Here’s Jim Brooks-Dowsett‘s final report from the 25th Tiree Wave Classic…
The scene was set in the pros with Ben Proffitt (Simmer) and Phil Horrocks (JP) tying for 1st after 2 rounds. But it was John Skye (RRD) who threw an industrial size spanner in everyones works. John has missed both Wales and Ireland rounds but returned to his favourite UK event to upset the scoreboard. Proffitt took the single elimination and with a bad ankle was last seen praying for no wind. In the double, Skyboy came from 5th place to storm the ladder to knock Ben to 2nd place. So the scene was set for a boom-biting final as all fleeats arrived at the Maze for the final day of comptition. And the final day of the Tiree Classic 2011 will go down in history as Horrocks fought back from 6th place to take a well deserved 3rd place.
Previous Tiree Classic winners, Jamie Hancock and Timo Mullen (Starboard, Black Project Fins) stood out from the crowd in freesailing but failed to deliver enough when during their heats. Once again Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers (Neil Pryde, JP) put in focused perfomances and the king of freestyle getting quite a name as Mr consistant in the waves finishing an impressive 5th.
Wildcard Andy King was the one to watch. Mr unassuming quietly stayed in the background for most of the competition and anyone who didnt pay attention got a nasty surprise as the silent assassin swiflty and clinically disposed of each oncomer to take a 2nd place after the first elimination and a credible 4th in the final triple.
Another favourite Adam Lewis had a shocking start. The young gun who can threaten the top eight in the world at any PWA event on port tack but the cruel starboard tack conditions left Adam struggleing with a 12th and 13th place in the first eliminations. With port tack on final day Adam pulled himself up to 7th place.
Scott McDowell has won previous amateur fleet and under BWA rules should have been pushed up to Pros fleet but with a full pro fleet the Scot was pushed back to Ams under a sub rule. No matter, Aleksy ‘Lecky’ Gayda did not allow the previous champ to distract him from taking a very convincing win in all eliminations. PWA Head Judge, Duncan Coombes has already remarked that he expects to see Lecky making a big impression on the world tour in the not too distant future.
The other rising star of the amateur fleet is Lewis Merrony who has continued to stun everyone throughout the championships with amazing wave riding and confident jumps. The quietly spoken star experienced a flurry of ‘competition rage’ as he unleashed his anger at BWA Chaiman and Tour Manager, Nigel Treacy. Onlookers prepared for a full scale blood match but were dissapointed when both were last seen heading off the beach hugging.
2011 has also seen a very welcome return by Boardseeker cameraman extraordinare, Alfie Hart who threw off some of the some of the sickest tweaked donkey kicks of the competition but was only able to take a fourth in a highly competitive fleet.
Debbie Kennedy delivered a perfect perfomance in Tiree scoring 5 first places. Kariina Perhonen and new girl on the block, Sophia Gilje battled it out with 2nd place switching between the two every day . But in the end it was Sophia’s smoother wave riding that put her ahead. Whilst Eilidh Sutherland came 4th every time her performance was also noted with the judges remarking how much she improved through the comp and have earmarked her as one to watch in future.
In recent years the masters has become one of the most competitive fleets in the Championships and this year was no exception. Big Davey Edmiston arrived on the island with 2 previous Tiree wins under his belt and desperate to win his third. But it was popular man Mark Lloyd that took the overall win after battling through a single and then defending his position well in the double elimination. With only 1 event to go and 2 first places, Mark is already rubbing his hands on the Championship trophy. Big Jumpers, Keith Shorrock and Boards mag editor Dave White always threatened to upset the leader but the lighter winds rarely provided enough power fort them to shine leaving Keith to take 3rd with the mighty Whitey in fourth.
A massive thanks to the beach team in 2011 especially Judges Duncan Coombs, Lukasj Zajdi and Ian ‘Bolbo Baggins’ Ross. Heat Manager Jackie Lloyd and roadies Jon Greatrex and Nick Miles. Photographers Dave White and John Carter But our biggest thanks being to Wild Diamond’s owner Willie Maclean and young Stewart Cowling for taking care of all of us. WIllie’s magic trailer and 4×4 ensured the event and competitors stayed warm and happy. There were many more to mention and thanks you all.
The Magical Island of Tiree has once again played host to the most exciting round of the British Wave Tour this year, not only were the surroundings spectacular and the conditions delivered daily, but most importantly we received the warmest welcome and support from the local community that helps to make it a week not to be missed.
This year’s Tiree Wave Classic was funded by EventScotland and Argyll & Bute council with great support from all our sponsors that can be seen at www.tireewaveclassic.co.uk
We are very much looking forward to the final round Cornwall at the end of the month so please stay posted for more information and very much hope to see more of you there!
And please join our Cornwall Wave Classic facebook group for daily updates and live news feeds!
From all the team at the BWA and Pura Vida