Welcome to the official site of the annual Tiree Wave Classic!
The Tiree Wave Classic is the longest running professional windsurfing event in the world. It was founded in 1985 and has run to the present day. It showcases the best of the UK’s windsurfing talent across a number of fleets ranging from Juniors to World Cup Professional Windsurfers.
For spectators the Tiree Wave Classic provides an amazing opportunity to immerse into windsurf culture for the week. Surfing, windsurfing and paddle boarding are all available to try along with a range of other sports and an event village.
There are multiple events and nightlife functions organised during the week making the Classic a great option for everyone. Please see the event schedule page for more details.
Wild Diamond Water sports based on the Isle of Tiree have been sanctioned by the British Wavesailing Association to act as the official event hosts for the Tiree Wave Classic from 2015 onwards. We are delighted to be in a position where Tiree residents will now, for the first time in the Event’s history, be able to control the direction and success of the windsurfing event that is in its 35th year on Tiree. Key changes from 2015 onwards will involve much more participation from local businesses and community groups on the island.
HOW TO START COMPETING…….
|BWA Guide to
Competition Wavesailing (includes the BWA ‘rookie section’)
Look out for registration meeting points and times.
Prior to events, these will be clearly detailed on the
There 3 Simple steps to competing:
JOIN: The BWA. Through the UKWA website. This will ensure that you covered by our Event insurance as well as offering other great benefits.
ENTER: Pick the event you want to enter and then go online and pay your fee
SIGN IN: When you arrive at the event look out for Registration or Sign in days and times. Only when you have SIGNED in will your name go into the heat draw for that event.
Once registered look and listen out for the first ‘Skippers’ meeting or announcement. If this is not clearly displayed on a board, ask any of the BWA team or riders.
HEAT BOARD PREPARATION
Once all the entrants have SIGNED IN, the Head Judge write out the heats for each fleet, seeding sailors based on the last 4 ‘rolling’ events, then randomly placing everyone else who hasn’t entered before into the heat draws. REMEMBER IF YOU DON’T SIGN IN YOU WONT BE DRAWN.
There is a great deal going on behind the scenes. Head judges liaising with event hosts and organisers to decide formats and timings. Be patient. Once they have a decision it will be communicated to you at the skippers call or announcements.
A Heat Order is also written out and available at the start of each day. Fleets are often intermingled so you can get Pro Heat 1-8 followed by Amateur heats 1-8, then Masters heats 1-8 then back to the Pros for heats 9/10/11 etc…It’s all wonderfully co-ordinated so the finals of each fleet occur back to back at the end of the day (this keeps the media/camera crew happy).
HOW THE HEAT WORKS – The Basics
1: HEAT DRAW
Check the heat board for your name. Then check your nominated rash vest colour. It is essential to get this right as the judges will be looking for your colour when scoring. The image on the right shows LEWIS is sailing in HEAT 10B and in GREEN rashvest
2: RASH VEST
You MUST wear the correct rashvest to be scored. If you proceed to another heat the colour may change so make sure you return to the board after your heat to see what colour you are. ALWAYS return your rashvest immediately following your heat and please NEVER leave the beach with a rash vest.
3: THE HEAT SEQUENCE
RED LIGHT: [WARNING]
2 Mins until the START of the next heat
YELLOW LIGHT [PREPARATORY]
1 minute until the START of the heat.
GREEN LIGHT [HEAT ON]
The light will flash green for the duration of
the heat. With 1 minute remaining all lights
will be OFF.
A Flashing RED/GREEN light indicates that the HEAT has been cancelled. Those competing should immediately return to the beach HQ for further instructions
A Flashing RED light indicates that the Event is POSTPONED or ON HOLD. ALL Competitors should return to the Beach HQ for further instructions.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFO
If the lights fail, they will be replaced with a simple RED/ YELLOW/RED flag system.
The competition area will be advised prior to the start and where possible markers will be placed to indicate the competition area. Competitors sailing inside the sailing area
Please DO NOT sail inside the sailing area if you are not in the heat or you may be disqualified from event.
Dispelling the myths about wave competition:
“I have to be a wave riding legend”
If you understand the concept of top turn and bottom turn and do your best to wiggle up and down the wave, your ahead of the game! Seriously though, if you can handle yourself, have a bomb-proof waterstart, enjoy a good rinsing in reasonable size waves, say up to head high, you will be fine.
“ I’ll turn up and it will be mast high, super windy and I will be forced to go out”
Brandon Bay, 2009: Conditions so extreme only the top Pros were allowed out by the Head Judge and even they were scared. However, further down the bay the waves were head high, nice and clean so the Amateurs, Masters and Ladies had a cracking day of competition later on that day. So, if it is massive you will find the Judges will decide on your behalf.
“ I have to be able to forward loop”
Not true. Many an amateur competition has been won by a sailor that couldn’t loop but was the best in the waves. Of course it helps, but remember that at some down-the-line locations the Judges will only be asking you to wave ride with no jumps to count so please don’t be put off if you can’t loop.
“ It’s all a bit cliquey for me”
Windsurfing is a small sport, the world of competitive windsurfing is even smaller hence everyone knows everyone else. So it can feel like your first day at school come Registration when everyone other than you is chatting away, giving each other big hugs, talking about where to go drinking that night etc. Everyone was a newbie at some point and the best thing to do is to introduce yourself to the ‘crowd’ at the earliest opportunity, they won’t bite.
“ I need loads of spare kit”
Ben Proffitt turns up to events with 6 boards, 10 sails and numerous booms and masts – lucky fellow. Mere mortals can get away with a lot less.
One 70-80litre board is good, one small board (70-75ltrs) and one bigger, floaty board (80-100 litre) is even better especially if the location is renowned for it’s down-the-line sailing (Brandon Bay, Gwithian) where wobbling out on a 70litre board in gusty, offshore winds is darn tricky.
Three sails is ideal covering 3.7-5.5m weather depending on your size. One boom is fine but what is really handy is to have an extra mast and extension so you can rig up two sails and swap them within minutes should the wind change just before your heat (which it will). If you have two boards then attach this sail to the spare board on the beach (need extra mastfoot) and you’re almost look like a Pro!
PREPARING FOR COMPETITION
Golden Rule: “You cannot over-prepare. Find out exactly where you need to be and what time your first heat is. Once you have that information, start preparing”.
Ensure you are well fed and watered but don’t over do it. Most riders tend to ‘graze’ on small light snacks that have enough protein and energy to keep you focused.
Warm up and get on the water. If there is time, get yourself out onto the water for a practice but remember to stay clear of the competition judging area.
Murphy’s law applies to Wavesailing more than any
sport. Carry spares and rig spares. Watch the pros.
They will rig the size of sail for the conditions, then
rig a couple more just in case the wind changes.
Make sure you have spare mastfeet, check you ropes,
check footstraps etc. There are plenty of wave guides online.
Keep a close eye on the heat orders. These are clearly displayed on a board located close to the event ‘order’ flags.
Because there is no break, you hear people talk about having a Rolling Clock. Let me explain with an example:
Let’s say Heat Length for that day is: 10mins. Time between heats: Always 2mins. You have checked the heat order and you’re in Heat 5.Each heat takes (10+2 = 12mins). So when the very first hooter for the very first heat is sounded you have (12×4=48mins) till your heat. It’s simple Maths but you’d be amazed how many sailors cock it up.
we recommend a watch with a repeating countdown on it so when you set it
at 12mins it goes all the way down to zero then starts at 12mins again.
When that hooter goes, set it going and hey presto, you’re in time for
the whole day with your very own rolling clock! It’s also a good way
of controlling the nerves when your watch perfectly co-ordinates
with the flags and hooter. BUT remember to reset if the judges
halt the event for any length of time. We use the OPTIMIM watch
which also has a SYNC button. We can help you set this up.
If you don’t get through, take a few deep breaths, hold back the tears and congratulate your victor. You can ask to see the heat sheets and in a very few cases heats are re-run but only often in the Pro fleet. It is worth looking through the heat sheets over a beer in the evening. They will show you where you went wrong (or right) and also give you an idea of how the judges score and what they are looking for.