Published on Sunday, December 11th, 2016
Sands of Luce has been hosting a number of informal gatherings of kite and windsurfers over the years but this years ‘Big Air Weekender’ has undoubtedly been the largest and most successful yet!
The purpose of the weekend was an informal get together of kite surfers to see who can boost (jump) the biggest. This involved each competitor strapping a device which measures the height of each jump (called a Woo) to their board. It is then just a case of retrieving the data and recording the heights. The event was held on Saturday 5th of November which saw a good 25-30 Knott Notherly wind and bright blue skies.
The conditions meant that the near by beach of New England Bay would be the perfect location.
Competitors came from across the country to compete with a good mix of beginner and experienced competitors. The contest was done over a series of heats which saw jumps range from 2m to over 11m! The finals saw 5 contestants take to the water with Mike Birt taking the trophy with an impressive jump of 11.6m!
Following the competition was a meal and get together in The Lighthouse Bar at Sands of Luce Holiday Park.
The next day saw similar conditions but a bit of westerly in the northern wind. This called for a relocation to another fantastic near by beach called Wig Bay. Sundays antics were far more casual. This was an opportunity for those taking part to demo some of the latest kite gear from Airush, Shinn and Cabrinha kindly supplied by KTWO distribution and Sky Monster.
Wig Bay proved to be the perfect spot for the conditions. It had a wide safe east facing bay and a lagoon to it’s west sheltered by a large sand spit. This was perfect for ex British national champion Pete Jones to demonstrate his skills to some very much impressed and perhaps bemused bird watchers and dog walkers!
With 30 odd kites on the water it would be fair to say that neither location had seen such a spectacle. It is a testament to the Rhins of Galloway for providing such quality locations in such close proximity. Past gatherings have also seen the use of Port Logan Bay and the now some what legendary Luce Bay.
Organiser John Barber and host Jack & Amy Cooper hope to build on the success of this event and attract more enthusiasts to the area. The ultimate goal being to perhaps hold a national event. Jack went on to say:
”We have everything here to hold a major event. We have beaches for every wind direction in close proximity to one another and we have very consistent winds. It would be a fantastic opportunity to host a major event here. If we are able to put Luce Bay and Stranraer on the map for kite surfing I believe it would be a tremendous tourism asset to the area. If you look at the Isle of Tiree as an example it’s economy is largely built round kite and wind surf tourism.”
We would like to thank all involved and especially to the many enthusiasts who travelled great distances to partake.
For more information on the beaches on offer check out the South West Scotland Beach Guide Here. (Still under development).