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Windsurfing memorial poignant

This year's Big Queenstown Downwinder windsurfing and kite boarding race will be especially poignant for many participants. The race is open to all and is a social day out with a competitive edge. This year, the annual event, organised by The Southern Lakes Wind Riders Club, will also be a memorial for Queenstown windsurfer Jude Green who died on Lake Wakatipu a year ago today.

Ms Green was one of the club's founding members and "loved the race" which will give club members and others who knew her in the sport "a chance to remember some of the happy times we spent with Jude", organiser Sue Bradley said.

On Saturday morning at 9am, club members, friends and family will unveil a memorial stone, plaque and wind vane at Jardines beach, the point near where Ms Green died while windsurfing on the lake.

A "devoted" local windsurfer, she had been a founding member of the Southern Lakes Wind Riders and was the club's secretary for nine years.

Ms Green regularly entered the South Island Windsurfing Cup and the New Zealand Masters Games where she won two gold medals.

As keen to explore land as water, Ms Green was a keen adventurer.

"She was a very good runner and especially loved long-distance, back-country running," Ms Bradley said.

Ms Green competed in the 2006 Mototapu, taking fifth in the veteran woman's category.

In 2007, she ran the Kepler Challenge and the Routeburn Classic gaining second place in the Legends women category.

She was also a member of the Queenstown women's ice hockey team and had been on tour with the team, competing in Canada.

Ms Bradley said Ms Green was also a keen sailor and a member of the Southern Lakes Search and Rescue team.

The weekend's race will be held either on Saturday or Sunday, with course options for northerly or southerly conditions.

The club also holds beginners and refresher windsurfing lessons on Lake Wakatipu.

The courses run from Frankton beach on Thursdays and cost $25.

Ms Bradley said equipment was available to borrow.

For more information about either the race or the lessons, call Sue Bradley on 027 640-8596.

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