Thrill seekers were seizing the waves kicked up by a strong fall windstorm hitting Vancouver Island Monday.

“The conditions are absolutely ideal,” said windsurfer Mo Graham.

“The winds are big. The waves are big. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s relatively warm water.”

“It’s sort of the thrill you get from motorsports,” said windsurfer Dave Bean.

“Like dirt bikes or fast cars but it’s the power of nature.”

Monday saw rivers racing and creeks crashing with the sudden and substantial rainfall that warranted a rainfall warning from Environment Canada across west, inland and East Vancouver Island.

As much as 80 millimetres of rain was expected between Duncan and Campbell River by Tuesday morning.

The downpour was enough to flood Bamfield Main on the west coast. Yet despite the surging Englishman River running alongside it, Parry’s RV Park in Parksville escaped flooding Monday, as its drains laid shielded by crab traps to catch incoming debris from anticipated flood waters.

Yet at Columbia Beach, windsurfers were hoping for more storms like this in the months to come.

“It’s fantastic out there,” said Bean.

“The waves are really big and yeah, nice steady wind.”

“You feel like you’re in total control in an out of control situation,” said Graham.

Skye Ryan