Penny Way, World Champion

Imagine you’re 17, growing up in St Mellion, coming to terms with teenage life and suddenly this new sport ‘floats’ your way.

To a layman, it looks like an ironing board, a broom handle and a sheet.  

To you, it’s a way of taking all that the elements can throw at you and riding it.

You start windsurfing, and so does the girl next to you.

She’s called Penny Way.  

She’s very good. She’s very, very good.

It doesn’t put you off as you strap the boards to the roofrack and hit the coast road in search of the wind, sometimes hitting 60mph once you get in the water.

Her career takes off and then, seemingly overnight, she’s world champion – your pal, best windsurfer on planet earth. 

She heads for the Barcelona Olympics in 82, inked in for gold. 

They all line up with identikit boards, Penny’s coasting it out in front then ‘timber!’ – her mast snaps in two. 

Stranded at sea, she curses her luck and waits for the rescue boat.

You cry for her.

She gets over it, marries a rower, moves inland and starts a family.

Her children both get her gift and daughter Emma bags the World & European titles by the time she’s 12.

Just think what would’ve happened if mum had started sooner?