Tiree is known as the UK’s ‘Little Hawaii.’ Since the 80s it has been the venue of the British Wave Championships and its continuing popularity surely has something to do with it being officially the windiest (and sunniest) place in Britain – and on account of it having 9 white sand beaches all facing different directions to catch whatever wind and swell is available. What an obvious place to hold a wave clinic …
Just 14 miles (at its longest) it’s almost as if someone with ultimate power has decided to design the perfect windsurfing island. Sitting fully exposed in mid Atlantic yes it’s popular with wave sailors for obvious reasons but it’s an adventure playground for ALL standards. There are sheltered bays for free-riding and even a waist deep, windy loch.
As mentioned – it’s officially the windiest place in the UK – and October when I stage the clinic, is one of the windiest months. Like Donegal, with such an array of beaches, you can always find a wave to suit the standard. A couple of years ago a 10 metre westerly swell was battering the popular beach ‘The Maze.’ So we drove around to ‘sheltered’ Gott Bay on the south side where that same swell had wrapped around the whole island and was rolling in at head high in perfect clean sets.
We stay in the Hynish Centre. It’s a beautiful converted mill right on the water’s edge. It’s just undergone a refurb. It’s dry and warm with endless hot water. It has a spacious living room ideal for video playback, a table tennis room and a drying room.
It’s an outward bound centre so you sleep in bunk rooms, although there are a couple of double rooms and detached cottages next door if you fancy some privacy. The food is home cooked and delicious. At about £45 a day including all meals, it’s amazing value.
As with Kerry and Donegal – it’s a road trip where people drive over with their own kit. We take the 4 hour Calmac ferry from Oban and sail out through the stunning Sound of Mull. Every day we check wind and swell and then head to the most appropriate beach, which at the most is 20 minutes away.
Bring your own. There is a shop, Wild Diamond, on the island selling essential spares as well as renting out SUPs and surfboards.
Surfing and SUPing, great beachcombing, cycling, hiking, golf
Suggested standard: waterstarting and planing in straps and harness on a sub 100 ltr board. Confident swimming in, around and under breaking waves.