without live music and entertainment and this year’s event is no exception with some top name acts being booked to perform on the main stage on both Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September.
Event director, Allan Cross comments: “The NWF has become a firm favourite in the watersports calendar and the different disciplines mean that whatever the weather there’s always something going on, something to watch and things to take part in.
“The NWF is regarded as the ‘people’s festival’ as it’s a place where you can rub shoulders and even compete next to some of the greatest names in the sports. It’s unpretentious and fun with the onus on giving everything your best shot from racing to trying a new sport. The event is not sponsored but is a collaboration of the different sports who come together to create this unique community event, giving it a very exciting yet relaxed vibe. We’ll be rolling out more plans and announcements as the event gets closer but keep watching the website for ticket information and our Twitter and Facebook channels for the latest news.”