Record numbers of top windsurfers from all over the world are descending on the Isle of Tiree for the world-renowned Skykon Tiree Wave Classic this weekend. From Saturday 9 October until Friday 15 October, elite board sailors will battle it out in the surf surrounding Tiree in the UK’s premier windsurfing competition.
Now in its 24th year, the Tiree Wave Classic attracts entrants who brave the full force of the Atlantic wind and waves off this remote and exposed island, located at the most westerly point of the Inner Hebrides. This year’s competitors include Holland’s Martin Ten Hoeve and Spain’s Dany Bruch, ranked number seven in the world.
Around 90 competitors are expected to line up this year, exceeding last year’s entry list that stood at around 70. Around 40 entrants have already taken advantage of pre-entry discounts, well ahead of the levels experienced in previous years. Due to the forecasted high winds for Saturday, the riders will take to the surf on Saturday a day earlier than originally scheduled to take full advantage of the conditions.
Louise Emery at the British Wavesailing Association said that many of the world’s top windsurfers are looking forward to competing alongside Scotland’s finest at Tiree.
“The Tiree Wave Classic remains a very well run event on an island with close to perfect windsurfing conditions. We are expecting a large turnout and it is set to go from strength to strength,” Emery said.
“There will also be a strong contingent of Scottish sailors mainly from the Troon/Largs area. The other events on the windsurfing calendar are expensive for them to get to so this is their one chance of the year to take on the English and Welsh riders and they have already booked several houses on the island,” she added.
The Tiree Wave Classic is supported by Argyll and Bute Council, EventScotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is set to attract hundreds of international competitors, visitors and media to the island. Due to the challenging location of the Tiree Wave Classic, the event organisers Dialogue Sports Marketing and the British Wavesailing Association rely on the support of these committed sponsors for the continued success of the event.
Councillor Dick Walsh, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “The Tiree Wave Classic brings visitors from far afield to this spectacular part of Argyll. It’s always a pleasure to welcome the athletes and their supporters to an event which showcases both their talent and our island. Competitions like this boost the local economy and the council is happy to lend its support to events which bring this kind of benefit to our shores.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the Tiree Wave Classic for the seventh consecutive year. The event showcases Scotland as the perfect stage for competitive windsurfing and puts Tiree in the international spotlight each year.”
Skykon, the supplier of towers, composites and offshore solutions for the wind turbine industry, is supporting the event for the second consecutive year.
Niels Brix, Skykon Vice President, said: “We are proud to support the Tiree Wave Classic, a first rate event on the international windsurfing circuit which generates media coverage all over the world. Just like the top windsurfers competing at the Wave Classic, as a supplier of tower solutions and wind technology components to the wind power industry, our business involves harnessing the power of the natural elements.”
Set against the tiny island’s rugged coastline with white beaches and superb conditions, the Tiree Wave Classic is a niche event attracting world-class windsurfers from all corners of the globe.
In addition to the action on the water, the Tiree Wave Classsic will host a range of high profile performers including The Fortunate Sons and up and coming Scottish singer Carrie Mac.
Since its humble beginnings in 1986, the Tiree Wave Classic has matured to a truly spectacular sporting event. The growing popularity of the event and extensive international media coverage cement Scotland’s reputation as a stage for top athletes and showcase the country’s stunning natural assets and legendary hospitality.
For more information about the Tiree Wave Classic go to www.tireewaveclassic.org, follow the event at www.twitter.com/tireewave and become a fan of the Tiree Wave Classic 2010 on Facebook.