Legend of the Bay 2015

Who will be crowned Legend of the Bay? Opening this year’s packed-out events calendar at Watergate Bay, Legend of the Bay being held on 18 & 19 April will decide just that. Launched in 2013 and back for a second year, ‘Legend’ brings together stand-up paddle boarders (SUP) and kitesurfers for one big weekend of high-adrenaline watersports.

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Get ready as some of the UK’s best wave riders descend on Watergate Bay. As a collaboration between the British Stand Up Paddleboard Association (BSUPA) and the British Kitesports Association (BKSA), the list of those competing should see a really exciting event.

What’s the event all about?

Stand-up paddle surfing has been described as a cross between canoeing and surfing, where riders stand on a large surfboard and use a paddle to steer, turn and propel themselves through the water. If you’ve visited the beach in the last few years, its likely that you will have seen them in action out in the surf or flat water – or even had a go at it yourself!

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The kitesurfing element focusses on wave-riding skills, with competitors using powerful kites to pull them into the waves to complete airs, turns and tricks.

Competitors can enter either individual competitions in their favoured sport – a wave jam kitesurf event, or a SUP surf competition – or they can challenge for the coveted title of ‘Legend of the Bay’, which will be awarded to the competitor with the highest combined score from both sports. The disciplines cover every angle, so when it’s windy the kites are up and when it’s calm the SUP’s are out, so there’s always something going on for spectators.

Chairman of BSUPA and Legend of the Bay organiser, Richard Marsh, said: “A lot of people do multiple sports, for example, many surfers take part in windsurfing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding; there’s such a huge crossover and we wanted to demonstrate that. Having two sports gives people the option to enter one, or both events, so it’s unique in that sense.”

Event timings

Ideally, the kitesurfing element will take place on Saturday 18 April, and the SUP contest will be on Sunday 19 April. However, it depends on the weather forecast and surfing conditions.

Competition of both days will aim to start around 9am and run until 4:40pm. Semi-finals and finals will be held towards late afternoon when the tide will be on the push, bringing the competition closer to the beach, and in front of The Beach Hut. Prize Giving will follow after the completion of the day competition.

“High tide is early evening, so the very best of the action will be from 2:30pm onwards,” said Richard.

The Beach Hut will be open from 8:30am to 9pm with a newly covered deck serving as a perfect viewing platform for what is sure to be an adrenaline-fueled spectator event.

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Competitors to watch

In 2013, Watergate Bay veteran and former Extreme Academy instructor, Dom Moore (above) took the title in a fierce competition and perfect conditions, with over 40 competitors.

According to SUP Boarder Magazine, former BSUPA National Champion Neil Gent has confirmed his intentions to compete this year. Neil has competed on the national scene for both sports for many years, and will be a strong contender for the title. Closer to home Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey will be strong in the kite competition. Lee stand up paddleboards too, so he could be worth looking out for.

Entries for the competition are now open and can be found via the following link: www.webcollect.org.uk/wcws

One thing’s for sure. Skill and focus will be needed by anyone who hopes to steal the crown from Dom. He’s been wearing it for two years so it fits pretty well. Definitely an event not to be missed.

#legendofthebay

You can learn to kitesurf and stand-up paddle board with the Extreme Academy.

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