Trev Pitt and Justin Evans, local kiteboarders from Wallasey, have travelled on an epic downwinder trip from Blackpool to Derby Pool, New Brighton — becoming the first men to have done this –. following a similar trip last year from Rhyl to Wallasey. Trev and Justin, who have been kiting together for seven years, planned the trip for 6th July 2020 — when ideal conditions were forecast.
Trev explained: “The wind in Blackpool on the day was North Westerly so it was crossing onto the shore and wind speeds were predicted to be 22-30kts and there was an incoming tide. The forecasted conditions were what we had been waiting for and would be perfect for both of us.”
Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is an action sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, surfing and paragliding — harnessing the power of the wind with a large kite to be propelled across water, land or snow.
Both Trev and Justin travelled from Liverpool Lime Street to Blackpool North station, fully kitted out in wetsuits and flip flops — carrying all their gear needed to successfully complete the downwinder. Once on the water, conditions coming out of Blackpool and through the chop of the Irish sea were extremely difficult, which Trev described as ‘like being in a blender’, before continuing past Pleasure Beach and to the South Shore.
Trev, who started kitesurfing after watching one of his best friends having a lesson, has now competed professionally in BKA free style competitions and pro kite competition ‘Emperor of the Air’. He and other local kitesurfers have travelled internationally to compete in the watersport.
In preparation for a trip of this difficulty, Trev said: “You have to have been riding for a really long time,
you need to know where and how to release the kite, how to release the safety if anything goes wrong and how to get out of difficult situation. You need to learn how to ride the big waves, if you learn on flat water you may never learn, the River Mersey is really difficult and has different choppy waves.”
At Lytham St Anne’s conditions had improved and Trev and Justin were able to wave to a handful of local kiteboarders out on the water, as they went whizzing down the Fylde coast and reaching the mouth of the River Ribble.
Trev told us: “The crossing was epic, with shallow water and amazing views down the coast. By the time the wind had picked up it was a solid 30kts and I was holding onto my 9m kite and loving every second of the ride. Different types of kite are to serve different wind conditions — with a smaller kite, of 6-8m for a gusty wind, and a larger bigger kite of 12-13m if the wind is not as strong.”
From the River Ribble, Trev and Justin travelled down along the northwest coastline, from Southport, Crosby and then Liverpool — making the final leg of the journey across the estuary of the River Mersey to reach the coastline of Derby Pool.
For their next adventure, Trev and Justin are thinking of other downwinder trips, from Blackpool to Rhyl, Angelsey to Rhyl and Rhyl to New Brighton. Kiteboarding as a sport is becoming more and more popular and these two local legends are true trend setters — pioneers who dare to do what’s never been done before! Nice one lads!