Kitesurfing record smashed

Athina May

Bloubergstrand may be known for its scenic Table Mountain backdrop and perfect waves for surfing, but now it will also be known as the spot where a kitesurfing world record was broken.

On Saturday January 30, hundreds of kitesurfers, both local and international, poured onto Dolphin Beach for the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada.

After three hours of preparations, 415 kitesurfers completed a mile-long surf between Dolphin Beach and the beachfront near Doodles restaurant, securing the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of kitesurfers. Spain was the previous record holder with 352 participants in 2014.

“We always hoped the Kite surfing Armada in Cape Town would be spectacular, and it didn’t let us down. It was an amazing day; the wind couldn’t have been better, and the view of hundreds of kites together in front of Table Mountain was awesome,” said Kite Surfing Armada director, Dan Charlish.

Local promoter André de Wet said: “After 18 months of planning and preparation, with an amazing team of sponsors and supporters, it’s a fantastic feeling to know they we did it. Now we just need to retain the record every year.”

The event started in the UK in 2013, led by Sir Richard Branson, and £70,000 was raised for charity.

This year, the money raised will go to three charities: Cape Town’s SAVE Foundation, which supports township children through education and sports development; Virgin Unite, which works with entrepreneurs and communities in developing countries and in the UK; and Snow-Camp, which works with disadvantaged inner city young people.

Kitesurfers from all over the world enjoyed the day on the beach, including Marco Maschietto from Italy who said, “Its fantastic, the weather is great, and the colour of the sky makes you feel something of the soul.”