Professional windsurfer Ben Proffitt has written himself into the sport’s history books after winning the Tiree Wave Classic for an unprecedented fourth year in a row.
On a thrilling final day of action, the Shropshire sailor beat off a spirited challenge from Welshman Phil Horrocks to reclaim the title and with it an engraved broadsword.
The 35-year-old held the lead going into the final day of action as the heats began again in windy conditions and head-high waves at Balephuil.
But it soon became apparent that Proffitt was going to have a severe test to reclaim his title, as Horrocks produced a series of sensational jumps to climb from fourth place to take on the Englishman in the final.
As a thrilled crowd watched on from the beach on the Inner Hebridean isle, Horrocks’ wave jumping was of the highest calibre, but Proffit’s sensational wave-riding clinched him the title once again.
The competition is in its 27th year, and is the third of four events on the British Wavesailing Association (BWA)’s UK Wave Tour, with Cornwall hosting the final leg later this month.
Ian Ross, Head Judge, said, “Tiree has delivered yet again, coupled with the effort from the riders, this is exactly why this competition is called the Tiree Wave Classic.”
“We witnessed the most consistent full day of windsurfing action from 8am through til 5pm, that I’ve ever seen in the UK,” he said.
“The conditions really were spectacular and the competitors took full advantage,” said Ross.
BWA UK Wave Tour leader Ross Williams, from the Isle of Wight, finished in third place in the pro’s division.
One of those watching on was Mark Bees, from Tiree, who said, “I’ve never seen so much world class windsurfing in one day in Tiree before.”
“The atmosphere on the beach was really special and it the competitors and the crew were having a real blast,” he said.
Polish sailor Justyna Sniady took the ladies title while Scottish pair Scot McDowell, from Troon, won the amateur title and Tiree local Stewart Cowling took the youth award.
Event organiser, Jim Brooks-Dowsett, said, “This was one of the best Tiree Wave Classics ever, with some really exciting results all changing hands on the last day, in fantastic conditions.”
“And it wasn’t just the competition, there was an amazing mass expression session – a first for Tiree – and just brilliant to watch,” said Jim.
The Tiree Wave Classic is hosted by Puravida Boardriders at the Tiree Lodge Hotel and funded by EventScotland with Argyll & Bute Council.