The largest “ever” gathering of kite surfers in Wales will take place in Rhyl this weekend.
Between 30 and 50 kitesurfers are expected to meet on Saturday at the Pro Kitesurfing School and Club in Rhyl for the Pro Kitesurfing eight mile Downwinder to raise money for Rhyl RNLI station.
The event is being organised by Simon Jones, owner and founder of the UK’s first Olympic Kitesurfing school. Depending on the course of the wind, the event will see the surfers chart a straight eight mile course downwind from Pensarn to wind turbines just off the coast.
Mr Jones said: “We’re expecting between 30 and 50 people to come down, but if the wind carries on blowing the way it is, we think a lot more people will get excited.”
Birmingham native Mr Jones, 42, discovered kitesurfing after being a keen landboarder and snowboarder. He has now settled in Kinmel Bay, largely due to the area’s beaches.
Mr Jones added: “I used to travel all over the place to snowboard, but there isn’t always snow and there is always wind that we can harness. I’ve travelled all over the UK to find the right beach before I realised it was on my doorstep. ”
The clubhouse, located 10 metres from the beach, is a first for North Wales.
The kitesurfing school, which was opened earlier this year, has four part and full-time teachers instructing students ranging from 10 years to 78 years old.
Mr Jones said: “There are a few clubhouses in South Wales, but we’re the first here. Most of the schools in the UK are windchasers and are run out of the back of car in the carpark without facilities like changing rooms and showers.”
Spectators and participants are welcome back to the clubhouse after the event for a barbeque and drinks.
The coach for the trip departs from the clubhouse at 11am. The entrance fee is £25, with all proceeds going the Rhyl RNLI and is open to all kitesurfers with a IKO or a BKSA Level 3 Fully Independent qualification or above.