Ross Williams standing against a wall with his windsurfer on the Isle of Wight

Inspirational Islanders: Ross Williams, Windsurfer

Ross Williams grew up on the Island where his family owned Wight Water, a watersports centre in Sandown Bay which is now run by his brother.

It was here that he spent most summers learning to windsurf. What started as a hobby grew into a full-time career and Ross has been competing on the world tour and other international events for over 20 years. He has won two world titles, three European titles and has consistently been inside the top five on the world tour.

“I have always loved the Isle of Wight, it has lots of little secret places that, if you know when to visit them, can be as beautiful as any place I have visited during my career. The Island sparks creativity in you and if you have the drive and passion to do what you love then anything is possible. I think the Island often draws people back because you realise the appeal of an ‘island lifestyle’.

My fondest memories from growing up here are the warm summer days, cycling over the Ventnor Downs into Shanklin and along to Wight Water. I would then spend all day at the beach, fishing, enjoying watersports, playing football on the sand, eating ice cream and then cycling home being super excited to do it all again the next day.

The Isle of Wight has provided world-class windsurfing conditions and is a great natural classroom for many water-based activities. I now have the opportunity to be able to give something back to the Island through my experiences. Together with my brother at Wight Water, we want to inspire locals and visitors to get out into the water as it can offer not just a way of keeping your body healthy, it’s brilliant for mental health – there is nothing better when you’re feeling stressed out than to jump in the water as a way to clear your mind.

My wife and I also run Tradewinds Beach Café, which is next door to the water sports centre. It offers a relaxing beach vibe, tasty food and great coffee so that you’re able to relax and unwind after throwing yourself in the water.”

You can follow Ross on Instagram at @williamsgbr83.




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