Sands of Luce has been hosting a number of informal gatherings of kite and windsurfers over the years but the ‘Big Air Weekender’ has undoubtedly been the most successful yet.
The event was held on Saturday, November 5 and saw a good 25-30 Knot Northerly wind and 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 through to expert competitors. The contest was done over a series of heats which saw jumps range from 2m to over 11m! The finals saw five contestants take to the water with Mike Birt taking the trophy with a jump of 11.6m!
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 said: “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. 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.”
The next day saw similar conditions but a bit of westerly in the northern wind. This called for a relocation to another fantastic nearby 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 senior 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.