PICTURE GALLERY: Bigger than ever - Hunstanton Lifestyles Festival launches with new main sponsor Norfolk Green

Surfing, kiting, biking, skating, kayaking, parkour, street dance, bands - they're all on their way to Sunny Hunny again this summer, as the coast plays host to East Anglia's top extreme sports fest. With a new sponsor on board, organisers say this year's event will be the biggest yet.

Not just bigger, but greener too. For the new main sponsor unveiled at the launch of Lifestyles Festival today is Norfolk Green - the King's Lynn-based bus company which runs the Coasthopper.

As well as carrying getting on for half a million passengers up and down the coast between Lynn and Cromer this year, Norfolk Green hopes festival goers will hop on the hopper and leave their cars behind.

Rob Bennett, commercial manager with Norfolk Green, said the Lifestyles logo and festival branding would appear on two of its buses - between them seen by thousands of people a day as they travel around King's Lynn, the coast and as far afield as Norwich.

'The Lifestyles Festival attracts thousands of people to the resort each year, which is fantastic for tourism and trade in the area,' he said.

'For us it's the green credentials of the event itself, getting cars off the road and helping people get to the event.'

A connection between King's Lynn railway station and the Coasthopper service means festival-goers can travel by train from anywhere in the country and catch a connecting bus to Hunstanton.

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'It's a perfect marriage for us,' said Tony Devenish, sports development officer with West Norfolk council and the event's main organiser. 'Trying to get people here in a green way ties in with the whole ethos of the event.

'From humble beginnings back in 2005, the event has attracted tens of thousands of people to Hunstanton and it's a firm fixture on the extreme sports competition calendar, with not one but two national competitions.'

Lifestyles is as much about having a go yourself as watching other people. For one or two, the festival has been a springboard to greater things.

Most 16-year-olds look forward to college, sixth form or finding a job when they leave school.

But Danielle Durrant will be going where the wind takes her - literally.

For the Smithdon High School pupil is set to become a pro kitesurfer when she finishes her exams in a few weeks' time.

Danielle and her sister Chloe, 14, who come from Docking, learned power kiting on Hunstanton Beach.

Danielle landed a sponsorship deal with a kite company after she became UK Amateur Ladies Champion kitesurfer last year.

'I want to go pro and set up my own kitesurfing school,' said Danielle, who was trained by instructors at Hunstanton Watersports.

She'll be taking part in kitesurfing events at Lifestyles - where her sister showed the rest the way home last year.

'I won last year's ladies amateurs,' said Chloe. 'After we come back from competitions there's always this friendly banter.'

Dereham-based windsurfer Steve Chatten - who first took to the water before Danielle and Chloe were born - came third in his class against top boarders last year.

Mr Chatten said when he started out, there was little in the way of coaching.

'You went to a lake, borrowed the gear and taught yourself,' he said. 'It's one of those sports where you never stop learning.'

Mr Chatten surfs for QWS - Dereham-based Quayside Windsurfers - who'll be pitting local talent against some of the UK's top names.

QWS's Nikki Ford said the firm would also be bringing along kit for anyone who fancied trying their hand.

The surf scene isn't just about kites and boards. VW camper vans have been the chosen mode of transport since the Beach Boys.

'I first got into Volkswagens when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I saw all the Herbie films,' said road worker Andy Bodsworth, from Downham Market - who owns a 67 split-screen called Freya. 'I got my first one when I was 16.'

Mr Bodsworth goes away in Freya most weekends. Come July, he'll be joining the sizeable squadron of VWs that now attends Lifestyles, providing a quaint four-wheeled festival fringe.

So will Will Rockliffe, who also hails from Downham and drives a VW camper.

'I ended up working on friends' vans and Beetles and decided I'd get one myself for going to festivals,' he said.

Some prefer something slightly more energetic than pootling up the A10 at 50mph. Some take it to extremes, like the King's Lynn Free Runners - who were showing off some of their moves on the beach.

KLFR member and College of West Anglia sports student Jamie Finney, 19, said: 'We'll be doing jumps, vaults, tricks, swinging and some amazing stunts. We came last year and it was amazing - there were loads of people.'

John Knowles, from Downham Market-based Highline Adventures, said he'd be bringing a climbing wall and other adventure kit along in July.

'We like to get people outdoors and away from their computers,' he said.

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