Determination and Training with Wavesailor Lucas Meldrum
Lucas Meldrum is not your typical 18-year-old. He competes in a Windsurfing category called Wavesailing, where height, quality and length of their wave ride are the only thing that matters. Lucas has taken the sporting world by storm, competing and winning events both at home and internationally. House of Beyond recently caught up with the rising star.
HOB: Good Morning Lucas, welcome to the House of Beyond.
LM: Morning, It’s nice to be here.
You won the Junior British Wavesailing Championship in 2016 and took the Men’s amateur title in 2017. And you hold the title as the youngest athlete in the UK pro-fleet with the rank of 9th. What do you think explains your rapid rise in the sport?
I think the main reason I’ve done well is because I try and get out as much as I can back here at home. Even when the conditions are average or not very good at all, I try to get out because in the competitions the wind can drop or pick up, so I’m better able to perform in a range of different conditions, compared to other people who might only sail when it’s good.
I think that’s benefited me a lot when I have encountered tricky conditions in the competitions. That, and also I don’t feel too much pressure, so I can go out there and have fun!
I see that you’re competing in the international event in the Canaries this year. The sea off Brighton is so different to conditions there, how has your training gone this season?
As you say, the conditions in the canaries are pretty extreme. There are 50 mph winds, so the equipment you use is very different. It’s a lot smaller and the way you sail is different as well.
The way to train for it is to build up strength. I’ve just started a programme with a trainer, Matt Dickens, who specialises in extreme sports. He’s trained a few snowboarding athletes.
The conditions in the canaries are pretty extreme, there are 50 mph winds…
I do two strength sessions a week, focusing on overall body strength, using weights and different exercises at home. Followed by a rowing session which is 10 minute intervals to build muscular endurance.
I also incorporate running sessions and trunk sessions, which focuses on increasing core body strength. I also focus on hip mobility and back mobility as you need to be flexible in the manoeuvres. I’m hoping my extra training is going to really benefit me when I go out to compete and that I feel strong and confident.
Wavesailing is a technically challenging sport, what motivates you to keep heading out into those waves?
We’ve got some pretty good sailors down here. So when you go out and they are in front of you and they do some big tricks, that really pushes me to try and go for it more. Videos from others around the world pushing themselves also makes me want to raise my game to be better.
The competitions are the best way to really push yourself because you have some of the top guys in the world competing and you’ve got nothing to lose in the heats, so you have to go big.
Windsurfing can be quite a solitary sport; do you find yourself talking out there on the waves?
[Laughs] I’ve heard myself sing. When I look back on the GoPro footage I can hear myself.
Any particular tunes?
Not really. There are a lot of things going on around you so you’re not just floating around.
As the only UK competitor for the PWA junior world cup this year do you feel the pressure?
I think I feel more pressure in the UK events because I feel in the junior events I know the standard is super high so I’m just going out there to enjoy myself. Here, though I really want to do it as best as I can. I’d rather do well on the British tour than the international tour.
I’m not really a morning person
A lot of athletes speak of the immense performance benefits of waking up at 5am. Do you have such a programme?
[Laughs] I’m not really a morning person. When I wake up early, I do find it very beneficial. Maybe I should try and do it more for sure. Sleep in general is really important. As my trainer says you should go to bed at a good time and wake up naturally. You should not force your body to get up. If you wake up just lie in bed for a couple of hours obviously it’s not so good.
What would you say to anyone beginning this sport?
You have to stay determined. You have to stay at it and you will see the benefits after a while. I think what’s really great is that you can always progress. You won’t reach a point where you have to stop. With windsurfing there’s always a challenge you can go for. To motivated people, it’s a really good thing. Being out there, in the midst of nature, you don’t think of anything else, so it’s a good way to get away from everything.
Will we be seeing you at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020?
That’s a funny one. Olympic windsurfing is a bit of a gimmick unfortunately. It’s not really windsurfing. They use very strange equipment. It would be nice to see wavesailing in the Olympics, because I know they are bringing in surfing.
Cheers Lucas. Goodluck with the season…
To find out more or to get behind Lucas visit his site or check out his Facebook