Tag Archives: Windsurfing

This Week In Photos: May 10

Not every week of photos provides much information.  The photos from this week in 1978 are one example.  We can identify some of the people and places but we’re hoping you can fill us in with more details for this year!


A kayaker heads down a river.

Long-time Whistler resident and developer Walter Zebrowski, Chairman of the Board.

A man stands proudly beside his machine.

Some kind of casino night was held at the Myrtle Philip School, but why we’re not sure.


Stefan Ples, long-time resident of Whistler, receives a lifetime pass from Garibaldi Lifts President Franz Wilhelmsen in recognition of his long involvement with Whistler.

B.J. Cooper and Pauline LePatourel of the Whistler Question staff kick-off the Pitch-In clean-up campaign for Whistler.

Construction City 1980. A piledriver towers over Resort Centre at town centre site as spring-summer construction picks up pace. Workers began flooding into the Valley this week as new town centre packages began.

Lonely toilet stands ready to serve Parcel 16 in the Town Centre.


Viva Las Margar-Ritas! Cinco de Mayo is traditionally a day for celebrating the independence of Mexico and JB’s celebrations did not break with tradition. (L to R) Lisa Riser and Cindy Grierson, the original Dos Senoritas, join Holly Collinson and Kay Povarchook for one final toast to the joys of Mexico. (While this was the caption that originally appeared in the Whistler Question in 1982, Cinco de Mayo is actually a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  The independence of Mexico is celebrated on September 16.)

Back to Basics… Sun, wind and water. Once the summer basics return to Whistler, you can’t keep a good windsurfer down. Chris Jacobs, Andrew Stoner and Bruce Cook were among the first to catch the wind after the ice broke off the surface of Alta Lake.

Lift off!

Students at Myrtle Philip School watch another rocket leap off the launching pad.

Dancing inspiration. Janice LeBlond of Pacific Motion Dance Company brought some inspiration to Whistler May 5, 6 and 7 when she conducted a three-day workshop on dancing, body alignment and anatomy. After the final workshop, LeBlond and fellow dancers Tara Twigg and Mary Craig demonstrated some of the style they have become renowned for.


Jesse Fletcher tries out a new set of wheels (actually a very antiquated set of wheels) in Village Square. in case you don’t recognize the historic wheelchair, you can see it in its normal resting place at Stoney’s.

Once again the ace-in-the-hole team swept away Whistler’s frisbee golf championship, despite the chilling overtones of Saturday. (L to R) Al Pomeroy, Bob Noldner, Barry McClure and Hugh Wallace celebrated their win after a rigorous 18-round match, which included a hole in the back of a truck.

Said hole in the back of a truck.

Winners in BC Hydro’s poster contest “Be Electrically Alert” were Myrtle Philip students (clockwise from left) Patrick Crewman (grade 4), Cris Simpson (grade 5) and Brandi Robinson (grade 5). The students received a framed certificate for their effort in the contest held in March.


The Nesters Golf Course was the scene as about 40 Whistlerites flung their frisbees around Craig Barker’s 12-hole cross-country frisbee golf tourney. It wasn’t a traditional course as the first hole was an abandoned pick-up truck. This is the fourth year Barker has held the tourney and already he’s looking forward to the next summer invitational match.

Rotarian Richard Heine helps Kyla Paine master the techniques of safe biking.

The age-class winners at Saturday’s Rotary Bike Rodeo. (Top left has been identified as Jeff Lacombe.  If you recognize anyone else please let us know!)

These three answered the week’s question: What do you think of Whistler’s parks and trail systems? (L to R) Charlie Doyle, Commercial Artist, Alta Vista; Peter Xhingnesse, Ski Patroller, Tapley’s Farm; Joan Richoz, Homemaker, Alpine Meadows.


Wind Sports on Alta Lake

For years, Whistler has been world renowned as a hot spot for many sports including skiing, mountain biking, mountaineering, climbing, and paddling. One that seems to have fallen in popularity, however, is windsurfing.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, windsurfing began to rise in popularity as a sport, and Alta Lake became a hot spot for Canadian windsurfers. Whistler was the host of a number of windsurfing regattas. In July, 1981, the Squamish Citizen Shopper described the windsurfing regattas as one of the largest contributors to the summer business boom at Whistler. ‘Sailboarding’ was further described as Canada’s fastest growing water sport. Wednesday nights were race nights on Alta Lake, with up to 30 windsurfers showing up when it was busy. Whistler windsurfers were amongst the best in the sport, and the most notorious partiers.

After a sharp rise in popularity, leading to windsurfing becoming an Olympic sport in 1984, windsurfing seems to have fallen off the radar in Whistler. So where did windsurfing go? Due to licensing battles and an ongoing debate about the windsurfer’s origins, the 80s saw extensive legal battles over patents and designs, which led to some companies having to cease production.  In the 2000s, kiteboarding began to gain popularity, and began to rival windsurfing in popularity. It seems now that windsurfing is more of a fringe sport, especially in Whistler, where skiers are now picking up mountain bikes in the off-season.

These days, the hot spot for windsurfing and wind sports has migrated south to the Squamish spit. The more consistent winds and large open space offer a veritable playground for windsurfers and kiteboarders alike.

Sailing has retained some popularity in Whistler. Early visitors to Alta Lake enjoyed catching the wind in a rowboat the Phillips had rigged with a sail. It wasn’t the world’s greatest sailboat, but it worked.

A young sailor poses on the Philips’ home rigged sailboat.

The Alta Lake Sailing Club was founded in 1966 and ran out of Cypress Lodge.The club ran ‘Jelly Fish Races’ annually in May. The early Jelly Fish Races cost 50 cents to enter and included membership to the club for the weekend.

The Whistler Sailing Association is somewhat younger, having started in 2008 in response to strong local support. They continue to offer races as well as rentals and learning programs. Alta Lake still sees the occasional windsport enthusiast, and the sailing association has an active summer schedule with kids camps and lessons. They ensure that on windy days Alta Lake is still dotted with sails.

The view from a sailboat on Alta Lake.