The first Australian Windsurfer Champion was Mike Maguire (1977).
Professional sailboarder in the 90’s. Board designer for Windrush then Bombora. Designed the popular Bombora X-it, Zot and South Pacific II rotomoulded slalom boards which were of similar construction to the Windsurfer.
Jessica was born in Sydney and started windsurfing at a young age. By the age of 14 she had won the windsurfer worlds and represented Australia in the sailboard demonstration event at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
During the early to mid 1990s, Jessica dominated women’s professional windsurfing, which at the time included competitions in the disciplines of wave, freestyle, racing and indoor. She won the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Cup twice, and won the wave sailing discipline x times.
In the late 1990s Mistral One Design was chosen to be the Olympic sailboard and Jessica returned from professional windsurfing to her long-board racing roots. She qualified for the Australian Olympic team for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and gained 5th place, followed by a 6th at the Athens Olympics in 2004. The Olympic boards were changed to RS:X for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and Jessica gained 5th place at that event. She followed it up with her fourth straight Olympics in London in 2012, where she was the Australian sailing team’s most experienced Olympian.
Jessica continues to be involved in Windsurfer One Design, winning the 2010 Windsurfer Nationals in Port Stephens, NSW and helping out at learn to sail days around NSW.
Lars Kleppich began his sailing career in the waters of Iron Cove in Sydney. His name can be seen on the honour roll at Dobroyd Aquatic Club which still boasts a proud and active sailboard fleet. He spent many years competing in windsurfer class in Australian and internationally, winning the nationals and worlds many times. He also won the Mistral World Championships in 1999.
He represented Australia at three Olympic games, starting with Seoul in 1988, followed by Barcelona in 1992, where he gained an Olympic Bronze medal in the Men’s Lechner Sailboard Class and Sydney in 2000, where he placed fourth in Men’s Mistral One Design. Lars remains involved with Windsurfer One Design; he currently works for the manufacturer of Windsurfer Boards, Windgenuity, in Sydney.
Greg Hyde was Australia’s first Olympic representative for sailboarding in 1984. Greg has been an outstanding competitor in all sailing classes, winning many national titles. Throughout he has also been a great supporter of the Windsurfer class since its early days. Greg placed 6th out of 38 in Los Angeles in 1984, notably winning a race even though in Australia we hadn’t had the Olympic board for very long.
One of my earliest memories of Greg was watching him rail ride up the beach at Middle Harbour 16ft skiff club after winning a weekend race in the early 80s. The thing about Greg is that he is not only a great athlete but he is mentally so focused and an awesome competitor; something that he carries with him today. Whenever Greg is racing against you, you know it. Greg won the 1989 Windsurfer Worlds in Belmont including the infamous light wind marathon that had to be run twice as time ran out for the first one after 4 hours. Greg was leading with only just over 100 meters to go out of 54 km when the race was abandoned. Naturally he didn’t let that daunt him, and so went back out and won the race the next time it was run in a black Nor’easter. Greg is a true champion and a gentleman of the sport.