The Sailworks Story
The beautiful seaside port of Victoria, British Columbia is home to many wide-eyed adventurers. To those fortunate enough to grow up in such a place, the endless opportunities for exploration can spawn inspirations that can turn into lifelong fascinations. Bruce Peterson grew up on this windy corner of Vancouver Island where he quickly developed a fascination with windsurfing and airstream flow. His interest turned into an obsession and during his high school years he spent all of his time chasing the wind and flying power kites with then Canadian windsurfing legend, Ross Harrington.
By the early 1980s, during the short-board windsurfing craze that revolutionized windsurfing, Bruce and Ross had quickly established themselves as the up-and-comers to watch. Both landed a job making and testing sails for the notable "Windsure Windsurfing" in Vancouver. Traveling around testing sails, Bruce quickly found the Columbia Gorge to be his product testing destination of choice and it didn't take him long to relocate to the windsurfer's dream location. With the Cascade Mountain Range as his backdrop, the young adventurer couldn't find a sail fast enough for him, so he did what any normal person would do... he made one. A risky spirit driven by an obsession with windsurfing caused an entrepreneur to emerge from the shadows of the mountain range. Bruce started making sails under his own company name, Strait Winds, and spent the rest of his time designing and working for Rushwind Sails.
Proving himself as a talented windsurfer by a string of international racing successes and as a visionary sail-maker, Bruce was brought into a partnership at Rushwind in the spring of 1987. With the global giant, Gaastra Sails, contracted with Rushwind it was an opportunity of a lifetime. Teaming up with some of the world's most talented pro sailors of that era, Peterson was designing sails for legends. In 1988, one of Bruce's Racefoil designs became a World Championship winner for Gaastra and an opportunity to start his own outfit surfaced.
Bruce teamed up with Australian pro-racer, Bruce Wylie, former Gaastra master sail designer, Mark Thornburrow, and Japanese businessman, Yatusada Seto, to form Sailworks in 1989. Backed by the pinnacle knowledge and experience of the all-star team, Sailworks became internationally successful. The brand took off just four months after it was launched in early 1990 when Bruce Wylie won the World Cup race in Japan.
Bruce Peterson soon established the research and development facility for Sailworks located in Hood River, OR. Along with his spouse, Amy Peterson, they spent countless hours working towards turning their dream into a reality. Their life philosophy bled into their designs, "keep it simple." Producing only three lines of sails that targeted racers, free-riders, and wave sailors, simplicity soon became the hallmark of the company.
The company took off and Sailworks became one of the most popular and reliable brands in the world. Their simplicity design methods gave birth to the camless “Retro" in 1997, which has become the most successful all-around sail design in the history of the sport. The Retro represents everything the Sailworks brand stands for and windsurfers everywhere become loyal supporters soon after they try the Retro or any other Sailworks brand.<
The team at Sailworks believes in persistence and incremental design evolution, which has shown in every product they have sold for almost 30 years. Today, the company is a benchmark in the windsurfing world with loyal customers around the world. Bruce Peterson still passionately creates equipment with a “hands-on-the-boom” approach to truly capture the essence of windsurfing. Sailworks has become a dream come true that all started with a wide-eyed adventurer's fascination with a windy seaside port in Victoria, BC.