Bereaved family of Waterlooville windsurfer hunt for her hand-painted sails sold to fund her passion

WINDSURFER Lisa Furlong from Waterlooville competed all around the world before her death in 2004 – now her family are hoping to track down the hand-painted sails that she sold to fund her pursuit.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 1:55 pm
Lisa Furlong painted more than half a dozen windsurfing sails to sell and fund her passion. Picture: Jamie Furlong

Lisa, who attended the Portsmouth College of Art in the late 1970s, left an internship at IBM to compete professionally in 1979 after winning a national championship series.

She would go on to compete in Hawaii, Egypt, Greece, and Australia, selling hand-painted windsurfing sails to fund her travel expenses.

But after she died of cancer at the age of 44 in 2004, Lisa’s family were left without a single example of her artwork to keep as a memento.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lisa Furlong, with her daughter Zoe and son Jamie, shortly before she died in 2004.

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth's museums and schools band together to address 'neglect' of black his...

Now, her two children Jamie, 26, and Zoe, 22, have embarked on a mission to find out what happened to the special sails.

Jamie, who lives in West Wittering, said: ‘We have just six photos of different sails, but we have not been able to get a clear number. But it seems she sold a number of others that weren’t photographed.

‘We don’t even know how much they were sold for.

The family have been left without any of Lisa's painted sails. Picture: Jamie Furlong

‘I know some people will have probably formed attachments to them, so even if they are just willing to let us see it when Covid is over, and keep us in mind if they are thinking of selling it, we would really appreciate that.’

The family have contacted Lisa’s old friends in the windsurfing community on Hayling Island and created a Facebook page – Find Lisa’s Sails – to aid the search, which has encouraged hundreds of people get in touch.

Jamie said: ‘We set up a Facebook page and had an amazing response from the community so far and reached 50,000 users in two days.

Lisa's artistic flair was nurtured during her time studying at the Portsmouth College of Art. Picture: Jamie Furlong

‘Our best lead is a man named Ken Black – he’s the main person we’re trying to pin down.

‘He was the lead sail designer at Tushingham Sails and one of mum’s contacts.

‘And a person who owned a shop in Weymouth, he had one of mum’s sails displayed outside his shop, but he sold it to a woman.’

Jamie added: ‘It would be amazing if we could find one – it would connect us to her, to a slice of her life before we were born.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as fewer adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts at just £2 a month for the first two months.