The Rock: Watersports Festival at South Milton Sands returns for the third year running over the weekend 24 and 25 June. The festival aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to have a go at a wide range of activities, both on and off the water, at a long stretch of golden beach with a clear blue sea between Hope Cove and Bigbury in South Devon.
Supported by Devon Wildlife Trust, the RNLI and the Marine Conservation Society, the National Trust is working with a whole range of local businesses to put on an action-packed free family event, with taster sessions in paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and more.
Surfin’ Sam will be on hand to lead 15 minute tasters in paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing all weekend around the bay. Waterborn are encouraging a bit of competition with paddleboarding races for various abilities; and there will even be a giant 10-person paddleboard perfect for group outings on the water.
Visitors can join experienced instructor Kari Furre for open water swimming sessions, with options for different skill levels, across the weekend. They just need to grab their wetsuits, goggles and swimming hat and jump in. The National Trust rangers will be leading adventures in the reef for those who’d like to try snorkelling, looking out for creatures and learning about their habitats.
And, if all that fun has got people’s heart racing, they can join Simply Soulful Yoga on Sunday for a yoga experience like no other – balancing on a stand-up paddleboard.
Emma Reece, a National Trust ranger, explains: ‘We wanted to celebrate the local charities and businesses involved with South Milton Sands, bringing them all together in one place to offer a mixture of watersports and beach-based activities for families and those who love the coast.’
On the beach the rangers will offer families the chance to go rock pooling for more underwater wildlife spotting; and they will also run ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities including kite making, beach trails and pebble painting.
For the competitive, there will be beach sports including volleyball, ping pong, rounders and games; and for those looking to unwind, Simply Soulful Yoga will also be running sessions on the beach for those who’d prefer to execute their sun salutations on dry land.
National Trust Head Ranger Richard Snow is excited, saying ‘We started this event in 2015 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Trust’s Neptune campaign, and it was such a success that we expect this festival to continue growing year on year. We hope to welcome new faces along with familiar returning friends across the weekend.’
It is cash only for events on the beach, with small charges for activities ranging for £2 to £5. The car park is £5 for the day or free for National Trust members. There will be a barbecue provided by local Holsome Park Quality Meats; and refreshments, take away lunches and evening supper options are available at the Beachhouse café. For all watersports sessions children must be aged over 6 years.
(from a press release)