Updated: May 3
Saturday 18th January 2020, saw kiteboard enthusiasts gather on Lantau Island at Long Coast Seasports on Cheung Sha Beach, for the inaugural event of Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean.
Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean has been set up with the aim to help raise funds to support ocean recovery projects and innovations. To do this, Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean has partnered with the Hong Kong and California based charity, Ocean Recovery Alliance that has been battling the ocean plastics problem for the past 10 years.
Hillian, having successfully made her own personal challenge in March 2019, to kite from Hong Kong to Macau, raising local awareness of the ocean plastic issue and launching Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean. Saturday’s event saw the next step in the mission take place, as a core of local kiteboarders and volunteers gathered at Cheung Sha Beach to mark the first fundraising event. It is hoped that this will be the first of many such events and the foundation of Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean as a future international movement.
Unfortunately, in the end, the forecast wind did not put in its promised appearance. However, spirits were not dampened as ‘Plan B’ was put into operation and the kiters took to the water on stand-up paddleboards instead. In the end, the important element was to raise money for the ocean and although paddling is not the favourite watersport for some, 12 challengers gritted their teeth and took on the 2-hour paddle endurance course, completing a total of 139 laps to keep their sponsorship pledges.
As well as the challengers successfully raising over $90,000 HKD, it was also a good learning curve for Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean, as the combination of wind or paddle power will ensure they can always achieve their challenge and fundraising event goals. It also opens the future potential of a broader watersports involvement, as the ocean’s recovery will surely need as much support as it can get.
Alongside this, the event also demonstrated the wider concerns for the ocean, as a community of support from around Hong Kong came together to make the challenge a reality and a great beach-day out for everyone. Kitesurf for a Cleaner Ocean would like to thanks all of its donors and volunteers along with the Ocean Recovery Alliance, Long Coast Seasports, The Floatstudio, Manaimpact, the crew from Race for Water and The Gallery for all their support in helping to make the first ocean fundraiser a complete success.