Here are some pictures from Hayling Island published by Dave White
The L.A.R. Watersports team produced a report of their adventures published by Boards
Sunrise – Sunset Hayling Island – Spectacular Challenge for Charity!
The inaugural event of Windsurfing 4 Cancer Research (W4CR) got underway at Hayling Island Beachlands at 05:31am on a rather cool, damp and rainy Sunday May 3rd morning. The event was simple, just turn up, register and take part and donate as much as you can spare to the new charity W4CR. David Tuttlebee a cancer sufferer and the founder of the charity and ‘brains’ behind the Sunrise – Sunset challenge had just a few weeks earlier finished session 12, the last of the chemotherapy David had been undergoing since the new treatment started at the end of last year. Sadly for David he was not well enough to get on the water, as in the week before the event he was struck down with a swelling in his legs and could not walk easily. He was admitted immediately to Hospital and stayed there throughout the week leading up to the event. Everyone kept in touch with David, and as best we could encourage him and hoping for good news, finally on Saturday the day before the event David had managed to get permission from the Hospital to be allowed out to come to the event, but he had strict instructions to be back for 5pm.
All good events have some kind of warm up we held an impromptu gathering at the Ferry Boat Inn for all the windsurfers and ground crew that had arrived on Saturday, it was a pre-event supper to finalise last minute details, but most importantly to feed and water us all before taking to our beds as it was an early start for all concerned.
Sunday – Event Day!
Brian Roake an islander and local windsurfer and coordinator said ‘’having arrived at 04:45am it was quite dark and it certainly made it interesting as this is the first time that I have attempted to rig my windsurfing kit in almost darkness and combined with not having as much sleep either, was this the challenge I wondered.’’ By 05:00am there were at least 20 windsurfers already fumbling with their kit in the semi-darkness eager to get rigged to set sail at Sunrise. By 05:31am there were more than 30 windsurfers who took to the start led by Dave White, a recovered cancer sufferer and one of the UK’s fastest windsurfers. Dave had set his own personal challenge for the day, this was to sail non-stop from Sunrise to Sunset. Brian Roake set off with Dave White, ‘’I thought to myself I must be crazy its 05:30am and we’re on the water on a Sunday morning, its cold and rainy and very little wind, but then seeing everyone here and the scores more arriving on the beach made me realise just how important today is for the founder of the charity David Tuttlebee and for the great cause the charity stands for’’ said Brian.
Around 8:30am I came off the water, it seemed really peculiar here I was on the beach having just windsurfed for 3 hours non-stop and was having a bacon sandwich and mug of hot tea and on looking at my watch it was strange to think it was still only breakfast time, it felt like midday! A special mention to Margaret and the Sunset café for opening so early for us, thanks to you and the team. By 9:00am there were literally hundreds of windsurfers and spectators milling around or taking to the water or just like me have a rest break. The atmosphere was electric, flags flying and an air of expectation as we all awaited David’s arrival.
By 10:00am we had BBC South Today film crew on-site and Jo Kent was ready and eager to speak to David. Then just as planned David arrived straight from hospital to the beach. As David got out of the vehicle the look on his face was amazing, he was smiling and really almost speechless. He said to me ‘’ my excitement increased upon approaching the Inn on the Beach car park at Hayling. There were W4CR logos pointing into the car park but on entering it seemed quiet by the toilet blocks, the café and in the parking area to the left of the Inn building. We continued into the car park and upon turning west saw a mass of vans, cars, trailers, camper vans and flags and flying. The months of planning became a reality, Sunrise Sunset 2009 event was happening’’.
The BBC team were just great and we must say a special thanks to them as their presence put a smile on David’s face just look at the photos! David did his stuff for the BBC and Jo Kent took the all important interviews at beachside and the film guy took loads of footage of the windsurfers, who by now had plenty of wind and sunshine and the day was really in full swing. To see the BBC footage you can go on-line via the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8031542.stm
At 11:00am the Mayor and Mayoress arrived to officially open the event his worship the Mayor met with David Tuttlebee and Dave White and then officially blessed the event with a photo shoot and informal discussions with many local sailors and supporters of W4CR.
At 12 noon we had Red Hot Camera crew turn up to take some aerial photos from the seventy foot camera boom; this in itself was pretty amazing bit of kit. The resulting photos are a credit to their support and endeavours especially when the wind freshened.
At around the 1pm mark there were more than 80 windsurfers on the water but there were still more than 50 or so sets of kit on the beach, where you found windsurfers their friends and families enjoying the weather or having lunch on the beach.
We also had professional and world cup competitor windsurfer Nik Baker and his brother Ant Baker arrive to lend their support and their donations to the event, they affixed stickers and streamers and got kitted out and took to the water. It provided a great opportunity for local windsurfers to meet and maybe get some tips from Nik.
To spice things up a bit it was decided to hold some ‘Master Blaster’ slalom events, with beach start (at the waters edge) and then race out to a buoy at sea and race back to the beach, first one back wins, simple rules lots of fun. We held race after race and it really added to the whole excitement and gave the spectators on the beach something to watch and be a part of as well. Special thanks go out the trustees for all their behind the scenes support which helped to make this all possible, plus well done to Nick Povey for bringing the buoy and sailing it out, and to our very own ‘beach master’ Alan Murrell who kept the racers busy, plus the ground crew of Martin Lutton and Richard Holgate for keeping things on track throughout the day at the event HQ.
As the day went down windsurfers started to go home but several were still going strong and had their goal still very much ahead. Finally 8:35pm Sunset, the last few windsurfers with Dave White came ashore at official Sunset to close what had been a most memorable day. W4CR would like to say thank you to all the hundreds of sailors, spectators, well wishers and general public you made it the special day it was. Thank you.
With all what was going on we did not manage to loose anyone nor did we have any major incidents or injuries, however we did act as a lost property office for a while but managed to repatriate the items with their rightful owners before close of day. Job well done!
Sunrise Sunset 2009 was a huge success someone said it was a ‘’monster of an event’’ well it certainly was as everywhere you looked there were smiling faces and a camaraderie and fellowship I have not seen before. The goal of David became a huge reality and we were blessed with such great weather as the sun eventually came out and shone the whole day and with it came the most wonderful of breezes which made the day ‘just perfect’.
Hayling was just one of 21 events in total happening across the UK plus we also had one in Belgium, one in the Netherlands and one in Greece just to add to the international flavour.
Roll –on next year when we hope to make the event even bigger and better!
Hayling Island Sunrise-Sunset Coordinator
See the picture galleries
Hayling Island - 05:30 - 08:30 am 'Surf Session' (23)
Hayling Island - Martin & David Lutton (38)
Hayling Island - Red Hot Camera (6)
Hayling Island - Julia Toms (53)
Hayling Island - Phil Plume (3)
Windsurfing4CancerResearch is registered charity number 1128492