International Windsurfer becomes an official World Sailing class

November 5, 2018 | Windsurfing
International Windsurfer: now an official World Sailing class | Photo: Windsurfer

The Windsurfer has officially been granted an International Class status.

The World Sailing (WS) Council has finally recognized the historical relevance of the Windsurfer, also known as International Windsurfer, as a pioneer windsurfing class.

The decision to re-introduce the Windsurfer was made on November 4, 2018, and puts the classic sailboard equipment where it once was.

The Original Windsurfer was a successful windsurfing kit developed in 1968 by Jim Drake and surfer Hoyle Schweitzer.

Between 1973 and 1988, the class crowned its world champions. In the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, there was even a Windsurfer One Design exhibition event with slalom, freestyle, and long distance demonstrations.

But with the advent of new and less expensive technologies and materials, the Windsurfer lost its initial appeal and nearly disappeared.

Marta Tanas: the winner of the 2018 Windsurfer World Trophy | Photo: Windsurfer

Reborn in the 2000s

In the late 2000s, the windsurfing class slowly raised from the ashes with slalom, freestyle, and long distance demonstrations taking place here and there.

In 2018, International Windsurfer held its first world trophy event in 30 years. The competition got underway in Torbole, Italy, and gathered over 100 sailors from ten nations.

The number of national class member continues to grow, and the now officially sanctioned sailing class plans to run the first Windsurfer World Championships of the new era in 2019.

The International Windsurfer Class features a 365.9 centimeters long, 73.9 centimeters wide, and 13.8 centimeters thick board with 220 liters, and 15 kilograms of weight.

There are two sails available: a 5.7m2 race sail, and a 4.0/4.5m2 school sail.

More than just a retro comeback, the new Windsurfer is a fast and highly competitive sailboarding class.