These photographs are Copyright Greg Hilton 1995,1996,1997. Downloading for personal use is unrestricted. If you wish to include them in either an electronic or paper publication, please contact me for permission.
I first hit the water here, with school. I mostly sailed a Laser dinghy. However it soon became apparent that windsurfing was much more fun than dinghy sailing! I later returned here with my first ever short board, as the wind seemed cleaner, and due to a large wall, you could get flat water at one end, and chop near the other!
The water here seemed cleaner, and the lake was only chest deep in most places, making it an ideal place to learn to waterstart. I traded in the Laser for a Red Marlin. This was a heck of a heavy beast, but it allowed me to learn the basics, getting into waterstarts, footstraps and harness. I also managed to muck around with freestyle when the wind was light, as the picture shows. The main problem with sailing here is the two islands you can see from the picture. The islands create some fun wind shadows! This lake is just off the A565 near Southport centre, and next to beach. You can sail on the sea here, but watch the tides, as they go out for miles!
I then purchased a second hand Fanatic Hot Rat, 295cm. The first time I used it was on an inland sea on the island of Anglesey. The inland sea is a great place to try out a short board, it's no more than waist deep, warms pretty quickly and you can't get washed out to sea! Near the inland sea is Trearddur Bay, this is me in the foreground on the Fanatic with a 5.6m Tushingham sail I borrowed off a local guy, which was very decent of him! The bay is pretty safe, doesn't get many waves , but I enjoyed it, as one of my first forrays onto the sea.
Whilst on Anglesey a year or so later, we went to Rhosneigr. This is a great location, in a horse-shoe shaped bay. It gets waves, big waves, and clean wind. Depending where you launch you can get varying sizes of waves, and also flatter areas behind the rocks in the horse-shoe. By now I was on my trusty, and current board, an F2 Sunset Slalom. Here I am riding the waves in with a 4.5m Tushingham
Then I moved over to Yorkshire, where there's not much sea! I did the majority of my sailing on Pugney's Country Park. The picture is me waterstarting with a 6.5m Fanatic sail, still with my Sunset slalom. Pugney's is around 1/2 mile long. There's a manned rescue boat there, and it get's very popular during the summer, with dinghy's, canoes and windsurfers for hire. To get there exit the M1 at junction 39 and follow signs for Wakefield. Turn right at the roundabout and your there!
Last year (1995) whilst on holiday in Tenerife, I was very lucky to be there whilst the PBA Tour arrived. We were at the beach on practise day, and Robbie Nash and Jason Polokow were hanging around, chatting to people, and waiting for their kit. I managed to grab a couple of minutes with them. Here's me with Robby and also with Jason. It was excellent weather, strong winds and good waves. Eventually the good guys went out to practise, here's Nick Baker pulling off a table top.
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