THE Irish Sea off Blackpool looks anything but promising, but it didn’t deter St Annes kitesurfer Ali Barrett (pictured).
And he excelled himself, battling strong winds to bag himself places on the podium in the final round of the British Freestyle Championships at Bispham.
Putting on a spectacular display, Barrett took third place in the expression session, third place in the freestyle competition, first place in the twin tip racing, and third place in the overall British Freestyle Kitesurfing Championships.
He said: “I’m so pleased. It’s been an amazing weekend.
“It was good to be back on the water again in Blackpool. I’ve missed riding here now I’m at university.
“We’ve had some pretty fierce weather to contend with, but that’s Blackpool for you –when it blows, it blows!
“I’m so proud of coming from this area. Lytham St Annes and Blackpool are fantastic places for watersports, particularly kitesurfing, and I’m pleased to be able to support a local event.”
Barrett has a busy year ahead of him.
Having just started his second year at Southampton Solent University, Barrett is looking forward to representing his university as he competes in the Student Kitesurfing Association’s event
He will also be working with sponsors ExPix on a number of projects aimed at raising the profile of extreme sports and encouraging people to take part.
Barrett said: “The number of extreme sports in the Olympics is ever increasing and it won’t be long before kitesurfing is up there too.
“The plans are really exciting and we’re busy looking for other companies to come on board and support what we’re doing.”
n KITESURFING is described as an adventure water sport, combining the elements of wakeboarding, wind surfing, surfing, para-gliding – and even gymnastics.