University Kitesurfers to Circumnavigate the Isle of Wight


6 members of the Southampton University Kitesurfing Society are planning to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight in the next month.

If successful, Alex Parker, Zac Andrews, Ali Barrett, James Calver, Matt Desmond, and Ali Shepherd believe that they will become the first ever kitesurfers to circumnavigate the Isle as a group.

The trip is expected to take between seven and nine hours, covering a huge total distance of around 80 miles, non-stop. Certain sections of the trip will see many miles covered on the same tack, meaning potentially excruciating periods of pressure on the same leg.

‘It’s going to be tough. We’ve been doing tolerance training to try and get used to having cramp’ said team member Alex Parker.  ‘We only planned this about 4 days ago and it’s getting a lot of media attention already, it’s unbelievable really’.

The event has already attracted two sponsors and there are rumours that other companies may be following.

Southampton University appear to be fully behind the event, providing safety cover for the team; something essential as they navigate their way through the daunting shipping lane.

The team are hoping to set off between either the 6th-8th or 22nd-30th of June, depending on weather conditions. South-westerly winds in excess of 20 knots are needed, but apparently not uncommon.

And the cause? The guys aim to raise at least £1000 for Surfers Against Sewage, a charity dedicating to cleaning up Britain’s coastline. If you’re interested in donating visit

When asked if they were nervous about the task ahead Alex replied, ‘Yes. And the reality that we’re actually going to do this is really starting to dawn now!’


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