The British Kitesurfing Association (BKSA) announced last night it has partnered up with Security and Event Solutions (SES) to deliver a family focused watersports and live music event on Hayling Island in September 2024.

Havant Borough Council is also fully supporting the initiative and has met members of the BKSA and SES over recent weeks to agree how the new festival will operate.

With it’s world class water and wind conditions, Hayling Island has a history of hosting fantastic events on the beach. Most recently, the Kitesurfing Armada event delivered memorable festivals over many years; raising thousands for local charities before being taken over by new owners in 2020. The Armada event then struggled under the new management, and closed in 2022. There is now an opportunity to rebuild a festival combining the best elements of the Armada with some exciting new additions for the future

Gareth Gwynne-Smith, MD of SES said,

‘We worked on the Armada for many years delivering event management, production and security and although we operate many events each year, the festival on Hayling Island was always one of our favourites. We are delighted to now be able to play a key role in bringing this new festival back to the Island, and the team at SES are looking forward to putting on a quality and well-run event that everyone will enjoy.’

Andy Gratwick, Head of the BKSA said,

‘What is exciting about these new plans is that we can now go beyond kitesurfing and develop a festival to include wing, foil, SUP and more – something for everyone! We can put on an amazing show on the water, bring new people into these sports and bring the communities together at one major annual event – we have missed this and it’s going to be fantastic to see everyone back on Hayling once again.’

There will also be huge amounts of watersports kit being exhibited on the beach from world class brands, alongside demo areas and zones for recreational kitesurfing, winging, foiling and SUP’ing – the water will be a hive of activity!   

Pro-kitesurfer Lewis Crathern is also confirmed to support the new event. Lewis said,

‘Some of my best memories were here on Hayling Island at kitesurfing events in the past. I loved being on the beach talking to the crowds enjoying the action on the water, and seeing local children inspired to be the kitesurfers and foilers of the future! The opportunity to teach young people about wind energy and the environment is close to my heart – and this new festival will have that as a focus too.’  Hayling based pro-kitesurfers Sam Light and Chris Bull are also backing and supporting the event, and other watersports celebrities are keen to get involved.

The new organisers want to create a festival with something for everyone; an event local people will enjoy attending and be proud to host on Hayling Island.

Gareth Gwynne-Smith said,

‘We are focusing on delivering a range of land-based activities to compliment everything taking place on the water – this will include a mobile skatepark and skate jam, climbing walls, BMX displays, circus skills workshops and other fun activities for all the family. Alongside fantastic live music stages supporting local talent, delicious food, great bars and parties, DJ’s and more.’

The centre of the festival will be at its usual spot on Hayling Beach – but camping and campervan spots will be available nearby along the beach.

Tickets for weekend festival passes, weekend camping passes and access to all watersports will be launched soon.

Provisional dates for the festival are 13-15 September 2024 and all partners are already working together to get things planned and launched as soon as possible.

Dan Charlish of the BKSA said,

‘It feels good to pull together a committed team of people with the skills to deliver something special here on Hayling. Charities will also be back at the heart of the event and I’m excited about supporting the event and seeing everyone here next year!’

For more info:

SES contact:

BKSA contact:

The British Kitesurfing Championships are taking place on Hayling Island this weekend – thank you to Havant Borough Council for all the support.