Kite surfers will need £20 permit to ride the waves in Poole Harbour

By Diana Henderson

FLYING HIGH: A kite surfer in Sandbanks

ALL kite surfers enjoying their sport in Poole Harbour will now have to pay £20 a year to do so.

Following months of consultation with the kite surfing community and others, Poole Harbour Commissioners has introduced a kite surfing permit scheme.

It came into force on March 28 from when all kite surfers must have a valid permit displayed when they ride the waves in Poole Harbour.

The greater regulation is aimed at improving safety in a sport whose popularity has increased along with a larger number of accidents, say PHC.

Over the years PHC has opted for an educational and support approach, which included regular meetings with kite surfers, being involved in setting up Poole Kite Surfing Club and creating a code of practice.

PHC says this went some way to improving the safety of the sport, however over recent years increased popularity has led to more accidents.

Harbour master, Captain Brian Murphy said: “Thank you to all those who have supported this process and have provided positive and constructive feedback.

“The sport will be monitored carefully going forward and it is hoped that together we can ensure the activity is as safe as possible.”

The move comes after months of consultation with the kite surfing community, the British Kite Sports Association, Borough of Poole, Natural England and the RNLI.

Whitley Lake is extremely popular with sailboarders and kite surfers and the shallow water makes it an ideal place to learn.

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh with a broken hand.

The 22-year-old has returned home to the UK with a fractured right hand after he punched a locker following his dismissal during England’s T20 win over the West Indies on Thursday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed that Stokes will play no part in the global tournament as he recovers from the injury.

Chris Woakes has been called up as his replacement.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is “excited” by the start of the new Formula 1 season, which opens with the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Hamilton said that his team are more prepared for the new season than ever before and that they should be in the hunt for the championship come the end of the 2014 campaign.

“I’m excited about the new season not just as a driver but as a fan,” quotes Hamilton as saying. “As a fan, you want to see overtaking throughout the field, you want to see different race winners, you want to see the championship go down to the wire. I hope that the changes for this year will make that happen.

“I think we’re as ready as we can be for Melbourne and I’m more fired up than ever. With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that’s been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we’re capable of.”

Hamilton’s rival Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was less than enthusiastic about his team’s chances.

England will field the same starting side that defeated Wales when they take on Italy in their crucial Six Nations clash on Saturday.

The starting XV who secured a 29-18 victory over their Welsh rivals last Sunday will line up in Rome, with only one change being made on the replacements’ bench.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has replaced Saracens full-back Alex Goode with Leicester Tigers’ Manu Tuilagi, who has missed the entire campaign so far with a torn pectoral muscle.

“It’s great to be able to name an unchanged 15 and we have been able to achieve consistency of selection from a very competitive squad this campaign,” said Lancaster.

“The Wales result was very significant for us but we need to finish the tournament well in Rome. We have had a tight turnaround and the key this week has been to manage the players’ recovery and get them in the best shape for what will be a tough match against Italy.”

England can clinch the championship if they beat Italy and France secure victory over Ireland, otherwise England will need to overturn a points difference of 49 between themselves and Ireland.

England team to play Italy:Brown; Nowell, Burrell, Twelvetrees, May; Farrell, Care; Marler, Hartley, Wilson, Launchbury, Lawes, Wood, Robshaw (C), Morgan
Replacements: Youngs, Vunipola, Thomas, Attwood, Johnson, Dickson, Ford, Tuilagi

Li Na booked her spot in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells by recording a 6-1 6-4 success over Aleksandra Wozniak.

Despite the one-sided scoreline in the first set, Li was forced to save two break points to deny her Canadian opponent the opportunity to keep up with her in the opener.

The top seed secured two breaks of serve on her way to taking the lead in the fourth-round meeting.

Both players struggled for control on serve in the second set and Li fell behind early on as Wozniak started to make life difficult for her rival.

However, the 26-year-old was unable to prevent Li from fighting back to steal the advantage thanks to two breaks of serve.

Wozniak delayed the seemingly inevitable by somehow saving 10 match points, but she failed to produce one final moment of drama as Li claimed the victory to set up a quarter-final against Dominika Cibulkova, who beat Petra Kvitova earlier in the day.

Surfing on Bournemouth seafrontThe artificial reef will host the Surf Festival in September

Europe’s first artificial surf reef has reopened three years after it was closed over safety fears.

The £3.2m structure in Boscombe, Dorset, had to be shut in 2011 after sandbags were damaged by a boat’s propeller.

It forms part of Bournemouth’s new Coastal Activity Park which includes a multi-sports arena.

Mark Smith, from Bournemouth Borough Council, said he was “delighted” the reef was operational again.

Made of 55 giant sand-filled bags 740ft (225m) out at sea, the reef opened in November 2009 after lengthy delays.

The firm that built the structure, New Zealand-based ASR Ltd, went into liquidation, but the council received £306,531 from its insurers after a two-year wait to fix the damage.

Safety checks

The artificial reef will be used primarily for snorkelling activities for families until the surfing season starts, the council said.

It will host the Surf Festival in September.

Mr Smith, who is director of tourism at the council, added: “We’ve had the right checks after the damage was done.

“We’ve had [civil engineers] HR Wallingford check it out for the currents and now we’re absolutely sure it’s safe to use again.

“Most of the summer is calm and not suitable for surfing… we’ll have the surfers able to use it when the conditions are right.”

The 1 mile (1.5km) activity park between Alum Chine and Southbourne features a sporting events site and a dinghy park.

The total cost of the park, including repairs to the reef and safety checks, was £700,000.

Funding was assisted by a £254,000 grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

LlandudnoStuart Wickes, The Family Adventure Project

Coastline clear-up at Boscombe beach to tackle marine litter

Volunteers gather at Boscombe Pier to take part in a beach clean

SURF’S up and the sun’s out – so it was gloves on for a team of hard-working volunteers determined to clear the coastline.

Around 40 people gathered at Boscombe Pier on Saturday to litter-pick along the beach as part of the nationwide Big Spring Beach Clean 2014, launched by Surfers Against Sewage.

The event was organised by Boscombe Green Community Fair Steward Team, with Karen Ralph taking the reins.

She said: “It’s so important to keep our beaches nice and clear of rubbish. We want people to be able to go and enjoy themselves without having to worry what they might be sitting next to.”

Volunteers formed two lines to comb the stretch of sand between the pier and cliff lift at Fishermans Walk.

Among those participating in the clean-up was Katherine Hall and her six-month-old baby Oshyn, pictured inset.

She said: “It’s great to take care of these things, and it just makes it so much nicer.”

Emma Johnson brought son Ollie, three, along for the day.

“We even brought him his own gloves,” she said.

Around 150 beach cleans happened across the UK at the weekend to help tackle marine litter.

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Thanks to Ceri for news of this free event taking place next Monday (31st). Ed

Join us for another eclectic line-up of great music from some of the best up and coming songwriters from the Island and beyond. The line up for March is:

Penny Churchill
Penny is a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from the Island. She picked up her first acoustic guitar at the age of 9 and started writing her own material when she was only 12. Her favourite era of music is the 70’s and her sound has been likened to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. Her song writing and stage presence have a maturity that belie her youth; definitely one to watch.

Hailing from Bournemouth, Willowen is an Indie-Quirk Folk trio with a harmony-fuelled, surf vibe and a folky twist. Recently described as a mixture of folk and Fleetwood Mac, they have shared a stage with the likes of KT Tunstall, Paul Heaton (The Beautiful South/Housemartins) and The Moulettes. We’re really pleased to welcome them to the Island for the first time.

Cherishport has been taking the local scene by storm with his unconventional acoustic set, playing everywhere from festival stages to garden parties. Cherisport has been gaining the attention of music fans across the south coast with his alternative approach to acoustic guitar, layering vocal harmonies and rhythmic guitar using a loop pedal – an exciting live performer.

Claydon Connor Band
Claydon has an instant stage presence, engaging his audiences with his obvious enthusiasm and enjoyment of playing live. His music always tells a story and is a perfect blend of roots Americana, with a hint of classic English pop, combining all his influences to create a sound that is both honest and infectious. Hot on the heels of the release of his new single, ‘The Kind of Man I Am’, Claydon will be treating us to a live set with support from a full band of talented musicians.

The Golden Strands
A four-piece from local shores, The Golden Strands are known for their punchy sound carried by Rosie’s impressive vocal. Their incredible live set for us at Kashmir Café at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2013 moved The Independent to describe our stage as the ‘festival’s beating heart’. Now signed to Nice and Spicy Records, their 11-track self-titled album (recorded and produced right here on the Island at Skinny Mammoth Studios) is available on iTunes.

Entry to Quay Arts for Acoustic Originals on Monday 31st March is free and everyone is welcome, doors and bar is from 7pm with live performances from 8pm. For more information please call the Box Office on 01983 822490.

Image: © Tippers

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View the location of this story in Newport, England, United Kingdom.

Charlotte Furness-Smith died after becoming trapped in Tilly Whim cave last year

By Jane Reader

Inquest to begin into death of Charlotte Furness-Smith who became trapped in Tilly Whim cave

A TERRIFIED woman who died in a sea cave tragedy screamed ‘get me out of here’ as a brave attempt was made to rescue her in stormy conditions.

Royal Navy reservist Charlotte ‘Buffy’ Furness-Smith was heard pleading for help after being swept into the Tilly Whim caves near Swanage on November 2 last year during bad weather.

But despite the efforts of a hero volunteer Coastguard who risked his life climbing into a narrow blowhole to try and reach her, the 30-year-old could not be saved.

Her devastated brother, 31-year-old Alex, told a Bournemouth inquest into her death he had tried desperately to help her.

The siblings had travelled to Dorset to kite-surf, but decided to coasteer instead because of the bad weather.

Alex said he was “tossed upside down underwater” after they were dragged into the cave together, and seized the opportunity to raise the alarm when he could.

He added: “The only option was for one of us to try to get out and get help.

“I decided I would go out and try to get help rather than risk both of us getting smashed against the rocks.”

He reassured his sister before swimming out of the cave.

“She said she couldn’t bear not knowing if something had happened to me,” he said.

“I said she should be able to see me going out, and if I did get into danger she’d have a second chance of getting out. I asked her to stay put. I thought that was the safest thing to do.”

Coastguard officer Ian Bugler volunteered to be lowered through a narrow blowhole at the top of the cave to try and reach Charlotte.

Winchman paramedic Adrian Rogers told the inquest Mr Bugler was “thrown around as if in a stone washing machine”.

Tragically, despite his efforts, it was too late.

Mr Bugler said: “I decided I was going into the hole to attempt the rescue. The cave was very dark and murky.

“She was being thrown around in the water and was face down being thrown against the ledge. At this point I was satisfied that she had died.

“I was bashed about by the waves. I was getting very concerned for my own safety. Eventually I was pulled up.”

His father, Andrew Bugler, also a volunteer coastguard, said the decision for Ian to be lowered into the cave was taken because the team believed they could save Charlotte.

“I could hear her screaming ‘get me out of here’. She was terrified.”

Russell Thompson of coasteering company Cumulus Outdoors said: “I would never have thought about getting into the water on that day.”

He added that he and a colleague had been “weather-watching” and said the area might be suitable on “a flat, calm day for someone with coasteering experience”.

Charlotte, a maths teacher from London, was an engineering graduate and former Royal Navy reservist. She was a strong swimmer.

Although her body was never recovered, Coroner Sheriff Payne applied for permission from the Chief Coroner in London to conduct inquiries.

The inquest continues.

Updates live from the inquest here

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