Three Time Winner Takes Control On Day 3
John Skye produced a sensational comeback to take the lead at the 2011 Tiree Wave Classic.
The three-time winner of the event – being held for the 25th time on the Inner Hebridean isle of Tiree – had to win eight different heats to finish the “double elimination” stage in first place.
That included beating the previous leader Ben Proffitt twice as the sun began to go down.
“It was really, really hard work but I’m super happy to be in front,“ said John, who’s based in Dorset.
“We’ve got the best guys from the UK here this year – everyone’s competing – and I ended up going against almost every single person. I would say every heat could have been a final,” John said.
If John – who’s known as ‘Skyeboy’ – wins this year’s event he would win a fourth Tiree Wave Classic, beating a record he jointly holds with this year’s Head Judge Duncan Coombs.
“I didn’t do any of the other UK events this year, I had a break, but I thought it’s the 25th year at Tiree, I’ve got to do it, and if I can win it, I can be the record holder, which to do it on the 25th would be amazing,” John said.
“If I do end up winning it, I’d be so happy. And to do it by winning eight heats, it’d be my best ever title – for ever and ever.”
Cornwall’s Andy King again impressed but finished the stage in third place.
There was the occasional delay due to wind conditions at Balephuil, but competition was able to continue for several hours.
The amateur event was also extremely keenly fought, with Pembrokeshire’s Lewis Merrony <picture attached> climbing from third place into a “super final” with 17-year-old Aleksy Gayda from Canvey Island.
Merrony won the first of two contests against the teenager but Gayda held on to first place by winning their deciding heat.
Alfie Hart, who’s also from Pembrokeshire, is the third placed amateur.
The “Masters” contest also got underway, which is for amateurs aged over 40, with Mark Lloyd in the lead.
In second place lies Keith Shorrocks while Essex’s Dave White – a windsurf speed specialist – is third.
Still in charge of the women’s contest is Debbie Kennedy from Hayle in Cornwall.
Sophia Joy Gilje, from Norway, is second and Finland’s Kariina Perhonen third.
The standings may hold all the way until results day if wind conditions drop, but judges are confident of getting plenty more action in ahead of Friday when competition is due to come to a close.
Tiree is famous across the world for its outstanding conditions for windsurfing, with several sandy beaches and high average wind speeds.