João Rodrigues: experience pays off

João Rodrigues, the Portuguese windsurfer from Madeira, is the first ever sailor to win a world championship race at 40 year old. The RS:X windsurfing veteran won the fifth regatta at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing.


Rodrigues is playing at high levels and he is hoping he can make the next Summer Olympic Games, London 2012. It would be the sixth time he would make it to the Olympic Games.

João Rodrigues has already won 22 regattas worldwide. A few months ago, the Portuguese sailor entered the Guinness Book of World Records by crossing the Atlantic from his home island of Madeira to the small Selvagem Grande island.

Rodrigues sailed 160-nautical mile to celebrate his 40th birthday. "I wanted to call worldwide attention to these small islands. It wasn't easy. After two and a half hours, I wanted to quit, but we took it mile by mile, step by step".

After more than 10 hours of sailing, Rodrigues touched land. The final average speed was of 18,6 miles per hour (30 kilometres per hour). The Selvagens islands are the country's most southerly point.