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Lucas Meldrum




Lucas Meldrum wins the 39th Tiree Wave Classic to become British Wave champion for the first time.

Words: Lucas Meldrum // Photos: Richard Whitson & Sebastian Pinkman

What an event the 39th Tiree anniversary proved to be. This was my fifth time on the island and most certainly the best. Winning the Tiree Wave Classic and the British title in one event is certainly easier said than done.


The run up to Tiree couldn’t have gone much better for me. After a summer of zero windsurfing I came out of BWA Rhosneigr with a second place. I was pretty chuffed to be going to Scotland with a chance of getting my hands on the British title. It felt like a great opportunity, but it never really got to me. This year I brought along my good friend and training partner, Miguel Chapuis. We came up a bit earlier and scored some really epic conditions on the island, even a novelty reef session on Tiree’s mysterious north shore. Previous years have always been a bit rushed, but I was truly relaxed and well rested this time. I really felt the benefit of those extra days on the island, so I could get used to the new environment. Making yourself at home certainly gets your headspace clear and ready to compete.



After a few lay days, the first day of competition offered strong cross-on, port tack sailing. It was proper windy, so I was glad to be going on my small equipment. This year I felt really in tune and comfortable on my kit. During the competition I was using Duotone Super_Hero’s 3.4m and 3.7m with my 69l Grip 4 – which is the best board I’ve ever had. I’ve been using the new shape for two years and am really comfortable with it and know just how to set it up. For me feeling confident with equipment is essential to sailing and competing well, and this year, more so than others, I felt fully prepared for whatever Tiree would throw at me.


My first heat was perhaps my best. I earned a solid wave score with a frontside 3 and landed two decent jumps right at the start. From what people said, my opponent, Ben Page, sailed an absolute blinder too and it was really tight in the end. Ben is one of the younger guys, who goes under the radar a bit, but I’ve sailed with him in Cornwall and he rips. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a win soon – especially in proper wave riding conditions.

Getting off to a flying start definitely helped me relax for the rest of the contest. I advanced all the way into the final against Phil Horrocks. By this time, it was howling, so I made the decision to take my 3.4m. I didn’t sail too well previously against Phil in Rhossy, so I was happy to get a solid backloop and stalled forward in.


Waves are the fun bit for me and I just tried to perform solid, powerful turns. The trick was catching the right waves, some were just big bits of chop that didn’t offer much. Luckily, I found some that connected all the way and that’s where I was able gain the upper hand and take the single elimination win. I always felt riding was my strong point over huge jumps, so I think there’s definitely something in playing to your strengths.


After a couple of lay days, excitement was building for finals day as the forecast was looking mega. Tiree, in October, typically offers southwesterly winds accompanied with rain, but this year we had mostly sunny, easterly winds. More exciting was the rare cocktail of easterly winds combined with a west swell brewing, which was due to hit Balephuil Beach. Upon arrival we watched some solid logo high sets roll in with 30+ knots cross-off winds. It looked classic.


I watched the heat before mine to see who I would face in the final – Miguel [Chapuis] or Phil. Unfortunately, soon after the green flag, Phil picked up an injury after falling on wave, which forced him to retire – meaning I would meet Miguel in the final.


With Phil injured it seemed the British title would be mine, but I still had to fight for the sword. Miguel has always been a skilled trickster and pulled off a perfect one-handed goiter in his heat against James Cox, so I was pretty nervous.


My tactic was just to sail conservatively. During the heat I was a bit out of sync with the sets and wasn’t too pleased to see Miguel pick off some good ones. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to win contests, so while Miguel had the biggest waves, he also had the biggest crashes. It was not my best heat, but I kept it professional and stayed on my feet.


Coming into the beach, finding out that I was Tiree and British Champion, felt pretty massive. It was a lot to take in after so many years building up to it. Although I would have preferred one last battle against Phil, I felt like I deserved it after narrowly losing the super final last year to Julian [Salmonn], so this year, was my year.


Aside from the contest, the trip to Tiree this year felt special, travelling with my good friends, always surrounded with great company, truly epic conditions on both tacks and barely a drop of rain. It was also really fun to document the trip on my YouTube – @LucasMeldrumK90. I have to say a massive thank you to the BWA Team, William Maclean and Wild Diamond for pulling everything together. Oh, and lastly, I got to take home the famous Tiree Sword – the best windsurf trophy in the world! I can’t wait to do it all over again next year…


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