Andrew is my first name and I live in the northeast of Scotland.
Which Tiwal model do you have?
I have the Tiwal 3R racing sailing dinghy and I’ve had it for just a year now.
Why did you choose the Tiwal 3R?
Well, being a windsurfer I wanted something that was going to be quite responsive and exciting. I’ve done a lot of shortboard windsurfing. It’s how I started sailing as I said when I was much younger, but I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now and I was looking for something with the equal excitement but also the control. But wasn’t quite so extreme as shortboard windsurfing, so I particularly went for this 3R because it was designed as a solo sailing boat. I like the jamming cleat on it, it gives you a lot of control when you’re sailing and the conditions are fairly technical. And also the ability to trim the sail and have more response and control of the sail which I’m getting better at as I sail it more and more. That’s why I like the appeal of the 3R over the other models.
Where do sail?
I sail mostly on inland lochs in the north of Scotland. Loch Ness being one of them, but also sheltered coastal waters as well so really wherever I can take it and that’s one of the beauties of it, it’s very portable.
What was your experience before Tiwal?
I’m actually a windsurfer since a teenager so I’ve not done a lot of dinghy sailing, so I had to teach myself on the Tiwal.
Single-handed or double-handed?
I’ve always sailed it solo.
How is it going so far?
It’s been great. I’ve had it out in all sorts of conditions including some quite strong winds some of which have overpowered me but I’ve got used to what it can do. But yes, it’s been great fun using both the sails, the 6.2 meter sail in some of the stronger winds, but also the 7.2 meter in winds up to about 20 knots actually, so it’s been exciting.
What characteristics surprised you?
I think mainly I was surprised by its rigidity being an inflatable boat and that was something I was a bit doubtful about. But actually, in sailing it, I’m very pleased with how rigid it feels when you’re sailing it. I very much like the quality of the materials. I think they’re very very good and it’s very robust. And it’s strong, when the frame is put together and sails up a it’s quite a rigid structure. So I think that helps with the rigidity of the sailing as well.
What is your best memory with your Tiwal?
Certainly on a broad reach and probably about a 25 knot wind hiking right out and it’s been great fun doing that. So yes; with magnificent scenery around me you, can’t beat it.
Where would you dream to sail with your Tiwal?
Quite hard, well in a way I’m so lucky to live in the North of Scotland. There’s not many places in the world you would want to go other than up here but somewhere warmer would be nice, the water can be quite cold if you fall in, up this way, especially in the winter.
So certainly south of France, somewhere in the Mediterranean would be lovely, anywhere in New Zealand – I love New Zealand – so I would happily take it there if I could but yeah no just somewhere some warm, warmer waters would be nice sometimes to take it.