Over the years I have witnessed plenty of wave classic Champions, all of which have stood proud to have their names penned into the history books of Tiree windsurfing folk law. Of course many of us head up to Scotland for the fun and frolics that inevitably take place every year but the serious Pros, some of the Amateurs and even the Masters are ‘in it to win it’ and take the competition extremely seriously.Back in the day, winning Tiree was a fundamental British stepping stone towards a career on the fame and glory of the PWA World Tour. It was almost like, if you had not won Tiree, then you were not good enough to move up and do well to the next level. As a result the standard at Tiree has always been off-the-scale.
The level of British sailing these days now means that even making a final in Tiree dictates that you are ready for the World Tour. Current PWA Head Judge, Duncan Coombs was fittingly the first sailor to have his name engraved upon the prestigious trophy, which launched his career and provided a gateway to a life revolving around windsurfing competition. A few years later, a young and extremely talented Nik Baker arrive on the scene and demolished the fleet with his powerful and radical sailing style. Back in those days, names like Farrell O’Shea, Jamie Knox, Scott Poulter, Nigel Howell and Stuart Sawyer graced the shores of Tiree and over the years the fleet has seen faces come and go as British wave sailing has evolved. In the late nineties, the likes of Timo Mullen, Tristan Boxford, Danny Seales, Jamie Hawkins and Corky Kirkham were among the warriors who made the journey to do battle. In recent years more legends etched their names into history – Phil Horrocks, Ben Proffitt, Jamie Hancock and John Skye have all proudly hoisted trophies, shields and swords at the community centre prize-giving on the final Friday night and then gone on to duly celebrate in traditional Tiree fashion.