Fernie local Caro Villeneuve retiring from competitive wakesurfing following medal win

Caroline Villeneuve surrounded by the many trophies earned during her competitive wakesurfing career. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Caroline Villeneuve surrounded by the many trophies earned during her competitive wakesurfing career. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Caroline Villeneuve (right) took bronze in the Pro Women’s Skim division at the 2022 Canadian National Wakesurf Championships, held at Moyie Lake on Sept. 10, 2022. She said it was the last competition of her career. (Photo by Max Webster Photography)Caroline Villeneuve (right) took bronze in the Pro Women’s Skim division at the 2022 Canadian National Wakesurf Championships, held at Moyie Lake on Sept. 10, 2022. She said it was the last competition of her career. (Photo by Max Webster Photography)

Local wakesurfing champion Caroline Villeneuve recently won (what is likely) the final medal of her fruitful competitive career in the sport.

Villeneuve took bronze in the Pro Women’s Skim division at the 2022 Canadian National Wakesurf Championships, which took place on Saturday (Sept. 10) at Moyie Lake.

In an interview with The Free Press, Villeneuve said the event went very well.

“I’m just super excited I got to see everybody and it was just super fun.”

Villeneuve is the owner of H2O School, and has been concentrating more on coaching recently.

She wasn’t planning on competing this year, but chose to go for the fun anyway and to see everybody, especially following the COVID years.

“It was just fun to get together again.”

Villeneuve is originally from Quebec and moved to the Elk Valley full time in 2009.

She is no stranger to the wakesurfing podium.

Villeneuve has been competing since 2007, and has been in 89 pro competitions. Out of those, she made the podium 72 times, and took first place 40 times, second 23 times, and third nine times.

She competed in the World Wake Surfing Championship for 11 years, and made the podium eight times. In 2015, she won the world title, placing first in her pro skim category.

She was also honoured in 2020 with the Competitive Wake Surf Association’s Legend Award for her contributions to the sport.

“That’s a pretty good career.”

The recent national championship was her last competition, she said.

“Nobody believes me, they say that I’m going to probably come back next year, who knows.

“As is, it’s the end of my career for me.”

She said she had coached all the girls she was competing against on Saturday’s nationals at least once.

“It was fun to see the sport progressing to the point that those that I used to teach the basics of wakesurfing, that now are kicking my butt.”

Villeneuve has been coaching for 12 years, taking people out on Lake Koocanusa to teach.

“Seeing the smile on peoples faces when they toss the rope for the first time and have that feeling of surfing behind the boat, it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”

At the recent national championship, she said she was more excited and nervous when watching some of her students compete than during her own run.

“I really take it at heart for my students.

“That’s kind of where I’m at now, is passing the torch and getting my excitement from the coaching.”

She thinks she left a pretty good legacy for the sport, and is very proud of that.

“I’m leaving with a smile on my face,” she said.

“It was a very good career.”

For more information about her coaching business, visit www.h2oschoolbc.com. She is also active on Instagram at carowakesurf.

READ MORE: Local rider receives Competitive Wake Surf Association’s Legend Award


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