THE founder of a wakeboarding firm has said he is devastated after the building was broken into.
South Coast H20, which is based near Hilsea Lido, was targeted by thieves.
The raiders broke into the building and stole two laptops and around £500 in cash.
The building was also severely damaged in the break-in.
Founder Scott Sullivan said: ‘I was gutted. It’s not been an easy road to open this.
‘We did a lot of work to convince the council to let us do this.
‘We do a lot of work within the community.
‘I feel gutted that someone has done this.
‘I have been working on this for three years and haven’t taken a penny from it.’
Mr Sullivan said the steel doors were damaged as the raiders broke in and that staff have spent a lot of time trying to make the building secure.
‘Now, the damage is so bad we are welding the shutters shut so we don’t have any windows any more,’ he said.
‘It’s nice and sunny outside but people have to come into a dark cabin.
‘Over the winter people have been volunteering to make the place nice and then people just break in.
‘It’s not very good for the club.’
Staff at South Coast H20 have been getting ready for the busy summer season just before the break-in happened.
‘It affects how the whole site is going to be,’ Mr Sullivan added.
‘We have got a good membership.
‘We have lots of people coming up to use it so we will bounce back, but it’s just disappointing that we are trying to do something good and then something like this happens.’
Wakeboarding is when a rider is towed behind a boat on a board and surfs the waves.
Anyone with any information should call PC Sarah Pope at Fratton Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.