Pic: Simon Crowther
TIREE INITIAL REPORT
Our man on the spot, Fred Willis, is up at Tiree working as the Head Judge for the UKWA event. This event is acting as a qualifier to the PWA event that starts on Saturday, and has 8 wild cards up for grabs for the UK pros to compete for in the Tiree Open Event, part of the UKWA Four Nations.
Yesterday was the start and with a fleet of 21 pros including our finest, John Skye, Phil Horrocks, Andy King, Ben Proffitt, John Hibbard, Mark Hosegood, last year’s winner Mini George (Jamie Hancock), Finn Mullen and the Club Vass Freestyle Specialists of Colin Dixon and Andy Chambers having a go at the wave boys. We’ve also got a good entry for Amateurs with Scotty McDowell leading the charge and Masters with Sav defending his title.
The event started early with a 9 am briefing at the Maze and a 10 o’clock start in a respectable SE wind with waves up to half mast high in the sets. 8 minute heats were run and judged purely on wave riding so it was imperative that the sailors selected their waves carefully to make the most out of the tricky conditions. In the early rounds there were no major upsets and all of the top guys are through to the quarter finals. Unfortunately at 2pm the wind died as forecast and we are now on hold waiting for the 25 to 30 kt southerlys to kick in for Friday.
Standout performances so far are Ben Proffitt and John Skye, who both had good waves finished with goiters, Phil Horrocks getting nice and vertical up the wave face and Rich Jones progressing nicely with a very high goiter (though he didn’t land it back on the wave face).
Kauli came out to practise for the PWA event and was outstanding. Really interesting to watch his progressive style which is obviously working in the difficult conditions of Tiree as well as Cabo Verde. He really made it look easy out there today.
Nothing is looking great at the moment though, as the wind has dropped and swung NW with a lack of swell. We will be doing a Turfdog freestyle event on the beach which no doubt Colin Dixon and Andy Bubble Chambers will be looking forward to. Let’s hope that they don’t injure themselves for tomorrow.
Cheers for now.