The Royal Air Force celebrates 100 years – by kite!

Royal Air Force - RAF100 - Kitesurfing



Royal Air Force - RAF100 - Kitesurfing


A team of kiters from the Royal Air Force arrived on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides last week as the RAF took its 100th birthday Baton Relay, celebrating 100 years since the RAF was first formed, to one of its most remote bases – RAF Benbecula.

Nine members of the RAF Power Kiting Association braved high winds and rough seas to take the specially created RAF100 Baton on a pretty chilly looking downwinder in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from South Uist to Benbecula, which is home to a radar that provides airspace coverage over the Atlantic. 



After completing its visit to the Hebrides, the RAF100 Baton Relay now continues on around the UK and it will finish up at Buckingham Palace on 10th July, for a 100 aircraft-flypast and a parade down The Mall.


Royal Air Force - RAF100 - Kitesurfing


Squadron Leader Emma Wolstenhome from the RAF Power Kiting Association said, “The 60km downwinder (with the baton) was an incredible experience – this is a spectacular part of the UK, and it’s great that we’re able to celebrate the RAF’s presence here.”

Kitesurfer and Squadron Leader Tris Simkins, a Typhoon pilot at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire said, “A typical intensive Typhoon combat sortie lasts around 90 minutes. The energy needed to kitesurf on the water, at speed and in challenging conditions for over two hours, can be just as physically demanding.” 

Senior Aircraftsman Luke Adshead, an Armourer from RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall said, “I have been kitesurfing for over three years. Cornwall is great for it, but up here on the west Islands of Scotland, it’s a whole new challenge. More wind, colder sea, but a stunning remote location – perfect!”


Watch the RAF in action below




There are also two kiters, Islay and Stew, sailing around the UK right now. They set off in Hull last month and they’re now past Southhampton and going strong!


Kite Britain


They’re hoping to raise awareness about marine plastic along the way while raising money for the Armada Trust, the Kite and SUP Youth Tour and the Marine Conservation Society!


Find out more about their epic undertaking at and look out for updates on our site and in the mag.

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