Lancing windsurfer leads scheme to make West Sussex coast a water sports hub

Samantha Smithson from Lancing to lead the All On Board project
Samantha Smithson from Lancing to lead the All On Board project

An avid windsurfer from Lancing has been appointed leader of a project which seeks to put West Sussex’s coast on the map as an active water sports hub.

Samantha Smithson will lead the All On Board project, run by Coast West Sussex Partnerships, which seeks to grow water sports tourism, extend the season, help water sports businesses thrive and create new jobs.

Samantha is an all-round water sports enthusiast who is regularly seen out on the water anywhere between Hove and Worthing.

Starting out as an RYA windsurfing instructor, she eventually becoming became an instructor trainer and is also a BSUPA Paddleboard instructor who enjoys paddling when the wind is light. A co-owner of the Aqua Sports Company, an water sports centre in Surrey, she has over 20 years of water sports business experience.

Samantha said: “Since moving to Lancing last September, I have been on the lookout for a new project, so I am really excited to be taking on this role.

“I have been windsurfing this coastline – and more recently paddle boarding and surfing – for many years and feel passionately that we have a brilliant stretch of water with much to offer water sports devotees. This is a great opportunity to develop the region as a water sports visitor destination.”

The £340,000 All On Board project was awarded a £170,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund in August last year.

Caroline Wood, director of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, said: “It’s time to make coastal West Sussex the destination of choice for both new and seasoned water sports lovers.

“From kitesurfing, to diving, paddle boarding to kayaking, there’s already an incredible array of water-based sports available along our beautiful coastline.

“We were inundated with interested applicants and we’re delighted to welcome Samantha to lead the project and help us achieve our aims.”

Visit coastalwestsussex.org.uk for more information.

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