Jimmy Lewis meets Paddle Round the Pier Festival , Brighton, England

Paddle Round the Pier Beach Festival 2014 was an immense hit for so many reasons, so what makes this event tick.

David Samuel let us in on his top secret for this amazing event – “people make this event what it is, not businesses or big names, it is the spirit of those people and the vibe offered by so many to help organise such a logistical nightmare.”

As soon as you enter the site on the Lawns in Brighton you feel the buzz.   The skateboarders, surfers, swimmers, food stalls, musicians, stand owners – they are all just crazy busy showing off what they can do and how you, the public, can get involved.

skateboarding at paddle round the pier beach festival 2014 For skateboarders there were 2 halfpipes and over the weekend hundreds of  skaters young and old showed their skills getting aerials, rail slides and big wipeouts.

For the masses there were over a hundred stalls showing fashion, sports, food, organisations, charities and much more.

One very important charity present at the event was SAS, Surfers Against Sewage.  A small stand with a huge presence, showing us how important it is to protect our seas and our health.

Lots of crazy people turn up to Paddle Round the Pier with wild ideas on life and living it.   Just to see the diverse cultures mixing in one tiny space and sharing fun laughter is great to see.

On a competitive note

Stand up paddleboarding is a hugely popular sport and is growing by the day.    Many of the most popular brands were present showing off their kit along with teams of sup racers looking to compete in the 2 big races over the weekend.

Many of those racers were on the water getting practice in during the event setup and the seas were friendly but come race day and the scene was very different.   Howling winds, massive waves and total carnage – as always Brighton showed off the massive shore dump it is famous for and the racing was fast and furious.

sup racing at paddle round the pier beach festival 2014 Day 2, and the sup racing was in a more sedate sea, with a shifting breeze, triangle course and smooth seas.  The course was over 3km with a sprint start off the beach.   Regular paddlboard racers such as Mark Slater of team Fanatic, Phil Plume and Jay Manning JSUP were in the lineup along with one international racer who made the trip form Italy to join in the UK race scene.

Paolo Marconi winning the SUP sprints at Paddle Round the Pier Paolo Marconi of team Jimmy Lewis ran a tactical race and showed why he is at the top of his game.   He grabbed a convincing win on the 12’6 Jimmy Lewis UBoat board.

SUP racing in the UK is taking off in a big way and clubs are springing up all over the country. If you want to get involved in SUP why not look online and find your local club.

Get a couple of lessons and get on the water.

It’s fun and a great way to get fit.

a6 a2 Paddle Round the Piers

The big charity races with ocean going craft of all sorts was a huge hit.

The Angry Birds and Star Wars boat were just 2 of the many fancy dress rafts to hit the water with people in fancy dress.