POLLY CRATHORNE

Kitesurfing has become a family "thing" in the Crathorne household. All of us (younger sister, older sister, mum AND dad) love nothing more than a kiting adventure. My father was in the Special Forces, meaning family walking expeditions in Wales were not uncommon when we were growing up (actually, we are still growing up). I started off as an artistic gymnast, after it was decided by my dance teacher that 'ballet wasn't for me'. After several years competing in floor and vault I became a gymnastics coach, aged 15. And I have been earning money from this for kite trips ever since!!!

I started competing at freestyle events when I was 14. In 2012 I competed for the first time in the pros and became British Freestyle Champion -pretty surreal. Since then I have competed at several European event stops and came 4th overall on the Kiteboard Tour Asia. I see competing as an important way to get inspired and motivated to progress. I often think of one of my dad's mottos - "pain is a sensation and a sensation is to be enjoyed"! 

"Training" has taken our family to some pretty remote kiting locations all over the world, with mum as our tour guide and travel guru. The classic Crathorne trip is one with wind, sea, desert and a couple of tents. We also love to travel around the UK in our 'Kite RV' seeking out new spots and attending the BKSA events. My inherent taste for adventure means I am always thinking of the next challenge or expedition. In 2010 I became the youngest person to kitesurf across the English Channel, while my sister and I were the first women. With our only support being our friend driving with Mum in a boat, and a compass glued (the wrong way around) to my Dad's board. We made the crossing in less than perfect conditions, dodging ships in the Dover Straits - the busiest shipping lane in the world, and avoiding the French customs officials. Another adventure is in the works.. 

See you on the water!




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