Windsurfing Canada: then, now and future.


by Andree Gauthier   February 2018

The 2018 season is fast approaching.  I wanted to give people the history of Windsurfing Canada and share some of the value of keeping this association running.

Sometime in the 1980’s Windsurfing Canada (WC) was established by the CYA (Canadian Yachting Association) with its own budget and staff representative.  Back in the early 1980’s windsurfing grew at a very fast rate and competitions attracted a large number of participants. By the 1990’s the youth influx was diminishing as windsurfing became a high tech sport and too expensive.   CYA no longer supported WC due to this and focused only on the Olympic board.  Without the support of CYA, WC was left to manage on its own.  In 1998, John Darling became the sole director and keeper of WC.  John, who is now 82 years old and still windsurfing, ran WC from 1998 to 2008.  He organized Canadian Championships each year in different provinces with the last championship held at Squamish in 2008.

There are no longer Canadian Championships due to the small number of racers and the inconsistent wind conditions at some of our best windsurfing sites.  To this day, WC only administers sail numbers to those people that still compete.  Canada now only has one pro windsurfer (Phil Soltysiak) and as of this report, no Olympic athletes striving for 2020 on the RSX.   Our small fleets are constantly being divided into smaller fleets with the introduction of new classes such as foiling, Kona, Bic Techno, Raceboard, kiting… 

Do not worry… it is not all doom and gloom.  Being an active windsurfer and racer I see a large number of people still windsurfing and attending “fun” events such as the OBX wind fest week in Cape Hatteras (  Many Canadians attend this event and the event attracts over 100 participants.  The Kona class also has attracted a large fleet of racers and from Oct 26-31, 2018 the Kona Worlds will be held in Clearwater, Florida (  There will be over 100 participants at this event, many of who will be Canadian.   We Canadians are lucky to be close to some amazing events.  Canadians participate in events held in Maui, the Gorge, Ontario, North Carolina, Florida and many more places that I may not be aware of.   Yes, we are piggy backing onto some well-organized events but hey, we increase participation numbers.  We represent Canada and share our good Canadian spirit. 

What WC now requires are for all windsurfers either recreational or pro to become members, receive a unique sail number and have the  CAN # on your sail for all to see.  The more members WC has the more funds will be generated to help give a reduced CAIP (Canadian Athlete Insurance Program) rate to our athletes and possibly help out with some of the events we attend. 

WC is a member of Sail Canada and therefore all members are eligible to race in a sanctioned race.  This mostly applies to World events.  So whether you are a Kona racer, Raceboarder, foiler, RSX sailor, Formula racer, fun racer, or attend your local weekly race, become a WC member.  With more support we can help windsurfing in areas where needed.  








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