Interview with Ben Proffitt
Ben Proffitt has won the Tiree Wave Classic in front of Phil Horrocks, Ross Williams and Adam Lewis and is leading the BWA tour at the moment. He has decided to skip the PWA event on Maui to be able to compete at the final BWA tour stop in Cornwall. We have caught up with Ben in between packing up his equipment and the 8hr drive home from Tiree.
Read our interview below.
Congratulations. You have won the Tiree Wave Classic? What does it mean to win this event?
Ben Proffitt: Thanks. I’m pretty happy right now. It’s the biggest event on the British wave circuit and there is always strong competition. It was also my 4th title in a row (although last year was just an expression session format and not counting to the BWA overall) which felt pretty special. Also this year apart from the strong regulars like Phil Horrocks etc. we had some of the top PWA riders joining as well – Ross Williams, Adam Lewis and Albert Pijoan. Yes, you could say I’m pretty stoked.
Continentseven: How were the conditions during the competition days?
Ben Proffitt: They had there moments… the first day of competition was pretty light (5.0 / 5.3 Black tip and 85 Quantum) but there were some over head high waves coming in and you could hit a few sections. In the double elimination there was a lot more wind (4.5 icon and 75 Flywave) but the waves were smaller, especially by the final.
Continentseven: Phil Horrocks, who finished second won 3 heats in the Double Elimination, took out Andy Bubble Chambers, Adam Lewis and Ross Williams and of course wanted to win the event. What do you think, gave you the advantage over him to win the event?
Ben Proffitt: That’s easy.. it was down to the best caddy in the world!! haha.. Justyna was jumping around and cheer leading the whole way (Just wait to you see Alfie Hart’s podcast! haha). But seriously it did help. I also think everyone wanted to win the event as it’s a big one to win. I was going for my 4th title in a row, so was fully motivated. Seeing Horrocks on the charge and with momentum was a bit scary though as Phil sails super good and was having some sick heats, but in the back of my mind I knew he’d be a bit tired. So I told myself to just go full power in the first match up. Luckily I found some waves earlier on. Finding a jump was tricky, but I managed to get a little tweaked Pushie which was enough.
Continentseven: The dates of the final BWA event in Cornwall and the PWA event on Maui are overlapping? Will you do the BWA event or the PWA event?
Ben Proffitt: It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I’m leading the British tour now and Cornwall has been on the calendar the whole year. So I have decided I won’t be going to Maui. I also don’t really have the budget for both Maui and Chile so I had to pick one.
It might of been different if I was doing live stream in Maui, but that hasn’t happened in the end. Which I can understand as there is no point in getting me to fly over when they have the expert talker like Kai Katadorian already there. It’s a bit of a shame as I would have liked to team up with him. To be honest it would have been awesome to commentate on the Aloha Classic. There are going to be some crazy upsets for sure and i would have loved to bring my excitement to that. And I really like the place and i’m regular footed so that is my best side for riding. It is such a shame i’m not going as i know i will be watching and will always wonder how i would have done. But sometimes you have to make tough decisions.
Continentseven: This victory puts you now in the lead of the BWA tour in front of Ross Williams. How high are your chances to win the final event and take the BWA overall title this year?
Ben Proffitt: Yep.. I’m leading but I’m level points with Ross (3rd and 1st ) 3.7 points each. Because I won the last event it puts me ahead, so no wind in Cornwall would have me win the tour. It really is a 3 horse race as me and Ross have 3.7 points and Phil has 4 points. It basically comes down to who beats who in Cornwall for the title race. With the forecast looking good it’s going to be super exciting!
On the PWA Tour you are on a really good 11th place overall at the moment with a 17th place in Tenerife and a 9th place in Denmark, we think your best result ever. What is the plan for the final PWA event, the event in Chile?
Ben Proffitt: Well.. actually my best place on the tour was in 2004 where I finished 5th = in the double elimination in Pozo…..it’s been down hill since haha (note from editor: Sorry). As I said before I’m not going to Maui. It’s a shame, but Maui has popped up out of nowhere and my budgets were done well before. Also I would be rocking up one day before the comp with no practice which not the best preparation. So after a chat with the guys at Simmer we decided it would be best to go to Chile early and do that event full power. I plan to do some video diary’s which I think could be awesome… so i’m really excited about the trip.
Continentseven: Have you already been in Chile? Do you think, the conditions could suit you?
Ben Proffitt: I’ve never been, but the boys have shown me the video and the place really excites me. I mean I have been going away ever winter for 10+ years to Cape town and more recently Oz and training in port tack down the line conditions. This place is what I dream of. Bring it on!!
Continentseven: Thanks for the interview.
Tiree Wave Classic 2013 – Result
1. Ben Proffitt
2. Phil Horrocks
3. Ross Williams
4. Adam Lewis
5. Andy Bubble Chambers
6. Albert Pijoan
7. Sam Neil, Jack Hunt
9. James Cox, Alexsy Gayda, Alfie Hart, Chris Murray
1. Justyna Sniady
2. Ping Yin
3. Megan Gayda
4. Eililh Sutherland
5. Emmy Ray
1. Scotty McDowell
2. Jonathan Price
3. Ben Page
4. Ian Gibson
1. Davey Edmiston
2. Adam Milne
3. Dave White
1. Steward Cowling
2. Tris Levie