The world’s biggest charity watersports beach festival at Hove Lawns is in it’s 21st year in Brighton and Hove this July.
Throw off the winter chill and forget all about flicking on the radiator because it’s nearly time for Paddle Round The Pier.
The sporting bonanza is a summer weekend of water-based fun supported and surrounded by a ‘Paddle Village’ of retail, food stalls and entertainment stages with something for all the family.
From surfboards and small boats to high-end Ukulele’s and surf-art on display.
The festival is run entirely by volunteers and has raised over £300k for charities to date.
What is Paddle Round The Pier festival?
The spectacle that is Paddle Round The Pier beach festival emerged from humble beginnings. In 1996 a small group of surfers, led by founder Dave Samuel, decided to bring together the surfing community in a social seafront event which would raise money for charity at the same time. From the 50 people who attended the first ‘Paddle’, the event has evolved into what is now regarded as the world’s largest free charity beach festival, with average visitor numbers of 50,000+ people!
The weekend of watersport events continues to grow each year with long distance SUP races, open water swims, surf lifesaving competition, kitesurfing, and prone paddle board races all on the line-up for the 2017 bonanza. Visitors could even paddle away with their very own Fatyak Kayak this year – but they have to be in it to win it.
Founder Dave Samuel said: “This year is set to be bigger and better than ever with POLYNESIAN OUTRIGGERS and A HUGE DEMONONSTRATION POOL confirmed on the line-up. “Bring your kids, bring your friends and bring your granny because this really is a sun-filled funfilled festival for everyone to enjoy!”
Not keen on getting your toes wet? No worries. The Paddle Village has entertainment stages for all ages, outdoor restaurants, land-based activities including skateboarding, BMX and Parkour. As well as the famous “paddle round the pier” competition, the festival includes entertainment, retail and food stalls, fairground, HipHop dance championships and a specially-built accessible beach.
The specially built accessible beach affording people with disabilities not only access to the beach but the The charity festival, which has so far raised over £300,000 for charity, has something for everyone – from serious surfers to families and youngsters.
The fun-packed, water-themed festival has its serious side, this year the event is raising money and awareness for RNLI, The Wave Project and Brighton Surf Live Saving Club.
Event organisers – who all give their time voluntarily – hope to raise over £20,000 for the chosen charities.
Brighton and Hove Mayor, Cllr. Mo Marsh, said, “this event appeals to watersports enthusiasts around the world, and the fact that it draws so many experts and enthusiasts – as well as thousands of spectators – marks this as one of the UK’s most important festivals and fundraising events”.
Working in conjunction with Surf life Saving GB, and sponsored by Brighton and Hove Bus Company, Paddle Round the Pier facilitates disability groups as diverse as Cerebral Palsy sufferers, Downs-Syndrome, Partially Sighted/blind and kids afflicted with Chromosome Deficiency, allowing kids, young people and their carers access to the sea, often for the first time in their lives.
Paddle founder, Dave Samuel, said “from humble beginnings, Paddle Round the Pier has grown and has raised over £300,000 for charity. It has something to offer everyone, young and old, on and off land. We encourage people to come along and get involved; this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet!”.
The event sponsors include Jeep, BN1 Magazine, Hartley’s Wines and Ocean Flooring.
Admission is free and the two-day event takes place on Hove Lawns on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July.