Newman Darby

Darby first conceived of a hand-operated square sail attached to a catamaran in 1948, when he was 20. In the mid-1960s, Darby conceived the “Darby Sailboard”: a hand-held square rigged “kite” sail on a floating platform for recreational use.[4] Darby had taught himself to sail a 10-foot model on lakes in high wind between 1964 and 1965. He published his design in August 1965 Popular Science magazine, and although it did not show any connection between the rig and the board (i.e., a universal joint; the mast simply rested in a depression on the board) it did refer to a “more complex swivel step for…Read More →

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Peter Chilvers

Chilvers had been an engineer for Lotus and founded a sailing and windsurfing centre in London. Chilvers is credited with inventing the Windsurfer while living on Hayling Island in 1958. The windsurfing centre in London’s East End was founded by Chilvers[2] as a philanthropic venture to promote sailing and windsurfing amongst underprivileged children of the East End in the 1970s. He created and maintained the centre for over 25 years.[citation needed] Chilvers headed the bid for a £40 million sailing and windsurfing centre on Hayling Island to regenerate the area and recognise it as the place where Windsurfing was invented and where he grew up.Read More →

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Schweitzer and his engineering partner Jim Drake

In 1967 in Pacific Palisades, California, a group of surfer/skier/sailors were wrestling with the idea of developing a craft which would combine the best of all their three sports. As a surfer/skier, Hoyle Schweitzer (at that time a computer analyst) wanted to be freed from the limits of a breaking wave, while maintaining the speed and exhilaration of wave riding. As sailors, his colleagues sought to be unencumbered from the machinery of yachting; the trailering; the rigging with its lengthy list of necessaries (stay wires, sheets, blocks, cleats, spreaders, diamonds, vangs, travellers etc) and the two to five person launching process. Clearly the sailor and…Read More →

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