Posted 11 July 2012 by Andrew Gardner
Blue flag beaches abound on the Sussex coast, from West Wittering all the way round to Hastings and beyond, and July is the month when holidaymakers start flocking towards the water in the hope that it's warm enough to swim. Some, of course, swim anyway whatever the weather and I take my hat off to this hardy bunch given the weather we have had! As a kid I used to take trips to Worthing in the school holidays and will always remember the white-haired gent who walked to the sea every morning, swam for five or ten minutes, stood on his head on the beach and then strode off. Even the shortest swim is worth the effort - just make sure you've got a nice warm towel and a flask of hot tea waiting! It's part of the great British seaside tradition, after all.
For those who don’t want to get quite so wet, though, the Paddle Round the Pier at Hove Lawns is the world's biggest free beach and watersports festival and alongside watersports it features street sports, live music and of course plenty of 'have a go' opportunities.
One of the most spectacular watersports is kitesurfing, and quite a few of our lovely Sussex beaches play host to some amazing displays of skill. I've never tried it, but on a windy day there's nothing quite so exhilarating as walking on the sand watching the daredevils skimming above the waves - and if it gets too blowy for comfort we spectators can always take refuge in a beachfront cafe.
Well, Worthing resident Lewis Crathern, who's internationally renowned for his kitesurfing skills - including pier-jumping - has organised the Big Air Open Kitesurfing Classic on Saturday, 14 July as part of the Olympic torch relay weekend. It's all about how high competitors can jump, so even if you're not taking part do go along and watch. If you love the water then one of our Sussex coast cottages is the perfect base, but a little further inland towards Arundel or Pulborough and the South Downs gives you the best of both worlds.