João Filipe Gaspar Rodrigues is a Madeiran professional windsurfer born on the 2nd of November 1971 in Santa Cruz. He started windsurfing at the age of nine and raced competitively for the first time aged eleven. At sixteen he was invited to join the national team, winning his first World Championship medal at the Mistral World Championships in 1998. From then on, he has represented Portugal at every summer Olympic Games from 1992 to 2016. In total, he has competed in 121 International events winning 51 medals (22 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze) and is considered one of the best RS: X windsurfers in the world.
To celebrate his fortieth birthday, he successfully undertook and completed the longest non-stop windsurfing crossing of 160 nautical miles, travelling from Madeira to the Selvagem Grande (Selvagens Islands) to raise greater awareness of Portugal’s oldest national park, the Parque Natural da Madeira and earning him a coveted place in the Guinness Book of Records. More recently a puppet show has been held allowing both children and adults to get to know him a little bit better.