the owner windsurfing in 1982

How it all began!

I learnt to windsurf in 1982 and spent every moment I could out on the water. Windsurfing at Pett Level in the snow! … and eventually going on windsurfing trips around the world. I became an instructor in 1984 and set up Rye Watersports in 1986. For many years I did all the teaching, apart from during uni holidays when my mate Charles ran lessons too. Our base was a caravan over the other side of the lake from where we are now. It was an amazing day when I moved across and had flushing loos and a telephone. No mobiles in 1986!
My four children, who were aged between 8 and 13 when we started out, were a massive help and quickly learnt to windsurf. They acted as caddies for people who abandoned boards on the windward shore and helped me pack up at the end of the day; loading the trailer with equipment which we had to take home every night as there was no storage. They all became instructors and did seasons at the lake, then travelled the world and lived abroad. Now they have all come home and given me 10 grandchildren.
The three eldest are windurf/kite instructors and apart from the youngest (7 months old) all love windsurfing and kitesurfing with a few dinghy enthusiasts thrown in.
It’s 2019 – 33 years on – I have a brilliant team at the lake with Steve doing an amazing job as Centre Manager. Rye Watersports is still my 5th baby! and my passion for windsurfing has never changed … but to the despair of some ‘dyed in the wool’ windsurfers, I do love kitesurfing too!
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