One of my favourite weekends of the year is the National Watersports Festival, held every September on Hayling Island.
It’s been going for years. This year was NWF10, but before that it was a festival run by Fatface. I only found out about it 3 years ago, when I had my first go at paddle-boarding, and decided that I needed it in my life.
We loaded Seabert up with our SUPs and some overnight gear, and set off early Saturday morning. The weather forecast wasn’t great, so once we were set up and had some coffee, it was time to get straight out there before it got too windy.
The hubster helped me get inflated, but decided to stay ashore himself, so I set off in a pretty turbulent shore-roll. It was not a day for actually standing up (I was about an hour too late for those conditions), but it was so much fun in the waves! I paddled to the main festival area, where a big windsurf competition was about to start, so I got out of their way and waited it out for a bit, before battling the waves again to get back out. I was trying to get straight out, but as often happens at the festival, the waters are busy, and I ended up sideways to the waves, and quickly got thrown.
I paddled around for a while, coming across a group of kayakers, as well as a group having a SUP taster session. I really enjoyed it! Wish I did it more often, must remember to make time…
Soon the sea got too choppy, and it was time to call it a day. For the rest of the day, we watched the surf competitions, many surfers struggled in the surf, but the wind was pretty great for some speed.
We listened to some of the bands in the festival tent, and as the rains came, we headed to the Inn on the Beach for some dinner and a dry spot to watch the night racing. Good time all round!
The next morning, as I woke up and took our Luna out for a quick walk on the beach, it was just amazing! It was the break of dawn, with spring tides making for a huge beach at low tide. There was no one but us, and a lone ferry in the distance. It was a beautiful start to the day.
We watched some more surfing, before heading back home. Another great weekend! Here’s just a little shot just before the skies and the sea turned. Totally awesome feeling!