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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#RecordWave - Nineteen metres is the height of what’s being called the world’s largest wave, recorded recently off the North West Coast of Ireland.

Independent.ie reports on the record-breaking swell detected by a weather buoy in the North Atlantic between Ireland and Iceland, following what the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Commission for Climatology described as a “very strong” cold front that passed through at more than 80km per hour.

WMO Assistant Secretary-General Wenjian Zhang said: ”This is the first time we have ever measured a wave of 19 metres. It is a remarkable record.”

The new measurement beats the previous record of 18.275 metres recorded in the North Atlantic nine years ago.

But while the news is causing gasps around the internet, for some it only confirms what’s long been known — that Ireland is on the doorstep of a big wave paradise.

Indeed, Ireland’s North West is no stranger to monster swells, with the giant surf offshore from Mullaghmore in Co Sligo a well-kept secret among the big wave surfing fraternity.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Adventure - Pioneering Irish surfer Easkey Britton was keynote speaker at the fifth annual International Adventure Conference in Tralee last week, as The Kerryman reports.

The event attracted experts from as far afield as New Zealand for three days of talks on the future of adventure tourism – plus a number of outdoor excursions.

Kerry aims to compete with the likes of Donegal in the increasingly popular adventure tourism stakes, which comprise such white-knuckle activities as surfing, sea kayaking and climbing along Ireland’s rugged coasts.

Donegal recently hosted the 50th anniversary of surfing’s arrival in Ireland, and RTÉ’s Barry O’Neill was on hand to discover how the sport has contributed to the lives of often distant coastal communities.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Fifty years of Irish surfing will be celebrated in Rossnowlagh this month, as the Donegal Democrat reports.

A gala dinner during the Rossnowlagh Intercounties next weekend (15-16 October) will mark five decades since the formation of what was then the Surf Club of Ireland by Kevin Cavey, who was influenced by images of surfing in a Reader’s Digest magazine.

Cavey himself inspired the legendary Britton clan in Rossnowlagh, and the family’s Sandhouse Hotel soon became a focal point for Irish wave-riding.

Fast-forward to today and Ireland, and the North West in particular, is among the world’s stop surfing destinations, producing world-class talent such as women’s surf pioneer Easkey Britton.

But the Irish Surfing Association’s golden jubilee dinner at the Sandhouse next Saturday 15 October is an opportunity to look back fondly at memories and happenings from Irish surfing’s earliest days. Irish Surfing has more HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - An Irishman has been praised for his heroism after saving his best friend from an attack by a great white shark in Australia just over a year ago.

As Independent.ie reports, Shane de Roiste leapt into action when his friend Dale Carr was bitten by the ferocious ocean predator while the pair were surfing off Port Macquarie in New South Wales.

"It really is like you see in the Jaws movies," said Wexford man de Roiste recalling that fateful day in August 2015. "The person is just shaken around in the water.”

Carr finally fought off the shark by jamming a thug into one of its eyes, but we was left with a severe bite on his thigh and was losing a lot of blood.

De Roiste remained with his friend throughout, paddling him back to shore and using laces from the fins of Carr's body board to keep the wound closed till help arrived.

The Irishman has now been nominated by his friend for a Pride of Australia award, the winners of which will be announced this November.

The attack just over a year ago was one of a number of incidents reported in the eastern Australian state in the latter half of 2015.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE, while de Roiste shared his story with Matt Cooper on Newstalk's The Last Word yesterday evening.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#Surfing - Chasing the most challenging swells is the dream of the world's top big wave surfers, who've made an art of determining where the tallest walls of water can be found.

But now one Irish coastal regular reveals how he turned to science for his discovery of a new secret hotspot off the North West.

As Mail Online reports, Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton consulted with weather analysts and oceanographers in poring over satellite data to find the offshore sweet spot – generating waves that averaged some nine metres, or 30 feet – after the stormy winter of late 2014.

However, the Devon surfer believes the location could produce swells more than twice that size – and may even break the record for the biggest wave ever surfed as set at Nazaré in Portugal by Garrett McNamara in 2013.

Cotty's quest is the subject of a new documentary on RedBull.tv, while Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - A year after his close call with a shark off South Africa, Irish-Australian surfing pro Mick Fanning rode the waves to victory this week at the scene of the attack.

As the Guardian reports, Fanning topped the field at the World Surfing League event at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa's Eastern Cape, where almost exactly a year ago he was knocked off his board by a shark during a contest.

Video of that incident quickly went viral online, and Fanning himself said it was a "miracle" he wasn't injured in the altercation.

Yet within days he'd already vowed to not only get back on his board - but return to the spot where his life hung in the balance.

“I’m just stoked that I actually got to come back and right the wrong," he says, "that was my whole plan, was to just to right to wrongs that happened last year. And we did that now, so we can move on.”

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - A stunning photograph of Cornish surfer Tom Butler riding the swell at Mullaghmore Head was up for a top prize at the Nomad Big Wave Awards in Los Angeles this week.

The image of Butler – no stranger to Ireland's big wave scene – beneath a cresting wave netted a 'Best Shot of a Surfer in a Barrel' nomination for Irish-based South African photographer Ian Mitchinson at the inaugural awards, as the Cornish Guardian reports.

A photo posted by Tom Butler (@tommybutts) on



But Butler was "stoked" enough to see his spectacular shot make the front page of Monday's Irish Times, which reports on another big nomination for the Sligo swell as South African surfer Frank Solomon's attempt, filmed by Irish man Peter Clyne, is up for the 'Ride of the Year' gong.

The full list of award winners will be announced later today.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - American surfing pro Jamie O'Brien sings the praises of Clare's big waves as part of his latest web series on chasing the world's best surf.

Speaking with entertainment.ie ahead of the fifth season of his RedBull.tv show Who is JOB, O'Brien hailed the "world class" waves at Lahinch, despite the cold and the unpredictable weather this spring is bringing us.

But O'Brien – a pioneer of the concept of 'freesurfing' – was equally impressed with the "hardcore" dedication of local youngsters to what's still an emerging sport in Ireland.

"You gotta be hardcore to go surfing in that cold water," he said.

Another boarder who's been exploring Ireland's surfing scene is Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton, the star of his own Red Bull web series that started this month with his first stop along the Wild Atlantic Way in North Donegal.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Surfers from across the North West paired up to take part in a unique event to raise money for mental health charity Aware NI last week.

The money raised at the tandem surfing competition, run by Portrush-based surfing school Troggs, will help Award NI provide vital services for people affected by depression across Northern Ireland.

Teams of surfers took to Portrush East Strand on Sunday 20 March to perform tricks and manoeuvres in pairs in an attempt to impress the experienced judges.

The tandem surfing competition, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, raised over £300 (€372) for Aware NI.

The event was the brainchild of Carl Russell, owner of Troggs Surf School, after some of his own clients recommended the benefits of surfers in overcoming the own depression.

“The idea came about from my brother Jamie Russell and I realising that we could experience surfing together on the same board when surf conditions weren’t favourable for our shortboards,” he said.

“We ended up having as much fun if not more tandem surfing as we did surfing normally. Then the link for the competition was made to show that the proven research that surfing helps depression is a real tool that can be used."

Russell explained that surfing "has had positive effect on people and clients of ours with mental health issues which is why we have chosen this charity, plus this professional organisation really helps people.

"We run custom surf programmes for groups affected by the issues mentioned. Our event is due to run again September-October 2016 and will be even bigger.

“Thanks to all our sponsors gregwallace.co.uk, garymccall.co.uk, couconoutdoor.com, Brew Note Portrush & AC Electronics Coleraine.

Only last year the French seaside town of Biarritz become the first in the world to prescribe surfing lessons as a way to treat depression to heart disease.

Some 20 doctors are taking part in a pilot scheme in Europe’s surf capital to encourage the notoriously pill-popping French to cut back on medication and take to the waves.

“Aware fully endorse the message that physical exercise cannot only improve your physical health but also your mental health,” said Kieran Hughes, fundraising officer at Aware NI.

“The benefits of physical exercise for mental health are widely recognised and surfing is one of the best examples of that. Participants are getting excellent exercise but also getting out in the open and close to nature which can only be a positive thing.

“We would like to sincerely thank Carl and everyone at Troggs Surf School for raising money for Aware. All the money raised will go towards Aware’s Support Services and education programmes to help people affected by depression across Northern Ireland.”

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Lahinch Surf Experience has asked the public to be on the lookout for a number of items stolen from a van outside the surfing school's premises overnight.

According to a Facebook post this morning (Saturday 26 March), some 40 pairs of Alder Edge boots and around 10 O'Neill wetsuits were taken in the burglary.

The business is asking anyone who might be offered any of these items for sale to contact them or Ennistymon Garda Station.

The news comes just hours after the Shielbaggan Outdoor Centre saw the return of a trailer full of kayaks that had been stolen from its premises in Ramsgrange, Co Wexford earlier this week.

Published in Surfing
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