RHYL’S new Olympic kitesurfing school has been officially launched.
Pro kitesurfers, delegates and members of Rhyl’s kitesurfing school turned out for the launch of the new kitesurfing village on Monday. Plans were submitted in February to transform former public toilets and a cafe along the promenade into a “flagship Olympic kitesurfing village”.
The kitesurfing club now includes hot showers and both male and female changing facilities, as well as a café and wine bar. The former land train building will soon become a shop.
Simon Jones, director of Pro Kitesurfing in Rhyl, said: “We have been working on this for four months now and today marks our official opening to the public.
“I want this to be a one-stop facility for all people – not just for kitesurfers but for people walking their dogs, or walking along the beach. They can now stop at café to take a break, watch the surfers and get some food and drink.
“No other kitesurfing school have these kinds of facilities. It’s right on the beach and will be nice for people to be able to have a hot shower and something to eat afterwards.
“We’ve really worked up a good clientèle over the past few years. We have people coming down to use the school from London, Manchester and even Scotland. Now visitors will be able to watch kitesurfers and see them getting instructed. Hopefully this will inspire them and generate interest.”
Gregg Gnecco, global director of sale at Liquid Force Kites, travelled from Oregon in the US to attend the launch.
He said: “I have come to Rhyl today as this school is really a flagship for the UK and it’s the passion and vision from Simon that’s made this happen.
“These are such great facilities. The school has all the resources a kitesurfer would need and this means other schools in the UK are going to want to be as good as this one. It has really set a precedent.”
Mayor of Rhyl Alan James attended the launch with his consort, Wyn Mullen-James, and Cllr Barry Mellor.
Cllr James said: “I’m very enthusiastic about this. Four months ago we saw his presentation which was very good, and from its humble beginnings to now is a testament to Simon’s drive and passion.
“It’s really brilliant to see this – its not just going to be a hub for kitesurfers but for people who use the beach too. Hopefully people will look at this and it will give them confidence to invest in Rhyl.”
George Dufty, current British Kitesurfing Championships and Liquid Force Kiteboarding UK team rider, who attended the launch, said: “Ninety per cent of schools are run out the back of vans. This is really the first school to have a building on the beach where you are able to go straight out into the water. This school proves that kitesurfing can bring people out even on rainy days.” Cllr Mellor said: “This all fits into the regeneration scheme.– Simon has taken over next door at the old rail station and will be regenerating that as well.
“Our beach and water are both ideal and the school is open to anyone – with all the facilities they will need in one place. It is also in a really good location. The fact the school is here means there is plenty of room for both the surfers and visitors on the beach. It also means now that people can stop for food between Splash Point and the harbour as there are no restaurants along that strip.”
The school is now open to the public and as well as the new changing, showering and refreshment facilities, the school also includes a barbecue, secure lockers, a freshwater plunge pool to clean equipment, a projector with large screen, table tennis, a food preparation area, a microwave, hot water urn for drinks and a fridge.