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    Tiree surfer Ben Larg at Mullaghmore, Ireland

    Tiree surfer Ben Larg, 14, rides 30-foot wave in Ireland

    The giant waves that break off Mullaghmore Head in Ireland’s County Sligo are as serious as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Last winter, experienced local surfer John Monahan nearly drowned there after breaking his femur and two ribs during a wipeout. In 2017, the surf photographer Ian Mitchinson says he told himself “to brace for death” after he was pinned underwater by a monster wave. The surf forecasting website Magic Seaweed describes the spot as “a savage, shallow, reefbreak” that “handles any size swell, producing massive tubes, but needs to be well overhead to break clear of exposed rocks.” So for Tiree surfer Ben Larg, still aged just 14, to turn up at Mullaghmore earlier this week and ride a wave estimated to be around 30-feet high, almost beggars belief.

    The Tiree Wave Classic is the longest-running windsurfing competition in the world. PIC: Richard Whitson

    The Tiree Wave Classic: a guide for spectators

    Storm season is here, and at time of writing the west coast of Tiree is being hammered by a monstrous 17-foot swell following a close encounter with Hurricane Lorenzo. By Saturday, the first day of the Tiree Wave Classic’s week-long waiting period, the swell should be down in the more manageable 5-7 foot range according to the surf forecast website Magic Seaweed, but there should still be plenty of wind about, so there’s a decent chance that the contest will kick off either then or on Sunday.


    Walking in the footsteps of Orkney’s mighty Viking rulers

    The Vikings arrived in Orkney in the late 8th century – and remained for another 500 years. They first came to flee an emerging new monarchy in Norway with these exiled sea pirates using the islands to launch their own voyages and raids.
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