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History of Windsurfing - Early Development (NZ)

(extract from the NZWA Instructors Handbook)
After Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer invented the windsurfer and patented the "freesaiI’ system the Europeans popularised the sport with Schweitzer enforcing his patent around the world except here in New Zealand. We did not see any windsurfers here until 1973 when a few people started bringing them in from overseas trips. In 1974/75 John Baanders produced the first New Zealand board, the SAILSURFER’ and one design racing became moderately popular. Then the The Super Star became the biggest one design class in NZ, followed much later by the Challenger and the Blake Spirit - both built in NZ and much later the imported Mistral One Design became the biggest fleet in New Zealand and later became the Olympic class from 1993 to 2004.

The NZ BOARDSAILING ASSOCIATION was formed in 1980 at the Sailsurfer Nationals which from then on catered for all classes. Local board manufacturers with board names like COMET, CHICA, BLUE DOLPHIN, SEA SKATE etc became very popular as restrictions made imported boards unaffordable.

The sport really took off with the development of the short board and sailing in the surf. Division II boards and the development of rigs such as Hot Sails by 'Bugs' and Taranaki Sails by Dale Muller 2 more, then, household windsufing names, led to a strong following throughout the country. A significant step towards promotion took place with sailboards being included in the WORLD YOUTH SAILING CHAMPIONSHIPS. Many New Zealanders have now had the opportunity to gain valuable International competition before being exposed to the Open International and Olympic scene and more recently the Techno division has started to take off, for the even young generation of sailors that have set their sights on the top end of the windsurfing racing scene. Check this for more info; Techno 293

Our first overseas successes were Wally Bird who qualified with the Australian Team for the 1976 Windsurfer World Championships in Sardinia finishing 6th overall. Glen Cockrane was the National champion 1980-81-82 and also competed with distinction in many overseas competitions. Some of our most celebrated windsurfers are SANTHA PATEL, World Women's Champion 1982 and BRUCE KENDALL 1984 OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALLIST. New Zealanders continue to produce highly ranked performances at overseas regattas.

Windsurfing was given a major boost in the public awareness by BRUCE'S GOLD MEDAL at the 1988 Olympic games in Pusan, Korea. During 1988 Bruce also won the Hong Kong Open Champs, and the Australian Div II Nationals, but many achievements like these go unnoticed by the rest of New Zealand.

BRUCE KENDALL has excelled in many other international regattas:

1984 Olympiv Bronze medal
1988 Olympic Gold medal, Pusan, Korea.
1989 1st Malta to Sicily Marathon
1990 2nd Windsurf World Festival, Sicily
1990 1992, 1993 - 1st in the Singapore Open
1992 4th Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain.
1993 1st Mistral Worlds, Japan
1994 1st International Classes Regatta, Aust.
1994 2nd Mistral Worlds, Canada
More recent info on what, where, when and how he is doing can be found here BRUCE KENDALL

BARBARA KENDALL is New Zealand’s leading female windsurfer at present. She gained an AGC Young Achievers Award in ‘ 1989, and has never looked back since then.

1989 4th overall in the World P-B-A- Tour
1990 3rd Women, Lechner Class, Goodwill Games, USA.
1990 2nd overall in the World P-B-A- Tour
1992 Olympic Gold medal in Barcelona, Spain (awarded an MBE for being the first woman to gain a gold medal for New Zealand in 40 years.)
1993 awarded Sailor Of The Year Trophy.
1996 Olympic Silver at Atlanta, USA.
Here's a link to Barbara's website BARBARA KENDALL

AARON MCINTOSH is one of New Zealand’s top young windsurfers Like the Kendalls, he gained his tactical racing experience through competing in P Class and Starling classes. He was right behind Bruce in his bid to win selection for The 1996 Olympics. His achievements so far:
1990 3rd Youth Worlds, Holland

1991 2nd European Youth Spa Regatta
1993 2nd Mistral Worlds, Japan 1994
1994 1st Mistral Worlds, Japan
1994 an AGC Young Achievers Award
1996 4th at Atlanta Olympics
More info on Aaron's more recent activities here AARON MCINTOSH

Many windsurfers have represented New Zealand internationally, such as Scott Fenton, New Zealands highest ever ranked male PWA World Tour Competitor and Barbara rank the Highest NZ female PWA competitor. Check out some of Scott's acheivements here Scott Fenton

All of those Kiwi's have returned to New Zealand with improved skills which has improved the level of competition here. Windsurfing New Zealand Inc. is presently introducing more advanced levels of training using our top windsurfers, and rims to set up courses for Advanced Instructors in the future.

To keep up to date with our top windsurfer's latest achievments and new developments on the windsurfing scene, be sure to read the Wind & Kite Magazine - the only windsurfing magazine produced in this country.

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