Ahead of the 2016 Tiree Wave Classic we caught up with 2015 youth champion Andrew Brown to hear his thoughts on the progression of wave sailors in the uk and moving up the ranks!
Andrew won a sponsorship deal from O’shea last year and has been touring the UK and Europe on the competitive windsurf scene.
So, how did you get into windsurfing and when did you first hear about Tiree?
I got into windsurfing in 2011 through joining the loch insh monsters Team15 club, and through the encouragement of Jonny freshwater I started competing as part of the ‘monsters’ with the other T15 clubs. In the space of 3 years I went from sailing a ‘sausage’ course on a 3.5 in a Scottish loch to sailing at my first World Championships on the 6.8m bic techno in Poland on the Baltic Sea.I first heard about Tiree from the chat at T15. Tiree was a legend, a place with great waves, wind and sun. I immediately started to nag my mum. Later that summer I went there with some of the loch Insh monsters team. I had a fantastic time there- sailing in daylight until 11 pm and falling off next to a basking shark! A year later I heard about the Tiree Wave Classic RYA Wave Camp and obviously jumped at the chance to go again! And then again. And here I am now, even more excited to go in once again in October!
How has the Tiree Wave Classic RYA Scotland wave camp helped your progression with competitions?
The Tiree wave camp was great fun and practicing on the far smaller kit than what I was accustomed to and… In waves! really helped improve my board handling and control when I went back onto the comparatively ginormous Techno and the RS:X.I went from at first being described as ‘Bambi on water’ in 2014 to having a planing tack on the techno within a matter of weeks.The Tiree Wave classic Junior event last year gave me a taste for wave events and I’m really excited to compete in the main event this year!
Where else have you been competing this year and how have you got on?
Competitions so far this year have been great! I competed in Pwhelli, Wales at the British Youth Nationals in April. which was a good event event for me- staying consistent through a wide range of conditions, from displacement pumping in 4 knots to 20+knots survival sailing, winning with a race to spare and becoming the 2016 British Youth Champion on the RS:X 8.5.In June I competed at the IFCA slalom World Championships in Bol, Croatia -which was my first ever slalom event! It was a great experience and I improved throughout the week, from the first elimination; where I was placed 42nd to the 2nd where I qualified for the C final and finished 29th!After this I traveled to Helsinki, Finland to compete in the incredibly shifty and gusty conditions at the RS:X European Championships. I was placed 20th overall in the U19 Youth Class and qualified to represent GB at the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships this December in Auckland, New Zealand!In 2 days (Sunday the 14th Aug) I’m traveling to Vienna, Austria to compete at the Eurosaf Youth European Sailing Championships in the on the RS:X!
What moves are you working on? Those jumps are getting bigger!
On the wave kit my main focus is the front loop, I know what I need to do… I just need to commit to it! I want to have this move consistent by Tiree! Yeah sure, I can jump high;)
What do you want to get out of this years Tiree Wave Classic?
I want to get out on some proper waves, improve my wave sailing and land the forwards! As well as compete in the amateur division. All in all I know I’ll have a great time. whatever. Just hoping for wind and waves!!
We are looking forward to the youth camp in October we are now really seeing the benefits of pushing the youth fleet as they grow towards amateurs and pros! – Photos by Richard Whitson.