Quba were proud to support the Zephyr Kitesurf and the ‘Kite 4 Heroes’ team charity channel crossing by donating jackets to the team. The race was in aid of Help for Heroes and involved 3 teams of kitesurfers from the Army, Navy / Royal Marines and RAF kitesurf associations. The teams raced from Alderney to Poole in a kitesurf relay race. The idea was simple; each team had their own support boat and only one team member kiting at anyone time. Kite and board changes were permitted during the race and the first team to arrive in Poole were the winners. The reality in fact was far from simple.
The first problems arose on the crossing over to Alderney in the support RIBS. It was a gruelling trip to make over night being pounded by head on waves that fronted the huge winds we were looking for. Although very battered we got about 20 miles from Alderney without too much trouble. It was then the Army’s boat suffered engine trouble and had to be towed the remaining 20 miles by the RAF boat. This took a further 4 hours meaning that both teams arrived just in time for breakfast.
The start of the race was well organised and the teams set off at 11 o’clock on the dot to avoid the Alderney race (rip tide), which on the biggest tide of the year at 10 Meters was crucial to miss. They got about 8 miles from Alderney on the slack tide and avoided any risk of the tide hammering the start.
All was looking good until the wind slightly altered direction causing the destination to be exactly downwind from their position. This made life exceptionally hard because the racers then had to zig zag behind the boats trying to hold the fastest course.
They kept going and the Navy and Army team were having a good race. The winds picked up in the middle of the Channel just after negotiating the shipping lane making life a little more hectic. We held on and it was clear their estimated finish time was way out of site. With a couple more kite changes and rider changeovers they persevered through the heavy weather and at about 18.30 we spotted a very welcome sight: Old Blightly on the horizon.
The race was now on and the endurance factor became increasing more important for the competitors.
The RAF boat took a dive and ripped the tubes clean off the front of the boat rendering it useless. The Army boat decided to support their final rider and all teams arrived safely in Poole at about 19:00hrs to a warm welcome from supporters and well wishers. A splendid event that was thoroughly enjoyed by most and was most commonly described amongst the teams and an ‘unforgettable experience’!
The teams wish to thank all those who supported the race and for helping to raise money for such a worthy cause.