While Southampton residents were seeking shelter from the strong winds brought by Storm Henk, a 24-year-old daredevil from Warsash was out surfing the Hill Head waves.

Gregory Placidi, 24, decided to take advantage of the high winds and stormy seas battering the south coast on Tuesday last week to surf his home waters.

The keen surfer, who started out during a family holiday in Cornwall at the age of 12, said: “The waves weren’t that great down at Hill Head but of course that is to be expected where we are.

“The winds are often stopped by the Isle of Wight, but it was so fun to be able to go and surf in a local spot.

“People were waving me on and clapping from the shore, so I hope I managed to surprise a few dog walkers and passers-by.

“I should add that people should not try this themselves unless they are an experienced surfer – you would not want your first time on a board to be in that choppy cold water.

“Thankfully I had my wet suit with me so was able to brace the cold – I do also have some experience sailing around Scotland which is even colder than down here."

Daily Echo: Gregory Placidi has been surfing since the age of 12Gregory Placidi has been surfing since the age of 12 (Image: Submitted)

Daily Echo: Onlookers cheered and waved to Gregory as he was out on the waterOnlookers cheered and waved to Gregory as he was out on the water (Image: Submitted)

Gregory has taken to his board out on waters in Central America, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Morocco and around the UK - traveling whilst completing his Masters degree in medicine.

In October, he also passed his exam to be a qualified surf instructor in Wales.

He said his mum, Jennifer Placidi, 60, inspired his love for water activities and being a risk taker.

He added: “She’s a year-round sea swimmer in the Solent, always out in the water no matter the temperature - be that sailing, kayaking or swimming.

“She was also once one of the best female windsurfers in the UK. She is definitely my inspiration for being a bit of an adventurer.

“It was great to be able to surf in the waters where I grew up, even if the waves weren’t the best.”