I had forgotten just how much I love Westward Ho! It has pretty much been ten years since I first went down there for a kiting event (that never happened). Now I was back for the finals of this years land kiting championships. I got up way before dawn and hit the road on the Thursday. The aim was to miss the traffic and make the most of being down there. Even though it has been practically rebuilt over the last ten years, the town is still very familiar.
On Thursday the wind was light – so I cracked on with some work after breakfast. In the afternoon I headed down to the beach but the wind was not up to much. It was foiling wind – the tide was racing in though. After a botched attempt of trying to get out past the little waves in dead onshore light wind conditions we moved round into the estuary. It was perfect! Kind of perfect anyway – as long as the kite stayed in the sky the tide rushing in would not be an issue.
Friday was competition day. An early start setting up the beach. Once everything was running smoothly I turned my attention to taking photos of MBS and Flysurfer rider, and old friend Lewis Wilby. He is still wwithout doubt the most talented land kiter out there.
After shooting for a bit, the tide started coming in, the wind was up and the waves building. I went out for a session – it turned out to be a good one. Solid 9m weather in the waves is just a lot of fun. Some ciders, dinner and pool rounded off the day.
Saturday was another competition day. I was a bit more involved with the running of the event however it went smooth and we were finished in no time. After we packed most of the stuff up I grabbed the camera to shoot buggy freestyle champ, event organiser, and Flysurfer rider Craig Sparkes.
After a quick prize giving it was time to hit the water and grab a quick session before the tide came in. This time on a 15m Chrono V2 and twintip. I love the variety in kitesurfing, and picking the best gear for the conditions. Sunset was epic every night so I made the effort to go grab some snaps.
That night we all got together for a big dinner. When I saw the third round of shots coming between the starters and mains I got worried. A late dinner combined with everything closing pretty early in the town managed to keep us from getting too wild though. Sunday morning I felt like things had been plenty wild enough the night before. After breakfast and seeing no wind forecast, I opted to cruise home looking forward to my next visit to Westward Ho!