There's something about Lucy
Name: Lucy Robson
Home town: Brighton
Intro by the Editor
Lucy is no ordinary girl. I met her in Greece
this summer and was impressed with her planing
gybes, solid tacks and how she learnt to heli
tack in strong winds in less than a week.
Been sailing long? I asked. Since last summer,
she replied. What?!!! That’s just a year
ago! After a year of sailing I was struggling to
get the back foot in and wasn't even thinking about
So you sail full time? No, I work in Brighton,
I’m training to be a Solicitor. On no, this
is just getting worse, brainy as well. And next
year, she said, I’m going to compete. Oh
dear, I thought, my days as UK champ are numbered!
So I managed to drag her off the water for a
couple of hours and came up with a suggestion.
How about you write for the Boardseeker Online
Mag and we follow your progress over the next 12
months as you set out to conquer the worlds of
windsurfing and law?
Cool, she said. So without further ado, lets
hear from Lucy, in her first column, as she gives
you a very brief history of her windsurfing career.
I finished my law studies last year and was left
at a loose end with several months to spare. Uninspired
by the prospect of another English summer with no waves
and the inevitable bar job and ensuing unhealthy lifestyle
I decided on a European van adventure with my boyfriend
Armed with The Stormrider Guide and a couple of surf
boards I left Brighton on April 30 th 2003 to recreate
my own Endless Summer down the French, Portuguese
and Spanish coast lines (or as far as my budget would
permit!) Pat also packed his windsurf kit and promised
to show me "what all the fuss was about" if
I could drag myself away from my blue crush dreams
for a day.
Low and behold with Pat navigating, driving south
from Porto we came across this place called Foz de
Arelho where a sea inlet produced a shallow lake. "Perfect!",
he said. So with his 130 litre slalom board and a
4.2 I got learning the fundamentals - uphauling, planing,
harness, getting into the front strap and getting to
grips with the water start. Although before any of
you think this all sounds like a bit of a breeze there
were a lot of tears, tantrums, swearing and frustration!!
However the hands and body got tough and I was hooked!
After two weeks we moved on to Tarifa (I was assured
I was ready for the the High Wind Zone!!) . In pretty
nuclear conditions I learnt to get both feet in the
straps (out of necessity I might add) and would plane
away from the beach, crash and waterstart back again.
Thinking the time was definitely ripe for learning
to turn around I got chatting to this instructor -
Tony (Tatsy) Ford also in Tarifa on a windsurfing pit
stop to give me some lessons. I then spent June, July
and August racing the boys, crashing, catapulting and
creating general mayhem in the water!
After failing to convince my future employees to
give me a year out I reluctantly returned home in September
2003, to start my new placement at a Brighton law firm
as a Trainee Solicitor albeit fully equipped with the
beach bum look! The love affair remained passionate
over winter and I got a Fanatic Skate 90 and some new
Still reluctant to give in to the rigors of a 9-5
I got myself out practicing at every available opportunity
and upset the family at Christmas by going to Margarita
for 2 weeks where I worked on my carve gybing, tacking
and light wind tricks. After Christmas like everyone
else I fought with the numb hands and the UK weather
and realized that the only way to get better was to
spend every day of my meager 21 days holiday sailing
In March I went on the Boards test trip to Egypt
where I got to know Jem Hall and managed to almost
fully monopolize his time with the provision of top
tips! My gybes were now planing and my tacking on smaller
boards got better. I also started to jump and go for
On my return from Egypt, I bought my first wave board
- a Fanatic Goya 67 and went to Cornwall over Easter
to try it out in the waves! I got some great jumps
in and discovered going down the line.
In June this year I went to Prasonisi in Greece on
a Jem Hall clinic where I learnt to sail a lot faster,
heli tack and getting into freestyle.
What’s next? Well, I'm hoping to get some more
tricks under my belt, bigger jumps, wave stunts and
loops! Is this the time to mention my nickname is "Ding"??!
However, mindful of the fact I’ve only got seven
days left of holiday till December 2004 it had better
be a windy summer. In any event it will come as no
surprise to my mates that I am already concocting plans
to get a couple of overseas trips in before I finish
my Training Contract in September 2005 and should hopefully
be a fully qualified lawyer. The office can then take
a back step as I leg it to somewhere warm and windy
- coz it's all about priorities right?! Ill keep you
all posted in my new column!