Tag Archives: windsurfing

30 Years of Tiree Wave Classic

The island was a buzz last week as Tiree hosted the 30th annual ‘Tiree Wave Classic’! The event, which is the oldest running windsurfing event in the world and has been running since 1986, attracted some of the top professional surfers from all over the world!

It was an action packed week of activity as Tiree produced some of the best conditions the event has seen in a number of years. We have been having a fairly calm and pleasant October, and the starting competition on the Saturday had to be postponed. However, Sunday saw the weather pick up and conditions improve immensely allowing all classes the opportunity to take part in the competition held at Balephuil.

Each day’s activity was documented in very lively daily videos which have been posted online at: www.tireewaveclassic.co.uk There is some excellent footage that shows off the dramatics of the sport and perfect conditions for this year’s event! Make sure you check them out!

As the perfect weather continued, there were competitions at Crossapol and again Balephuil as all competitors battled it out for a spot on the podium and by Tuesday evening the winners of each heat were announced. It was a tough and very close battle within each heat as the pro, junior and youth fleet all competed in a double elimination, while the amateurs and masters went to a triple elimination and the ladies finally being confirmed after 5 rounds!

In the professional division, Phill Horricks claimed 1st prize for the second time as he had previously won in 2014, with Andy Chambers coming 2nd and Chris Muzza Murray in 3rd place. Justin Bennington was crowned the masters’ champion, Louie Morris claimed the trophy for the amateurs and Sarah Hilder won the women’s section. The youth and future of the windsurfing world were also highly involved in this year’s competition, as the Royal Yachting Association RYA have gotten very involved in the event over the past few years. This year there was a record number of children entering the competition and Erin Watson was crowned the champion within the youth section! The Youth Camp within the Tiree Wave Classic is an excellent opportunity to motivate and inspire the young people who are interested in windsurfing and water sports in general. This year they were fully submerged in the event, getting the opportunity to meet with the professional riders and hear all about their journey while also getting the chance to compete in a highly regarded competition!

Weather conditions began to tail off during the middle of the week, returning to surprisingly calm winds and beautiful crisp mornings. The last two Tiree Wave Classics have been run and organised by local Tiree business Wild Diamond which is run by William Angus MacLean. William Angus has been highly involved in the event for a number of years now and he and his crew have been working hard to evolve the event and create something special for the 30th anniversary, which they did very well! As the week was coming to a close and the competitions decided, sup/paddle board competitions were put on to entertain the masses, along with a host of evening activities.

The event was finished off in style in The Tiree Lodge Hotel on Friday evening, as the prize giving got underway and celebrating continued – an excellent end to another very successful Tiree Wave Classic – here’s to the next 30! Well done to all competitions, winners and event crew involved in creating a very special event!


Photo courtesy of Malcolm Steel Photography

Tiree Represented At Thistle Awards

Two local events have recently been flying the flag for Tiree at the Scottish Thistle awards in Edinburgh.

Tiree Music Festival and Tiree Wave Classic were both up for awards at the prestigious event described by organisers as the Scottish Tourism equivalent of the Oscars, but sadly lost out to very strong competition. Tiree Music Festival received a commendation within their category for ‘Best Culture Event or Festival’, which was won by ‘Festival 2014’, a host of events that was organised to celebrate the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Tiree Wave Classic were also pipped to the post by the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which won the category for ‘Best Sporting Event’.

Both events did very well to reach the national awards, having both won their categories at the regional awards in Inverness back in November – an excellent achievement for both events and for the island of Tiree! A Tiree contingent was in attendance at the event and I’m sure they all had an excellent night regardless of not winning any awards.

Tiree Music Festival 2016 is set to take place this July from the 15th to the 17th and they have recently announced some of their lineup with the Levellers and Red Hot Chilli Pipers taking to the stage, along with the local talent, Skipinnish and Skerryvore! Tickets are still available for the event and they can be bought through the website www.tireemusicfestival.co.uk. A select amount of local tickets are also on sale and can be bought from Donna at The Trust office within office hours 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday!

The dates for this year’s Tiree Wave Classic have also been set as the 15th to the 22nd of October and local man William Angus MacLean and his company Wild Diamond will be leading the organisation of this event once again! Tiree Wave Classic and William Angus this year starred in Visit Scotland’s ‘Spirit of it’s Own’ global marketing campaign which used shots from last year’s event along with an interview from William Angus. The advert is another excellent piece of exposure for Tiree and you can view it by youtubing ‘A Spirit of it’s Own – Tiree’.

Congratulations to both events for reaching the final of the Scottish Tourism Oscars, a great achievement for both organisations – well done!

Three In A Row For Proffitt At Tiree Wave Classic

Ben Proffitt

Ben Proffitt in action

Star windsurfer Ben Proffitt has made it an unprecedented three Tiree Wave Classic wins in a row.

His thrilling “expression session” masterclass was enough for the Shropshire star to secure first place in the pro fleet.

“I’m really really happy,” said Ben, 34, one of a dozen world-class competitors making up the professional fleet. “Patience was needed with the weather proving fickle throughout the six days of competition. This week’s been hard – but let’s not forget we’ve had a result in every category – so Tiree’s delivered again – and to win it for the third time – it does feel good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of top ranked riders here – it’s great.”

The pros battled it out in two twenty minute semi-finals, with a four man showpiece making up the final. “They were long heats – and you really had to pick the waves but I quite like those conditions, it’s something I practiced on in Australia in the winter – hard waves to get on to – but once you’re on – really fast,” said Ben.

The amateur contest was won by Cornish sailor Ian Ross, with the ladies event also going to Cornwall, with Debbie Kennedy triumphing – also for the third straight time. Keeping up the hat-trick theme, Troon’s Davey Edmiston won the Masters title for the third time, and Tris Levie from Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae won the youth category.

Event organiser Jim Brooks-Dowsett said: “We’ve had a fantastic week. We’ve had some very unexpected weather, plenty of sunshine and uncharacteristically warm for this time of year. We’ve travelled around the island, and used three of the beaches, which has been lovely,” said Jim. “While we were waiting for conditions at times, it’s still been great – these guys really know how to make the most of whatever conditions came up and we saw some great performances.” “We really are grateful for the support of EventScotland and Argyll & Bute Council and we’re looking forward to working with them again in 2013,” he said. “We’d also like to say a really massive thank you to Argyll Estates, who are good enough to allow us access to the beaches, it’s always hugely appreciated.” “There are many other people we’d like to thank, including Willie Angus at Wild Diamond, everyone at the Tiree Lodge Hotel, Fiona and the team at the Scaranish, Sophie from the Tiree Youth Club and really everyone else who’s helped in any way – we couldn’t have the event without the support of the community of Tiree and we’re very grateful. It’s been a fantastic event, we’ve had some great live Scottish performers up here all week as well, with Tommy Armstrong, and an AC/DC tribute too – we can’t wait to be back,” said Jim.

25th Tiree Wave Classic

Britain’s biggest and best windsurfing competition has just taken place on Tiree – for the 25th year.

The week long Tiree Wave classic attracts some of the best windsurfers from across the world. It is also the crucial third leg of the British wave sailing Association Wave Tour.

Organisers have gone to great lengths to make sure that everybody involved in the event, from crew to competitors, are aware of Tiree’s stunning natural environment and the importance of protecting the landscape. Jim Brooks-Dowsett, from the events hosts Pura Vida Boardriders, said “We are thrilled to be hosts in this special 25th year and we’re doing everything we can to make sure it is a massive success. Everyone on the island we’ve spoken to are so welcoming and it’s been a pleasure to involve so many local people and businesses to produce this year’s magnificent event “

Organisers describe the professional fleet as the best British Windsurfing talent seen at one competition for more than a decade, while many more stars of tomorrow will compete in the Amateur and Junior ranks.

Andy Groom, a co-organiser of the first Tiree Wave Classic back in 1986, said “I’m so proud of this event, from what it was – to what it’s evolved to. It’s down to so many people, the islanders, the sailors and the team behind it, I’m proud of them all. It is a special place, with special people, and I’m really looking forward to this years event.” Past winners of the classic are returning this year to join in the celebrations. BWA Chairman, Nigel Treacy, said “We are delighted to see the Scottish leg of the UK Championship return to Tiree once again. The island offers some of the most challenging weather and wave conditions anywhere in Europe.

Tiree Wave Classic competitorsThe event is steeped in history with many of the past winners going on to compete on the world stage and we welcome some of those legends back in 2011 to compete again.” Paul Bush,OBE, Chief Operating Officer for Event Scotland – the national events agency – said “We are delighted to be supporting the Tiree Wave Classic for it’s 25th anniversary . It is a wonderful event to showcase Scotland as the perfect stage for water sports. It is also a great event for the local area as they welcome the participants and spectators to this scenic Hebridean Island” Andrew Montgomery, Argyll Estates Factor, said “Once again Argyll Estates welcomes all those competitors and spectators alike to the 2011 Tiree Wave Classic. The event is certainly one which many of the islands residents look forward to and is a superb way of rounding off what will hopefully have been a great summer for windsurfers, kitesurfers and other water sports enthusiasts both living on and visiting the island. We have some amazing talent on the island including Tiree Kitesurf Academy, Wild Diamond and Suds Surf School, all of whom provide a service which I believe is well received. Tiree really does lend itself perfectly to the event and I wish all those competing the best of luck.” Councillor Dick Walsh, leader of Argyll & Bute Council, said “it’s always a pleasure to welcome competitors and spectators to Tiree for this important event. Year after year everyone who comes along has a magical experience at this very special place.”

Windsurfers will descend on Tiree for 25th Anniversary of Tiree Wave Classic.

Tiree Wave Classic

The Tiree Wave Classic is the most prestigious and longest standing windsurfing event in the British calender, this year celebrating its 25th Anniversary and looking back over the event’s history.

The event will play host to Britain’s best riders in Pro, Amateur, Masters and Women’s fleets with a fantastic prize fund guaranteeing the top Pro £1000 and as well as many other top prizes, a newly launched Pura Vida Custom Quad to the amateur judged to deserve it most!

It will be an unmissable, adrenaline fuelled week of competition and entertainment set against the breathtaking backdrop of Tiree’s spectacular scenery. Who will pull the Scottish Broadsword from the sand?

Andy Groom who’s back on the event team and was the founder of this Wave Classic way back in 1986 said “ It will be great to have guests like Farrel O’shea, Nik Baker and Duncan Coombes among other past legends there this year. To see such a great event and the standard of sailing that we’ve hit over 25 years has been amazing, I can’t wait to enjoy this milestone”

Simmer rider Ben Proffit, the 2010 BWA Champion, said: “I absolutely love taking part in this event – for me it’s one of the highlights of the year and can deliver any conditions. The championship could be anyone’s at the moment and I’m super keen to win here and have another shot at the title”

Organisers Pura Vida Boardriders are honoured to be involved with the Tiree Wave Classic and promise to deliver an outstanding event for this special 25th year. Jim Brooks-Dowsett, Event organiser said: “Tiree is one of those stunning locations you really have to visit at least once, and the waves can be awesome! Since the competition was founded by Andy Groom 25 years ago it’s always been the one to watch and read about in the magazines, and with the return of a few past legends this year will be a week to remember, stoked to be involved!”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency said: “ We are delighted to be supporting the Tiree Wave Classic for the eighth year as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is great to see the increasing attraction of Tiree as a water sports’ destination as it has certainly proven over the years to be a perfect stage for this event.”

The Tiree Wave Classic will take place from 8th – 15th October 2011, more info can be found at www.tireewaveclassic.co.uk, all enquiries: [email protected]

New Manager For Lodge Hotel


Tony Kearney, a reporter with the BBC, is being filmed by BBC alba trying his hand at various careers in and around Scotland, including being a Trawlerman and working in Search and Rescue.

For his fourth experience he is going to be a hotel manager at Tiree Lodge Hotel during Wave Classic Week. He has already been through his licensing training and his Health & Safety training with Aileen so he should be able to “hit the ground running!”

Knowing how the Surfers love to party, it’s not difficult to imagine that Tony’s experience will not only be entertaining but also highly memorable.

Tiree Wave Classic Confirmed


After months of uncertainty it has now been confirmed that the Tiree Wave Classic (TWC)will be held from 9th to 15th October.

Now in its 24th year,competitors from all over will compete in some of the most difficult conditions in the UK in order to win the “Tiree Wave Classic” title.

Entrants will also be hoping to pick up points to improve their chances of winning the BWAUK Wave Championship.

The TWC is open to professionals and amateurs, and the event on Tiree is as well known for its on shore entertainment -especially the prize giving dance -and its friendliness, as for the sport.

More details will be revealed in future editions of the newsletter.

Team 15 Success


The Tiree Team 15 Junior Racing Event was a great success at Loch Bhasapol on Wednesday 14th. 17 rounds of racing were completed with the junior racers prior to finally announcing the winners of the event.

A big thank you to everyone who came along on the day and contributed in some shape or form.
Additionally a special thanks to George Shillito and Chris Murray from Tushingham/Starboard who were kind enough to come along with demo equipment from their sponsors.

The boys also got in the water and completed the final race of the day with the kids prior to teaching the children how to perform some pretty sporty freestyle moves!

Overall the day turned out to be a great success, even with the light winds that we had over the course of the day. This is an event which we hope to grow for next year to involve more young windsurfers in racing and give them the opportunity to interact with the top stars in the sport. Watch this space for 2010!

-Wild Diamond

Tiree Wave Classic and Coll Challenge


In endurance sports, they say that if you’re not living on the edge then you’re taking up too much room. The annual invasion of the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree by windsurfers from all over the world (including many top-ranking professionals) brings with it some of the most focussed, single-minded athletes you could ever wish to meet. But even though these surfers (or should it be sailors?) come to compete against each other they do it in a spirit of camaraderie and community.

They also like a bit of fun, which is as well because after the first day of the Tiree Wave Classic, sanctioned as a World Cup event since 2007, the Isle of Tiree decided not to live up to its reputation as one of the windiest places in the country.

For most of the week the little island, 14 miles long, 6 miles wide, was well and truly becalmed. Nice if you live here. Nice if you’ve come on holiday with the family. Not so nice if you’ve travelled, say, thousands of miles to get to the Tiree Wave Classic only to find there is not so much as a breeze and very little in the way of waves.

Timo Mullen (Ireland) effectively won the Wave Classic on day one of the competition. But these bare facts don’t paint the whole picture. The Tiree Wave Classic is so much more than a competition. Many ancillary events play an important part in making this 23-year-old competition a hit with islanders and competitors alike. For instance, the Tiree Team 15 Junior Racing Event, held at Loch Bhasapol, was a great success. 17 rounds of racing were completed with the junior racers prior to finally announcing the winners of the event. William Angus MacLean, of Wild Diamond Windsurfing, said ‘Overall the day turned out to be a great success, even with the light winds that we had over the course of the day. This is an event which we hope to grow for next year to involve more young windsurfers in racing and give them the opportunity to interact with the top stars in the sport.’

The highly anticipated Coll Adventure Challenge had to be ‘tweaked’ in view of the lack of wind. However the brave souls who took part were enthusiastic and the large crowd of spectators did their utmost to cheer them on. After a 6k run on the beach the competitors raced paddle boards in Gott Bay (instead of windsurfing to Coll). After the paddle board heats were over everyone piled into a Rigid Inflatable Boat to be ferried to Coll for the mountain bike stage. This was the second year in which this very special triathlon has featured at the Wave Classic and hopefully it is now a permanent feature. George Shilitto won the C.A.C. in spite of falling off his bike while going round the half-marathon course on Coll.

A host of peripheral events and activities ensured noone would be stuck for anything to do. This included a community drinks reception in which the public were extended a warm welcome to come along and find out more about the Tiree Wave Classic. In addition, the Tiree Lodge Hotel ensured there was something different on every night including two full to capacity gigs by local bands Trail West and The Defenders. And this is where the bit about ‘surfers liking fun’ comes in. There’s no doubt about it: if you want to be in the middle of a great party you had to be at The Tiree Lodge Hotel in the evening during the Classic! And whether you approve or not there’s no denying the fact that the photo-shoot at Gott Bay of three naked windsurfers certainly got the island into the news. There’s something about the combination of the words ‘nude’ and ‘windsurfer’ which causes internet search engines to go into overdrive. My own blog – Isle of Tiree Diary – had hundreds of hits within hours of my featuring a link to an internet report on the subject.

And so, the Tiree Wave Classic is over for another year. Undeterred by the unseasonably good weather here’s hoping these good natured, dedicated sailors – or is that surfers? – will come back next year. We’re looking forward to it already. And some wind to go with it, hopefully!

-Gordon Scott

Tying the Tiree Knot

fire_jugglerAdam and Sian were determined to have their wedding in Tiree where they first met.

Both have connections with Tiree surf-Adam having spent hours battling its force and Sian working as a marketing media manager for the PWA. Therefore, Crossapol beach was a most appropriate place to hold their wedding.

The weather was kind on a day when it was gusty and wet but at the allotted hour all came well, and apart from an advancing tide everything went according to plan.

Sian was piped onto the beach by Coinneach MacKinnon and her godfather, Tudor Evans, played a selection of Welsh music on the trumpet while the register was signed. The wedding ceremony was conducted by Annie Loughlin of the Humanist Society of Scotland.

Although Sian comes from south of the border, she is actually from a Welsh background, her father having played rugby for Wales and the British Lions. Her mother runs a successful rare breeds sheep farm – so it is in the blood!

A super meal followed in An Talla courtesy of Neil MacPhail and Alison Campbell who provided a magnificent starter of crab and lobster. Dolina Campbell supplied a fine main course and the pavlovas were provided by Sian’s family. Trail West provided the music for the dancing and Adam’s cousin gave a demonstration of poi – fire juggling (outside the hall!)

Everyone who visited Tiree for the wedding, especially those who golfed, windsurfed and took part in the 10k had a brilliant week end and Adam and Sian will have plenty visitors in their new home at Beachcomber. We wish them all the very best for the future.

Brian and Ann Milne