The Canadian Masters Windsurfing Association (CMWA) has been around for a long time, and it’s as true to its mission today as it was back in 1988: bringing windsurfers together from sea to shining sea north of the border! CMWA members just got together in Trois-Rivières to catch up with one another and race around the buoys. Suzanne Roberge, the association’s secretary and news editor, tells us a bit more about the CMWA and what went down during those three days on the St Lawrence River.

A great weekend with friends both on and off the water!

Suzanne Roberge

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Story: Suzanne Roberge| Photos: Maude Thériault-Gauthier

In Canada, we have an organization we call the Canadian Masters Windsurfing Association (CMWA). It was formed thirty years ago, back in 1988! I’m the association’s secretary at the moment, and I’m also editing its website and newsletter. Our mission at the CMWA is to bring together people who want to enjoy the sport of windsurfing both recreationally and competitively. We do that by organizing clinics, racing, a national championship and social events throughout the season for windsurfers of all ages. We have members from coast to coast and beyond!

About half the members who race today have converted to Kona One Design over the years, and we love it! “One board, one sail” and off you go! On the first weekend in August this year, we held our 2018 national championships at Club Multivoile 4 Saisons, just south of Trois-Rivières. You might have heard of the place: it sits on the mighty St Lawrence River, right where it widens to form Lac Saint-Pierre midway between Montreal and Quebec City. Under the leadership of head coach and local legend Dominique Vallée, the club hosted the 2013 Kona Worlds.

Every year, CMWA members (most of them from the provinces of Ontario and Québec) get together to race and socialize for three days. The location changes from year to year. The last time we ran our national championship in Trois-Rivières was more than 10 years ago, so we were all looking forward to it!

Sometimes the wind comes to the party, sometimes not! This year we waited around for wind on Saturday and Sunday and it only materialized around 4PM each day. We seized these opportunities and managed to do one race each day. While we waited, some of us went paddleboarding while others just chatted with each other to catch up. Then, on Monday morning, mother nature gave us enough wind (around 5-8 knots) to do three races before lunch.

Half of the 20 competitors were on Kona, half on raceboards. Our oldest Kona competitor was 83, and we had more women than men competing! Bob Shuttleworth finished 1st, followed by Denis Dagenais and Mariette Côté. Bob is no stranger to the top step on the podium: he won our national title in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but after finishing second to Andrée Gauthier last year, he’s thrilled to be back on top this year! Lauri Gregg and I finished in a three-way tie with Mariette, but as Mariette did better in some races she was awarded 3rd place. All in all, a great weekend with friends both on and off the water!

I’ve been windsurfing since 1982 and I joined the CMWA about 20 years ago. The people who sit on the board of directors at the moment are longtime members who care deeply about the association – and windsurfing in general. Over the years, thanks to CMWA, I’ve had a chance to travel from coast to coast and make lifelong friends. With windsurfing, you feel like you are part of a community that loves the same thing! Our championships are a social gathering, and for some of us it’s the only time we get to see each other, either on or off the water. We never want to miss a chance to get together and share our passion for windsurfing!

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