Windsurfing Inventor Passes On


Jim Drake, an aeronautical engineer credited with inventing windsurfing in the late 1960s, died Tuesday at his home in Pfafftown. He was 83.

Drake developed a workable design for attaching a sail to a surfboard in 1967. He built a prototype. On May 15, 1967, he took it to California’s Marina del Rey to test it.

Fred Wikner of Bethesda, Md., Drake’s friend and colleague, said Drake designed the technology behind a windsurfing board, including an attached sail that could help control the board.

Photo by Bob n’ Renee

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