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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - Ireland's first ever surfing themed film festival has been hailed as a "roaring success" all round, according to surf website Magicseaweed.

The Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival - which took over the Light House Cinema and the Generator Hostel in Dublin's Smithfield last weekend, as previously reported on Afloat.ie - featured the Irish premieres of five new big-screen surfing films, including the 3D epic Storm Chasers.

But it was the Short Film section attracted the most excitement and plaudits over the two days, with an edit of Fergal 'Ferg' Smith - tackling the biggest and best waves Ireland has to offer over two years - claiming top prize in the category.

Others of note in the shortlist include bodyboarder Peter Clyne and some truly exciting POV footage from Dylan Scott - shot with a single GoPro and put together on the smallest of budgets.

North Of Nowhere from Peter Clyne - Outer Cells on Vimeo.

trendynewatrocity2 - By Dylan Stott from MSW on Vimeo.

Magicseaweed has much more on happenings from the festival HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Ireland's first ever surfing themed film festival is set to take place in Dublin later this month.

The Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival 2013 will take over the Light House Cinema and Generator Hostel in Smithfield on the weekend of 23-24 March with the Irish premieres of five new big-screen surfing titles.

"We’ve got all the latest footage from the global surf scene, award-winning movies and tales of travel and adventure from men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring and sharing the water around us," say the organisers.

The festival kicks off with the premiere of Here & Now, the work of more than 25 filmmakers and surfers who worked together to document the world of surfing in a single 24-hour period.

It's followed the the first Irish showing of the epic 3D adventure Storm Surfers, a documentary following two best friends on their quest to hunt down and ride the biggest and most dangerous waves in Australia.

The second day will see showings of 180 South, which retraces the epic 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia; North of the Sun, documenting two surfers extreme experience throughout nine months of winter in a remote part of Norway; and Come Hell or High Water, which tells the remarkable history of bodysurfing.

Both days will also feature an exhibition of stunning surf photography captured by some of the best in the business, a short film competition - and a proper party atmosphere!

Find out more at the official festival website or the Shore Shots Facebook page.

Published in Surfing

#Ambergris - The idea of 'whale vomit' is surely off-putting to most, but to high-end perfume companies it's worth more than gold - much to the delight of two Irish surfers who believe they've found a lump of the stuff.

The Irish Daily Star, via IrishCentral, reports that Alan Davey and Brian Miller discovered the turnip-sized lump of what appears to be whale excrement on the beach at the popular surfing haunt of Lahinch on the Co Clare coast.

And if it turns out to be the product of a sperm whale, it might well contain the valuable substance known as ambergris - produced in their digestive tract, and traditionally used as a key ingredient in perfumes - and could fetch the pair a cool €50,000.

A similar find on a beach at Morecambe in Lancashire last month could be worth as much as €115,000 to its finder, according to The Guardian.

Published in Coastal Notes

#doolinpier –  Clare County Council today (Wednesday, 6 March 2013) welcomed the announcement by An Bord Pleanala of its decision to give the go ahead for the construction of a new pier in the North Clare coastal village of Doolin.

The Council said it has reviewed the terms of the Bord's decision and will be meeting the project consultants with a view to commencing the tendering process in the near future.

Reacting to today's announcement, Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Daly said: "I am delighted that the green light has finally been given for this vitally important piece of infrastructure following years of open debate and discussion on what the best way forward should be. I wish to compliment Clare County Council and its officials for facilitating the process and ensuring that everyone's voice was heard. The Pier will bring increasing numbers of people to County Clare considering access to the Aran Islands from the County will be greatly enhanced once the project is completed."

Tom Coughlan, Clare County Manager said An Bord Pleanala's decision today was "the result of a comprehensive proposal submitted by the Council and extensive consultation with users of the pier as well as the local community."

He continued: "Clare County Council has invested considerable time and resources into ensuring that the Doolin Pier project is one that benefits all users of the existing pier. Once completed, this project will have significant, positive economic and social consequences for the people of North Clare and the wider region. For example, the construction phase of the project will create jobs as will the increase in business that will arise as a result of the Pier's completion."

Tom Tiernan, Senior Engineer and Doolin Pier Project Manager commented: "I wish to pay tribute to the Council Consultants, led by Malachy Walsh and Partners, who have guided the project from its inception through the various stages of planning, including the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which ultimately facilitated An Bord Pleanala's decision today."

"He added: "The provision of this new pier will have a hugely positive impact on the operations of Ferry operators, fishermen and the local search and rescue unit, who have been finding it increasingly difficult to launch their boats at low water levels."

"The next stage of the Pier project is construction. We will shortly be meeting with the project consultants with a view to getting a tender process underway as soon as possible. We anticipate that the project will be completed during early 2015," concluded Mr. Tiernan.

Published in Coastal Notes
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#Surfing - A young surfer from Kinlough talks to the Leitrim Observer about his experiences taking part in the RTÉ series Big Wave Bootcamp, currently showing Fridays at 5pm on RTÉ Two.

Seventeen-year-old Daniel McGlynn was among eight teenagers who were given just three weeks to become expert surfers under the instruction of American surfing professional Ken Bradshaw.

After an audition process for the reality TV series last summer, McGlynn and his fellow teens were flown half-way round the world to Hawaii. But despite the idyllic surroundings, the group faced a punishing training schedule.

“We were in bed at 9 o’clock and up at 6am. We would then train for at least four hours in the day," says McGlynn. "Everything was so much tougher, the waves could be up to 6ft or 7ft tall, even to paddle out on the surf board was a challenge as the current was so much stronger!"

An occasional surfer for almost a decade, McGlynn says he really stepped up his game under the tutelage of Bradshaw.

"He literally taught us everything he knows about the sport, everything. He also rode the biggest wave ever recorded, a massive 86ft in Oahu, Hawaii.”

The Leitrim Observer has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Check out this stunning video of Portuguese surf pro Nic Von Rupp who cancelled his winter trip to Hawaii last week to take on what Surfer magazine calls 'Ireland's Emerald Slabs'.

Towing out to the storm-fuelled swells of Mullaghmore, Von Rupp shows just how it's done as the world's big wave surfing elite flocked to Sligo for the Billabong Tow-In Session.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Garrett McNamara has done it again - after riding what is claimed to be the largest wave ever surfed.

Last summer on Afloat.ie we reported that the Irish-American surfing pro had his previous world record attempt - a 78-foot monster off Portugal in November 2011 - confirmed by Guinness record-keepers.

But the Hawaiian wasn't content to rest on his laurels, and on a recent return visit to Nazaré he is said to have smashed his own record with a wave reported to be as much as 100ft in height.

The Guardian has video of McNamara's incredible attempt which you can view below - it's a sight that beggars belief!

McNamara's previous tow-in surf at Nazaré earned him the Biggest Wave title at the 2012 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards. He shared his $15,000 prize money with Devon surfer Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton, who towed him by personal watercraft into the massive swell.

"Everything was perfect, the weather, the waves," said Northern Irish surfer Al Mennie, who was on hand to witness the pair at Praia do Norte.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Some of the world's top big wave surfing talent enjoyed the 'day that almost never was' at Mullaghmore in Sligo on Sunday.

As the video above shows, competitors in the long-delayed Billabong Tow-In Session finally got a chance to prove their mettle after two amber alerts in a week for the international event, pushed back from last year after a calm storm season.

Confidence was high as the storm front that has been battering Ireland for the past two days made its way across the Atlantic, bringing with it the giant swells needed to green-light the action.

Big wave surfers being secretive sorts, due to the dangerous nature of offshore tow-in surfing and their determination to keep their favourite spots 'just for them', we don't yet have results of the action, or even confirmation that the waves were big enough to count!

But what we do know is that the likes of Billabong XXL 2013 Ride of the Year nominee Peter Conroy were present and ready to tackle the colossal walls of water Mother Nature was set to provide.

Meanwhile, Met Eireann warns that gale force winds are expected to continue today (29 January) with southwesterly gusts of up to 110 km/h possible. Those in coastal areas have been warned to exercise caution.

Published in Surfing

#redbull – The organisers of Red Bull Storm Chasers have scrambled all their crews and teams who had 48hrs to travel from across the globe to Ireland for the first "Mission" on the 3 mission challenge writes Brian Carlin.

Today saw the majority of the country hit with storm force winds. It's results included debris filled roads, heavy traffic, structural damage to buildings and generally unwanted among the most of the country.

Well, not quite the same could be said if you were standing on the back beach in Castlegregory, Co.Kerry locally known as "Dumps" this morning.

It's simple, Red Bull Storm Chase set a 4 month challenge where they require 3 "missions" to be completed. There is 7 possible locations, United States, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, France, Tasmania and Japan.

The conditions seemed just right for the organisers who pulled the trigger Saturday, a logistically nightmare to get the gear, teams, TV crews, helicopters to Ireland.

The first session of the day kicked off in Dumps, Co.Kerry at 7am. A dark morning that quickly brightened by mid-morning. There was a small gathering, massively understated as I read the event is "Windsurfing's Most Challenging Contest". It wasn't long before I understood the attitude, these guys were interested in the sport, they didn't care about hitting news headlines or making the papers, they spoke and were friendly but it was obvious the feeling was focused on the event and nothing else. Serious dedication. In fact I spoke with a competitor who told me his opposition flew in from Maui at 1.30am Monday to Dublin airport. He jumped straight into a car drove through the night. Had his breakfast and showered, then proceeded to suit up for the days challenge.

The crowds did begin to grow and by 12pm about 100 spectators looked on. The winds increased with gusts recorded over 50 knots. As the wind slightly shifted from south west to west south west the organisers decided to move the camp and head to "Hell's Gate". You couldn't build what seemed to be the God's natural Amphitheatre for this event. A little rocky cove that backed onto the North Atlantic, slightly sheltered which made launch and recovery much easier. The cliffs were lined with a variety of young and old, even the local farmers stopped traffic in their tractors to what must have been a rather unusual sight, Red Bull cars and vans, a low flying helicopter and handful of windsurfers who seemed to spend as much time in the air as in the water.

Six sailors now advance to the next mission, where and when? only the weather can decide the time and date.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Some of the world’s best big wave surfers were last week hurriedly making their way to Ireland to compete in the third annual Billabong Tow-In Session at Mullaghmore in Co Sligo.

Event organisers gave the amber light for the one-day event on the strength of a giant swell that was forecast to reach Mullaghmore this past Monday.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the waiting period for the event commenced in November 2012 and finishes on 1 March this year. Organisers only need one day of giant waves to stage the event.

The huge North Atlantic swell headed Ireland’s way looked like providing surf big enough to stage the event but, most importantly, the forecast giant waves were expected to be accompanied by light and favourable winds.   

Last year’s event was cancelled because waves in excess of 20 feet in height, with favourable winds, didn’t arrive during the four-month waiting period. But contest director Paul O’Kane said on the current forecasting models it looked like there would be clean and perfect 20-foot waves at Mullaghmore on Monday.

“For a big wave surfing contest such as this that’s about the minimum size we need to run the event,” he said. “But because the ocean conditions will be so clean and perfect on Monday that’s why we have decided to go to amber alert... This will give all the Irish competitors and those coming from overseas enough time to get here and be well organised with their equipment.

For safety reasons the event is restricted to invitees only. Because lives are at stake, only those surfers with recognised big wave experience have been invited to compete. Competitors are also expected to be well versed and qualified in the all necessary rescue and water safety procedures.

Mullaghmore, along with Aileen’s at the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare, is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most fearsome and challenging big wave locations in the world.

Irish surfers competing in the event are Richie Fitzgerald and Peter Craig (Donegal), Dave Lavelle and Mikee Hamilton (Sligo), Peter Conroy and Ollie O’Flaherty (Clare), Hugh Galloway (Galway) and Al Mennie (Antrim). The international field this year also includes competitors from Ireland, Hawaii, USA, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Tahiti and South Africa.

The event is sanctioned by the Irish Surf Rescue Club and the Irish Surfing Association. Here's hoping we learn soon if the day was a roaring success or a wipeout!

Published in Surfing
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