Not Just Judges
During the recent 2009 Tiree Wave Classic in the United Kingdom, PWA judge Paul Hunt beat PWA sailor Ben Proffitt (Quatro, Simmer) in the first round of the men’s pro fleet wave competition.
If you’ve ever questioned the ability of the judges on the World Tour, then think again. Regular judge Paul Hunt sailed at a higher level than one of the top 30 ranked PWA wave sailors at the most recent British competition in the Outer Hebrides.
The Tiree Wave Classic has become somewhat famous with PWA judges. It just so happens that the Head Judge of the World Tour, Duncan Coombs, won this very same event not just once, but twice in a row back in the early eighties.
Another PWA judge that has excelled at the Tiree Wave Classic in previous years is Mark Hosegood. In 2003 he beat many current PWA sailors in the second round, including World class professional John Skye (RRD, Naish, MFC) who finished 5th at the Colgate World Cup Sylt this year.
Proffitt did go on to overtake Hunt during the second round, but this just goes to show that the judges on tour are not only up to date with proficient knowledge of the moves, but they’ve actually competed themselves to an extremely high standard and can ride waves and complete many of the jumps alongside the best of them.