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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - Check out this beautifully shot video from ONITmedia of intrepid winter surfers catching the breaks at Brandon Bay, Co Kerry.

The waves might not be the biggest that Ireland has to offer at this time of year - for those the wet-suited warriors head to Mullaghmore - but the stunning scenery, not to mention the surprise appearances by local cetaceans, more than make up for it.

Published in Surfing

#MarineWildlife - Recent hijinks by a group of Irish surfers in 'shark-infested waters' off Donegal have been making the rounds online - but they're not all what they seem.

IrishCentral reports on the video, apparently posted by surfers from Rossnowlagh, which shows the group on a RIB pushing one of their own overboard into the path of an oncoming shark.

Yet despite their reactions, they were never in any danger, as the shark was one of Ireland's harmless giants - a basking shark - who clearly attempts to dodge the dinghy as it approaches.

Indeed, the shark may even have been in more danger from the surfers than they were from it, as the marine species is designated as protected under EU law, which makes it illegal to disturb or harass them.

As reported on Afloat.ie earlier this year, the UK's Shark Trust has published a code of conduct for anyone encountering basking sharks in British or Irish waters - and pushing someone overboard on top of one is definitely absent from the list.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#SURFING - Here's a little something festive with four weeks to go till Christmas, as Afloat alum Markham Nolan highlights this wonderful photo of Santa Claus riding the waves on a stand-up paddle board via surfing website Magicseaweed.

The shot was captured by Rich Murphy over the weekend in Dublin, and not only shows Santa getting to trips with a new form of transport - but that even the east coast of Ireland has its fair share of quality swells.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#SURFING - The Irish Examiner reports on the "little economic miracle" that is Ballinspittle in Co Cork, a village that's "bucking the national economic trend" via its plethora of local businesses - and its close proximity to quality surf.

The village has "witnessed a inflict of Australians and South Africans" among others "in search of a surfing haunt", thanks to the nearby Blue Flag beaches at Garrettstown and Garrylucas.

John Hynes, who runs the surfing school GTown Surf, says Cork's coast is "one of the most consistent stretches in the south" that's "perfect for budding surfers. So, there's no excuse for not getting out there and enjoying the waves."

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#surfing – Surf regular on Afloat's homepage Al Mennie from Coleraine is back on the water again. Although from the angle we're watching this 50-foot waves does not look that impressive it's very clear from Mennie's reaction just how big this spot in Portugal actually was. 

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

#SURFING - Some of the world's best big wave surfing stars are making their way to Ireland again this winter to compete in the third annual Billabong Tow-In Session.

The waiting period for the event started on November 1 and finishes on March 1. Organisers only need one day of giant waves at Mullaghmore in Co Sligo to stage the event.

And as reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, this weekend could produce some big results as growing swells in the Atlantic combine with southerly winds.

Last year's event was cancelled because the required waves in excess of 20 feet failed to arrive during the four-month waiting period.

The inaugural event in 2010, however, saw competitors taking on 20-30 foot waves at Mullaghmore, a break that is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most fearsome and best big wave locations in the world.

"Mullaghmore is an incredible wave, one of the heaviest I've surfed and one that holds unlimited potential for giant waves," said the 2010 winner Benjamin Sanchis from France.

Sanchis and his partner Eric Rebiere have been invited back to defend their title.

Along with the defending champions competitors from Ireland, Hawaii, USA, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Tahiti and South Africa have all been invited.

The runner-up pair from the inaugural event, Peter Conroy (Co Clare) and Glyn Ovens (UK), are among several Irish teams set to challenge the overseas surfers in their home country.

"Mullaghmore is impressive with its grassy headland acting as natural amphitheatre for spectators to watch the event," said Conroy, "but it's a scary place when the surf is big. There's lots water swirling around and surging up from the underwater reef ledges.

"Hopefully this year's event will get great waves and we will all return safely to shore."

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

The event is sanctioned by the Irish Surf Rescue Club and the Irish Surfing Association.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - The Irish Times reports that surfers from around the world are flocking to Sligo in expectation of what might be Ireland's biggest waves of the year.

Breakers of up to 30 feet off Donegal Bay could be the result if growing swells in the Atlantic combine with southerly winds expected from this weekend.

“We have had 50ft waves in the past but 30ft waves would certainly be great and you would have a lot of surfers coming into Ireland to follow them," said top Irish surf pro Richie Fitzgerald.

Elsewhere, President Michael D Higgins made a recent visit to the Somo Surf Centre in Cantabria, northern Spain while attending Spanish courses ahead of his State visit to South America last month, as Oceanlook reports.

“I had already heard of the charms of Loredo and Somo," the President commented. "There are many Irishmen flying to Cantabria in search of sun and also waves to get the chance to surf.”

Published in Surfing

#RNLI - In what seems like a perfect match of skills, BBC News reports on a group of five surfers from Jersey who are being trained as lifeguards by the RNLI.

The surfers have graduated from voluntary beach patrols to learning about hazard awareness, accident prevention, first aid and open water rescue skills, according to RNLI lifeguard supervisor Rob Stuteley.

It's hoped that the scheme will "play a big part in encouraging more local people to sign up to join the RNLI lifeguard team for 2013".

And maybe it will provide some inspiration for surfers and lifesavers around the Irish coast, too!

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#COASTAL NOTES - Clare surfers say they have no confidence that development plans for Doolin Pier will not have a negative impact on the Crab Island surf break.

The Irish Examiner reports on an oral hearing on the project held by An Bord Pleanála in Ennistymon on Wednesday morning at which representatives of the Irish Surfing Association and the West Cost Surf Club expressed their fears of losing "the jewel in the crown" of Irish surfing.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, local surfers have been at loggerheads with Clare County Council over long-delayed plans to redevelop the pier facilities at Doolin, which currently serves more than 70,000 passengers between the Clare coast and the Aran Islands.

At present the pier cannot be accessed at low tide, and foul weather cost the ferry route to 40 days's business last year, the meeting heard.

Island co-op Comhar Caomhán Inis Oírr is among the groups supporting the €8 million development plans, arguing that the islands would be "under threat" if the project does not proceed.

Published in Coastal Notes

#SURFING - A new book that delves into the world of surfing in Ireland gets a thumbs-up review from surf pro Easkey Britton in The Irish Times.

Cliffs of Insanity, by Irish Times sportswriter Keith Duggan, focuses on the close-knit surfing community in Lahinch, Co Clare - one of the many hotspots along the west coast that have produced such Irish big wave sensations as Ollie O'Flaherty and overseas visitors like Devon's Andrew Cotton (featured in the video above).

Britton - in the news herself recently for her pioneering surf trip to Iran - notes the passion among Ireland's surfers "to pursue a challenging vocation, one that is raw and unglamorous, set against the icy waters of the Atlantic" towered over by the Cliffs of Moher - the 'cliffs of insanity' of the title.

She also describes the book's central story - the progress of Mayo man Fergal Smith and Cornwall native Mickey Smith as they surf the uncompromising Aileens break - as "a story of hope for an island nation on its knees".

"Duggan presents a rare and intimate window into a little-understood world," she writes. "The ocean and the art of wave riding run so deep in our veins that when you ask a surfer to describe what it feels like we struggle to put it into words."

The Donegal surfing star adds that Duggan "is uniquely positioned as an 'outsider' looking in, and he captures what it is that drives these surfing souls, describing it as 'an elemental pull'."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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