RAF Marham’s Powerkite Club
As British Summer Time approaches and the evenings become lighter, excitement grows amongst RAF Marham’s powerkite enthusiasts as they anticipate another successful season of after-work sunset sessions on Norfolk’s beaches.
So what is Powerkiting? Think back to your childhood days of flying a graceful kite on a breezy summer’s day; now increase the wing-span significantly and introduce ram-air or aerofoil technology and you have a powerkite! This can be coupled with a waist harness and control lines to provide a method of propulsion, enabling the user to travel up-wind across a variety of surfaces including grass, sand, snow and water. The extremes of the sport have resulted in professionals jumping over obstacles such as Brighton Pier, however there’s a lot of fun to be had at the safer end of the kiting spectrum.
Kitesurfing is the fastest growing sport in the world and RAF Marham is located just 20 miles from the East Coast’s kite Mecca at Hunstanton. The beach offers both novices and experienced thrill seekers a vast playground of safe, shallow, flat water. Whilst the terrain around Norfolk may not be synonymous with adrenaline sports, the County tends to be heavily underestimated when it comes to the activities that the coastline can offer. RAF Marham’s newly established Powerkiting Club takes full advantage of the local environment, with beaches such as Old Hunstanton and Brancaster offering uninterrupted golden sand, providing an ideal place to learn to fly powerkites.
The RAF Powerkite Association (RPKA) has been in existence for several years, however the sport has only recently been adopted by the RAF Sports Board as an official sport. The association offer an annual two week novices’ camp in Cyprus and an intermediate event, this year being held in Brazil. We have secured funding from the Sports Lottery, which has provided the necessary equipment for our instructors to deliver nationally recognised training. Monthly RPKA meets are held at various locations across the UK, allowing kiters to experience a variety of environments and of course take the opportunity to socialise.
Four kiters from Marham are preparing to undertake a charity kitesurfing event, a total of thirty kiters will cross the Wash from Hunstanton to Skegness later in the Summer to raise money for the RNLI. Four consecutive weekends have been reserved to try to guarantee suitable weather conditions for the eighteen mile crossing, rescue boats are also being arranged to deal with any contingency – WO Pilchard from TMS will be supporting the event as one of the safety boat drivers.
For more information on the RAF Powerkiting Association or the RAF Marham Powerkiting Club contact Flt Lt Alex Ruck on Ext: 5241.