Tiree Wave Classic 

The world’s best windsurfers will compete against each other at one of the most challenging of UK sporting events, the Tiree Wave Classic 2008. Running from 11 to 18 October, the competition is set to attract over 700 visitors to the island, with a dedicated half hour television program, which makes it the island’s biggest economic driver of the year.

Set up in 1986 and sanctioned to World Cup level in 2007, the competition showcases Scotland as a world-class events destination. Tiree’s rugged coastline, superb waves and £5000 prize fund will provide the riskiest and most adventurous challenge yet for windsurfing’s elite competitors.

The Event Village will offer a variety of activities open to everyone including cliff jumping, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, blo-karting, zapcat racing, surfing, trade exhibitions, craft exhibitions, island tours and food tastings making the island a perfect destination for families and groups.

A host of other activities and events will also take place throughout the duration of the competition including whisky tasting, traditional live music performances.

From its modest beginnings, owners of the Tiree Wave Classic Competition GMFCo Marketing, have delivered a marketing and sponsorship solution to major brands for over twenty years. Now one of the biggest events on the Scottish sporting calendar, GMFCo expect this year’s competition to be the most challenging yet.

Gordon Ritchie, Director of GMFCo Ltd, the event organisers, said: “The Tiree Wave Classic is now in its 22nd year and is the significant economic driver for Tiree and for Scotland.

The island is a stunning location for the competition, its diverse natural assets help to put Scotland on the map. This event is one of the most difficult to organise due to its location and the resources available. But this is what makes it so special, we have to work hard to create it, competitors have to work hard to get there. But when they are there, they realise the adventure of Tiree and the Tiree Wave Classic. This competition is not for the faint hearted.”

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Jimmy Diaz

As the PWA embarks on the final event of the season, there’s more big transfer news as Starboard add to their wave and race team with two new talented riders.

The PWA’s President and long time slalom racer, Jimmy Diaz will be joining the Starboard racing fraternity. Here’s Jimmy on how it all came about:

“It all started as a result of F2 going into bankruptcy protection. This left me without a board sponsor and allowed me to step aside and look at the windsurfing scenario and see where I could best pursue my options. I had never approached Starboard in the past because they already had such a great team and I did not see how I could contribute to it. However, after the situation with F2 I looked at companies from a very critical standpoint in deciding whom to approach. What I saw in Starboard was, first and foremost, a company who is year after year producing the most competitive boards on the market. I wanted to race on the best boards and seeing the success Antoine and Kevin were having, I knew the boards were working very well. The second thing I looked at was the strength of the company and the reasons behind it. I have known Svein for quite a few years now and have developed a very strong respect for him. I really like the way he thinks and views the sport and his philosophy is a very healthy one not only for the growth and promotion of Starboard, but also for windsurfing in general. Knowing the success of Starboard, I knew Svein had developed a very strong team around him to push the company and sport forward. This was very appealing to me. So after factoring these things in my mind, I decided to try my chances and approach Svein to see if there was any room in the team for me. Fortunately, Svein, Tiesda, and Joe were able to find a place for me on the team and now I look very much forward to contributing as much as possible to its success.”

And secondly, after a brief spell on F2, Philip Koster has signed back with Starboard. Svein Rasmussen, president of Starboard International, was so impressed by Philip’s performance in Gran Canaria he flew to the Canaries to personally congratulate and bring the 14 year old wonderkid back to the brand with the Tiki logo.

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Bjorn Dunkerbeck

Bjorn Dunkerbeck (SUI, Proof, North Sails) and Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA, Loft Sails) are the European Champions of Speed Windsurfing 2008 !

In a thrilling final gold fleet race Bjorn Dunkerbeck defeated Antoine Albeau (FRA, Starboard) who was leading the competition until that final race. Both were tied in points, with the tie broken in favour of Antoine Albeau by the top speed of the season (43.68 knots), a new spot record as well.

Cyril Moussilmani (FRA, Fanatic, North) saved his third place with his fifth third position out of six races, clearly ahead of former world record holder Finian Maynard (BVI). In fifth place then Chris Lockwood (AUS, Carbon Art, KA Sails).

In the womens fleet, Valerie dominated all six races with six victories, also clear in second Anja Kruse (GER, F2, North) with five second places. Third place then goes to Elke Schill (GER, F2, North) from the hosting Pro Center.

The event started with the first split fleet race in speed sailing history, to get a proper seeding for the upcoming silver and gold fleet races.

Antoine Albeau (FRA, Starboard) dominated group A, Peter Volwater (NED, F2, North) in second ahead of Cyril Moussilmani (FRA, Fanatic, North), then Chris Lockwood (AUS, Carbon Art, KA Sails). Group B kicked of with the long expected duell between Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Finian Maynard (BVI), and Bjorn showed with some fantastic runs over 41 knots the potential of that strip. Surprisingly Ben van der Steen (NED) came in second, followed by Torsten Luig (GER, T1, North), Finian in fourth then.

The second day of competition brought the conditions that Devils Bay is well known for: winds of 8 Beaufort, gusting 10, brought problems for almost all of the silver fleet competitors, and the gold fleet was setting new standards in competition speed sailing.

The skippersmeeting was set to 9:00 at that day, as the forecast was promising strong wind early, and the wind was strong. The gold fleet hit the water sharp at 9:30, and everybody was doing 40s easily from the very beginning. Antoine and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (SUI, Proof, North) were both pushing for higher and higher speeds. Cyril Moussilmani (FRA, Fanatic, North) in third and Finian Maynard (BVI) in fourth.

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