July 4th & 5th
8am – 8pm
Paddle Round the Pier, the world’s biggest free beach and water sports festival, is making a splash in Brighton this July once again! The weekend will be a blend of water-based activities, live music and on-land entertainment. Growing in popularity each year from the original Paddle Round the Pier in 1997, the event now attracts up to 55,000 visitors a year, but its mission remains the same: to “spread a little aloha spirit” on Brighton beach.
The first ‘Paddle’ was dreamed up in 1996 by a small group of surfers, led by Dave Samuel, who wanted to bring together the local surfing community and raise money for charity. This event was advertised by Dave skateboarding up and down the seafront armed with a sandwich board and megaphone. Over the years the festival has donated £200,000 to charity and hosted entrants from far and wide including Belgium, France, Brazil and Hawaii.
There are lots of records to be broken this year. The youngest participant to ever paddle a surfboard unaided round the pier was 5 year old Tyler Samuel in 2009. Flip Flop the dog has completed the most non-human paddles: on the front of a longboard, on a kayak and swimming solo!
The water-based events range from the athletic to the unusual. Firm favourites include the Pier to Pier races, and Paddle Something Unusual – a chance to get creative and join in the paddle on transport of your own invention. Meanwhile, back on land, there will be lots to get involved with including beach volleyball and a sandcastle competition.
Does your dog have impressive sausage-catching skills? There are plenty of chances to show off at the Bone Yard dog show each day between 1-3pm. Other categories include Fanciest Dresser and Baddest Bitch.
There will also be live music all weekend, from acts including The Jive Aces, who are back with a new album recorded in LA with multi-Grammy winner Buck Snow plus a Ukulele Stage and a Kids Stage with flamenco, circus workshops and more. The festivities will continue on Saturday night, with a ‘Mexican Fiesta Party’ from 8.30pm at The Big Beach Cafe, Hove. Children are welcome at this post-Paddle event, and ponchos are encouraged.
For a full programme of events click here.