On his recent trip to the British Virgin Islands, KW's Ash Phelps managed to beat the crowds and have a chat with Sir Richard Branson whilst sipping Bushwhackers at his pool side bar. 10 or so drinks later and after some highly fashionable dance moves it was like they were best buds. Here's the low down...
How long have you been kiting for?
Do you like the kitesurfing here in the BVI's?
I love kitesurfing here, especially in Anegada. It's not at all busy because the BVI's are relatively undiscovered so there's a lot of space for you to play with here
What do you enjoy the most about kitesurfing?
It's great fun and is a huge rush as well
How were you introduced to kitesurfing?
Charlie (BVI Kite Jam Founder and Partner) and the others showed me how to do it [kite] here on Necker. It's great to wake up in the morning and go straight in the water to kite. It's also a great sport to keep you fit and healthy
Do any other members of your staff kite here on Necker?
They all do. Some are just starting to learn. Charlie and Scotty (Events Director and Partner / Resident on Necker) will try and kite in their lunch breaks every day if it isn't too busy
How much time do you spend here [Necker Island] per month/year?
This is my permanent residence here on Necker. I travel a lot for business though so am always busy and away
Are there any other watersports that you do?
I love to sail around the BVI's when I have time. I also can surf. There's great surfing on the BVI's only 50mins away from Necker. Cain Garden Bay has one of the best breaks on the west end. My son also surfs after learning how to when he went on his gap year. He's really good. I've also just started paddleboarding and have had some boards shipped over from Australia. If you can't kite or surf you can paddleboard and it's great
What do you think has improved in the sport since you started?
It's a safe spot now. A few years ago we'd knock over a few palm trees on the beach. Now with the new safety systems it's much safer and reliable. More people now feel safer to give the sport a go which is what I want. It's also become much more easier to learn how to kite than it looks
How do the guests get involved with the kiting and what are their thoughts on it?
Charlie, Scotty and the crew get everyone into kiting when they arrive. Everyone gives it a go and most of our guests leave as kiters once they have tried it
Are you sponsoring any riders at the moment? I know you used to sponsor Aaron Hadlow
Virgin aren't sponsoring any riders at the moment, nor do we plan to
Have any famous celebrities got hooked on kiting when staying on Necker?
Sorry, don't ask don't tell
Thanks to Abby, Erika, Khyvs, Scotty, Charlie and of course Sir Richard for making the trip happen
Click here to get a taste of things to come at the 2010 BVI Kite Jam
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Nomad 136-Team series
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
Naish Park 7m
Kitesurfing travel directory