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Name: Adam Harvey
Favourite Sport: Surfing / Sailing / Any water sport!
Favourite Food: Anything home grown / caught
Favourite Quote: You can’t fail if you never give up.
When asked to talk about your life it is hard to know where to start, but I will give it a shot! I was born in the small island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands (in the English Channel) which has its ups and downs, but more about that later. My dad comes from Guernsey but met my mum in England when he was working in the Navy; they lived in England for a few years but eventually settled down here in Guernsey.
On this small island we call home they managed to raise 6 children (5 boys and 1 girl) with me being the youngest. I like to think I had a good childhood, spending the majority of my time outside building dens, exploring the island, and of course, in the sea. I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t have an undying love for the ocean, and I can’t see this love for the sea ever fading. Some of my earliest memories are bodying boarding with my family on a hot summers day, rock pooling, snorkelling, climbing, kayaking… I could go on, but I think you get the picture!
Aged 7 is when my love for surfing started turning into more of what can only be described as an obsession, I wanted to be in the sea surfing every minute of every day, I could not get enough of it! I rode a mixture of crafts; from surfboards to surf kayaks, so long as I was riding a wave I didn’t care what I was on. When I come to think of it, it is very much the same now. Some people get so caught up in the type of craft you are riding, you see people causing so much agro just because you maybe riding something slightly different to them, be it longer, shorter, a kayak, a SUP… I think who cares, if you are having fun and not causing danger or getting in peoples way then there is no problem, and if you can rip on your chosen craft, even better!
Due to my brother’s influence, at the age of 11 I started focusing more on my surf kayaking, using it more frequently and with more focus. I would still jump on a board a few times a month, but I could see myself making steady improvements with my surf kayaking and wanted to see how far I could go. Aged 13 I entered my first surf kayak competition in Widemouth, Devon. I remember it vividly; it was cold, wet, and blowing a gale. The waves were big and onshore, but unfortunately for me there was no reserve date for the competition, so it was now or never! Battling my way through, what seemed to be at the time, huge waves, I managed to make my way outback. I didn’t win, in fact far from it, but what I did get was a buzz for competition and a new born motivation to go home, train, improve, and come back fighting.
As I was too young to drive, and for some reason my parents weren’t all too keen on the 4am starts I decided to take matters into my own hands and, with the help of my dad, build myself a trailer for my bike. This was a huge break through for me, I finally had independence, I could surf when and where I wanted. No more looking at my watch. No more late (well by late I mean 7am!) starts. I don’t think I have ever been so keen in my life, looking back now I am not sure I could do what I did back then. I remember some days where I would wake up at 3.30am, cycle down to the beach in the rain and wind, surf for 6 hours, cycle back home, eat, cycle back to the beach, 4 hours surfing, cycle home, eat, cycle, surf, sleep… then the next day do it all again. Once I was so tired I passed out while standing chatting with my friends, I just didn’t know when enough was enough!
Aged 16 was a big year for me. It was the surf kayak world championships in Portugal and after years of training hard, sometimes too hard, I was ready and determined! I drove down with a few other surf kayakers from Guernsey, which turned out to be a bit eventful with some French guy trying to hijack us on the way down!
I had some tough heat draws throughout the event, but somehow managed to come on top each time, which gave me a much needed confidence boost. Before I knew it I found myself sat in the final of the junior category. It was a tough, and very close heat. I was against an Irish kayaker, Corin King, who was not going to let it be easy. I think it came down to a few paddle battles for the best waves, but somehow, to my amazement, I won! Stoked is an understatement. On top of that I grabbed myself 7th in the open event!
It was after this event where my sponsors gave me a waveski, and my surf kayak career very much slowed down as I instantly took a liking to wavesking. It seemed to be more convenient without a spray deck and much more responsive on the wave. It was also at this time where I went to Sixth Form to study for my A-levels, however trying to fit in waveskiing, surfboarding, spearfishing, and anything else that took my fancy as well as A-levels was a big ask. It was safe to say I had a very healthy work life balance. In-fact it was very much one sided, but I will leave you to figure out which side!
One of the rare days at home where I could get a good session without a crowd.
Somehow, I managed to pass my A-levels and before I knew it I was off to University to study to become a primary teacher. The location of the university was however of up most importance to me and I came up with a highly logical way to chose my university. Google Maps… which ever university was closest to a decent surf break would be the one, so it looked like I was spending three years in Scarborough. It was freezing cold, dark winters, and even darker water, however some of the waves I had access to were unbelievable, allowing me to push my surfing even further.
I continued to surf board and waveski as much as I could, which turned out to be an awful lot so long as I had access to enough coffee and warm showers! I continued to enter some smaller national competitions, both in surf boarding and wavesking.
I spent a lot of my time exploring the area, finding new waves with no crowds.
During my time at university I starting dabbling with graphic and web design as another means for some extra income to afford the ever-growing list of surf trips that I wanted to go on. I eventually decided to make an online magazine for surf kayaking and wavesking, which is when Paddle Surf Magazine was born (keeping me far busier than I had ever planned it too!). This project was an invaluable experience, teaching me so much about graphic design, marketing, advertising, and business.
Before I knew it my time living life up as a student was over and I was back in Guernsey working as a primary school teacher in a nice little school in our main town. Although a lot of my time is now taken up due to work commitments, I still manage to find the time to keep up a good level of surfing. So much so that in the summer of 2016 I entered the waveskiing world championship, once again in Portugal, where I placed 2nd for my age and 9th overall.
It is over the last few years living back home where my passion for sailing developed and rapidly grew. I was lucky enough to start regularly crewing on yacht races in order to gain as much experience as possible. I am now sailing as much as I can, frequently exploring Guernsey on a Drascombe which we have been let loose on! There is something that you just cannot beat about cruising on the sea, away from reality, with some amazing people.
It was by having these experiences where our plan to explore the world on a yacht developed. The thought of sailing the world surfing, spearfishing, kayaking, SUPing, and anything else we can get our teeth into makes me ecstatic. We would also love to give something back to the world, helping those who were not fortunate enough to have, what I see, as a very fortunate life. Be it by teaching someone to surf, to teaching somewhere where education is not a right.
Planning is well underway, so watch this space!