Caroline Radway at the Isle of Wight

Caroline Radway

I entered my first competition ‘accidentally’ on a trip to Ireland in 2002 – the PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix was on and I was basically press-ganged into entering! Shawna told me to ‘face your fears, don’t run away from them’ so I did! The first day was so exciting - I could not believe I was sailing around with the likes of Fransisco Goya and Daida Moreno, although in the end the event was windless and the rest of the week was spent chilling, so I didn’t get a PWA ranking, which would have felt a bit fraudulent anyway. I then went on to Tiree and the Isle of Wight and had a great time, pushing my sailing and generally being inspired by the other sailors.

I then took a break from windsurfing – I had been offered a job in the Italian Alps for the winter and after a huge amount of deliberation decided to give it a go. I thought I could always leave early and get to Maui in Feb, but it didn’t work out like that. I absolutely loved the season and the snowboarding and met my current boyfriend, who was a ski instructor. 10 days after the season had finished I was thrown into a proper job (eeek) and within a few months began a series of knee operations (of which I have one to go).

Name: Caroline Radway
Year of Birth: 1978
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 70kg
Hometown: London
Sailing since: 1997
Disciplines: Freewave
Best Results: 2nd Tiree Wave Classic 2002,
3rd Poole Freestyle Champs 2004,
5th Indoor Championships 2005.
Sponsors Specialised Sailing, 604 Distributions
(Fanatic / Arrows), Windsurfing Hawaii,

I eased myself back in to windsurfing in September 04, spending a couple of weeks at Moon Beach (where I used to work) and then almost immediately got back into Freewave comps, with the protection of my robo-copotic knee brace! My aim after the major op had been to enter the Indoors in 2005, which I did, but that was after having survived (and enjoyed!) Poole, Tiree and Rhossie. I was pleased to be back in action, although I have been taking it easy and focusing on getting my confidence back, rather than worrying about winning. I still have a way to go on that – you have to rehab the head as well as the injury site and my knee has been an issue for as long as I have windsurfed, as I injured it in the Army in 97. As soon as the final op is over in March 05 I can concentrate on getting back to full fitness and top form (for me, anyway!) and then work on improving my waveriding and nailing those forwards and vulcans!

I work full time in London, as a management consultant for a big firm, but head down south (or west if I’m lucky!) most weekends to sail. I take leave for comps and focus on the locations I like the most, such as Tiree, Ireland, Rhossie, to make the most of my annual leave.

As I don’t get to sail as much I would like I don’t want to take it all too seriously. My attitude is quite different from a lot of the other sailors – they want to be the best, whereas I just do it to be my best and push myself as far as I can (too much yoga, maybe?!). I don’t mind being beaten so long as I think that the sailor who beat me is actually a better sailor and that I sailed as well as I could – if I have not done myself justice then I am hacked off. I don’t see not winning as losing as in my view it’s a win-win situation. I am loving the experience and it’s great to hang out and go sailing with girls who are on your wavelength and inspire you to improve and push your limits. And the rush of adrenaline when you go out for a heat and sail in gnarly conditions you might otherwise pass up must be addictive. In my view, it is all good - hopefully I will get some good results this year, but more importantly I want to keep challenging myself so that my sailing gets better and I keep on loving it!

I would like to thank Bob, at Specialised Sailing near Calshot, for all his support - he sorted me out with sponsorship when my leg was in � cast and I was on crutches with no immediate prospect of sailing! He also does awesome deals on kit, so give him a call before you buy anything as I bet he will do it cheaper! And a mention to Ian Kraft who runs Team SurfKraft of which I am a team rider – his enthusiasm and commitment to the sport is awesome and I am pleased to be on the team.