Among the finest windsurfers in the world are due to descend on the Hebridean isle of Tiree this weekend – for the 2013 Tiree Wave Classic.
The famous week-long event is in its 27th year, and starts on Saturday October 12th.
“Tiree always delivers something special,” said event organizer Jim Brooks-Dowsett.
“We’re hoping we get one of those stand-out days which really showcases why people love the island so much – so we can show off our world class sailors at their best,” he said.
The competition is the third of four legs of the British Wavesailing Association’s (BWA) UK Wave tour.
This year the pro fleet has been boosted further by the entry of Ross Williams, from the Isle of Wight.
He is currently leading the BWA standings after events in Wales and Ireland.
“Ross is a well-polished and professional sailor, and his skill level is stand-out,” said Jim Brooks-Dowsett, from Puravida Boardriders.
“But there are a handful of guys snapping at his heels, making the competition very exciting,” said Jim.
Three time winner Ben Proffitt, from Shropshire, is among Williams’ key rivals for the title this year, along with the likes of Phil Horrocks from north Wales.
Along with the pro fleet, there will be highly competitive competitions among the ladies, amateurs and youth fleets.
“Tiree is always a special place for us,” said BWA Tour Manager Nigel Treacy.
“There’s just something magical about it, whether it’s the beautiful coastline, the epic conditions or the fantastic people on the island, we just love it,” he said.
Riders from outside of the UK are also expected to compete this year, and dozens are coming from all across the British isles, including Cornwall.
This year will also see a number of entrants from the RAF, and also several youngsters from across Scotland who have been training with Royal Yachting Association Scotland.
Entrants are marked by how well they ride waves and perform jumps in front of a panel of three judges.
The event is supported by EventScotland and Argyll and Bute Council.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “This year marks almost a decade of our support for Tiree Wave Classic. Over the period that we have supported the event, Tiree has become a popular destination for visitors and water sports enthusiasts. Tiree Wave Classic showcases this thrilling sport and the stunning landscape of Tiree to an international audience and demonstrates that Scotland is the perfect stage for events.”
Argyll Estates allow access to beaches, and organisers work closely with them to make sure the coastline is left in good condition.
“We couldn’t run the competition without the support of the people of Tiree, and we’re so grateful for that” said Jim Brooks-Dowsett.
“It’s crucial for us that we leave Tiree with it looking as fantastic as it does when we arrive, and every one of the competitors appreciates that and feels the same,” he said.
“We just can’t wait for the competition to start now,” said Jim.