The thrills and spills of windsurfing’s heyday on the Fylde coast

A mass windsurfing event at Cleveleys was hailed a success - despite cold, wet weather which dogged the holiday weekend, in May 1983.  About 200 amateur competitors braved waves which at timed were 8ft high to take part in a series of races, sponsored by Australian lager firm, Fosters.
A mass windsurfing event at Cleveleys was hailed a success - despite cold, wet weather which dogged the holiday weekend, in May 1983. About 200 amateur competitors braved waves which at timed were 8ft high to take part in a series of races, sponsored by Australian lager firm, Fosters.

Windsurfing has proved a popular past-time on the Fylde coast, not least in the latter half of the last century.

This week’s Memory Lane takes a look back through the archives and some black-and-white library photos of the sport in the area through the decades.

Windsurfing the Wyre Estuary in 1983

Windsurfing the Wyre Estuary in 1983

Windsurfing can be seen in the Wyre Estuary in 1983 and Fairhaven Lake, in 1987, and on Fleetwood Boating Lake, in 1982.

In May 1983, a mass windsurfing event at Cleveleys proved to be a success, despite cold, wet weather, which dogged the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. About 200 amateur competitors braved waves which at times were 8ft high to take part in a series of races, sponsored by Australian lager firm, Fosters.

And in August 1985, more than 40 windsurfing enthusiasts from across the North West converged on Fleetwood for two major events.

There was a 12-mile river race from Fleetwood to Skippool and back, in which Fleetwood club member Gregory Brooks emerged the winner – beating entries from Manchester, Morecambe, Lancaster and Windermere.

Fleetwood Windsurfing Club rescue boat, being launched in August 1985

Fleetwood Windsurfing Club rescue boat, being launched in August 1985

And the UK Board Sailing Association staged the North West Travellers Trophy the following day. There were 44 entries for the three races and Simon Keeler of the Fleetwood Club was overall winner.

Also pictured are 28 heat winners from a national windsurfing series held in Fleetwood, in 1984.

The event was sponsored by Captain Morgan Spice Rum, whose regional sales manager, Denis Bradshaw, is seen in the picture – fifth from the right on the second row.

Fleetwood Windsurfing Club rescue boat is shown on another photograph, being launched in August 1985.

Despite the mixed weather, more than 40 windsurfing enthusiasts from all over the North West converged on Fleetwood for two major event, in 1985

Despite the mixed weather, more than 40 windsurfing enthusiasts from all over the North West converged on Fleetwood for two major event, in 1985

Windsurfer on Fleetwood Boating Lake 1982

Windsurfer on Fleetwood Boating Lake 1982

The 28 heat winners from the national windsurfing series held in Fleetwood, in July 1984. The event was sponsored by Captain Morgan Spice Rum

The 28 heat winners from the national windsurfing series held in Fleetwood, in July 1984. The event was sponsored by Captain Morgan Spice Rum

Windsurfer in action on Fairhaven Lake, 1987

Windsurfer in action on Fairhaven Lake, 1987

Windsurfing in Fleetwood, in 1985

Windsurfing in Fleetwood, in 1985

Windsurfing on the Wyre, in May 1983

Windsurfing on the Wyre, in May 1983