Jim Brooks-Dowsett talks to a potential star of the 25th Tiree Wave Classic...
As the pre-registrations came to a close I got a last minute entry from one of the sailors I'd hoped would come! Last year Andy King only managed to compete at Cornwall and gave a real standout performance in bigger conditions. A combination of busy work patterns and responsibilities as a new dad have made it hard to get away, but things are getting easier and he hopes to make the full tour next year.
Andy Said about the Cornwall comp last year: “That was one of the best days I've sailed at Gwithian in years. We were sailing some of the most amazing conditions seen in the uk on competition day and it hasn't quite delivered the same since" on the final “I wanted to change down as it got so windy, but it was a long walk up the cliffs and time ran out. I stuck with 4.7 a bit overpowered which was challenging at times on the bigger sets, but really enjoyed it. Even from the water it looked like everyone was ripping and it was great to see Gwithian at it's best, Phil had 2 awesome waves straight off and well deserved his win"
Andy on Tiree this year: “I'm really looking forward to the comp, forecast looks sweet and there's no pressure for me to win really as I've not been competing all year for the title so I'm here to relax and enjoy my sailing!"
On the 12 hour mission to Oban Andy called in on his Goya Sponsors to pick up some new boards, and has been getting them set up a few days early. Andy – “I've chosen bigger boards than I would have in the past, the latest shapes, particularly quads, give a lot more range and control. The new generation of quads seem to have made big improvements on performance as the shapes have fine tuned. Waveboards are getting better and better. I've chosen the Goya Quads in 78 and 92 and don't need anything smaller even on the big days"
I asked Andy if the bigger boards have any drawbacks for his jumping as opposed to the definite waveriding benefits: “It seems that the extra few litres is all positive, even jumping. I get better landings and keep the speed easier, you can plane off back loops when you would sink on the smaller ones. Because I can plane quicker especially in gusty conditions, I'm more likely to make last minute jumps and get more in a heat with limited time."
What about the fins? I see you've been trying some K4s as well as the MFCs on your Goya. Andy - “It's interesting trying different fin set-ups and I'm currently choosing between a few sets to get slightly different performance. I reckon it might end up being that I'll fit fins to suit the conditions a bit more – although it's nice to just leave the same set in the board and get on the water quickly when you are tight for time! What I'm looking for is a bit more of the new school style combining good slide with enough grip and control on the wave, the jury is still out"
Have you used your 2012 sails yet? “So far I've only had a chance to test a few as I'm collecting mine in a few weeks. Sam Neal has been getting on really well with his new quiver this week. First impressions show real weight savings with the new materials and positive tweaks on performance from what I can see, can't wait to get mine."
Tiree Wave Classic 25th Anniversary is funded by EventScotland and Argyll & Bute Council. Hosted By Pura Vida Boardriders and the BWA with support from Wild Diamond, Oxbow, Caledonian MacBrayne, Springbank Whisky, Tiree Music Festival, Firefly Natural Energy, The Chocolate Brownie Company and Beachbum Beanbags.
Interview by firstname.lastname@example.org