BKSA Round 5 - Balmedie Beach
The fifth round of the BKSA competition series will be held at Balmedie beach in Aberdeenshire (not Lothian as one of our now heavily scalped editorial staff members wrote in issue 28). The event will still take place from 24-26 August and will be preceded by the annual 'Follow the Wind Tour' which lasts for a week.
Scottish Follow the Wind Tour 2007
By Mark Ward
By request from participants in the last two tours we are planning on meeting up between 17-19 August in the Stranrar area of the southwest of Scotland. Why there? Because we haven't been there before, there are beaches in most directions, hopefully some of the Irish crew will come over (ferry goes right in there) and it's in the south of Scotland, so not too far for those southern softies to travel. Finish point for the tour will be Balmedie, probably on the Thursday night prior to the Pro's day on the 24th. Check out the beaches at Sandhead and Girvan on multimap - www.multimap.co.uk by typing in Stranrar. Sandhead to the south, Girvan to the north.
The format for the tour will be the same as the last two years really. We all meet somewhere and finish at the BKSA event. What happens in between depends on what the wind decides to do. Year one went this way...
We all met in Troon, stayed for three days because there was wind every day and the hospitality was unbelievable. We then drove up through the mountains to Fort William, staying in the hills for the night (waking up surrounded by mountains) before progressing onto Inverness where we met a mad Turkish guy, 'double back loop kite loop Tamar'. We ended up in Burghead and had a wicked evening session before going back to Inverness for a late night party. Next day saw some high wind action in Ardersier before heading along the Moray coast to Fraserburgh. A little bit of partying most nights. A lot of smiles.
Year two we started in Fraserburgh and had a chilled day with some kitesurfing on St. Combs main beach, but with no wind forecast the next day we drove all the way to Machrihannish on the Mull of Kintyre. We stayed down there for the rest of the week kiting at Westport, Machrihannish, Carradale, and enjoyed some great fun on the no wind days with Phil from Zero Gravity, Hayling Island, who provided a Zap Cat. The drive back across the highlands over Arran or the more traditional route was enjoyed by all before ending up at the event last year in Troon. The group took three separate routes so had some stories to tell when we met up again that night. Yes, we partied a little most nights on this tour as well.
12-15 folk the first year, 24 and 11 vehicles last year. Will we have some logistical challenges this year?
The general idea for the event is just to enjoy the landscape and beaches, some free-riding and do a wee bit of partying. The tour is open to singles, doubles and families, all of which have been in attendance for the last two tours.
Anyone wanting to come along but doesn't have transport get in touch, there is bound to be someone who wants to share or lend a hand.
There are no prizes and there's no competing on this tour - just pure chilling. The only thing we cannot guarantee is the weather but in Scotland in August you are almost guaranteed to get some variety. On tour this year we will once again have a Zap Cat, plus new to the quiver compliments of Colin; a three seater waverunner and a 750cc 4x4 quad to get things in and out of the water. So if there is no wind there will still be things to do, and when there is, we will have rescue cover.
The last two tours generated interest from the general public wherever we went and was an excellent promoter for the sport in general. We often get involved in teaching local kids how to fly kites and generally have fun on the beach. This event is not sponsored and everyone covers their own costs, but anyone is welcome.
From an organisational point of view there is not too much to it. You are responsible for your own eating and drinking habits, and making sure you get somewhere safely and in one piece. We will get everyone together at critical moments to decide what we are going to be doing in the next 24-48 hours based on forecasts and logistics, pulling on knowledge of those on the tour who have some knowledge of where to go and how to get there in Scotland. We will generally make a final decision based on the general consensus of the group, with mother nature having the final say!
The only thing we cannot guarantee is the weather, but as they say in Scotland, if you don't like it, wait 15 minutes and it will surely change. On the first tour some of us got out kiting every day. Last year we still managed to get on the water every day getting pulled by something. Most people got sunburn to some degree, but soon cooled down when it rained.
In the coming weeks we will post more information with directions and initial resting place....subsequent resting places will be decided by those who come along!
Anyone looking for more information call Mark Ward on 07710 639796 or email Extremexposure@aol.com
For info on the BKSA head to: www.kitesurfing.org and here at kiteworldmag.com
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