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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#WINDSURFER – Searching for the perfect conditions for a windsurfer is a key ingredient for a successful monster wave session. When 21 – year old Irish professional Mikey Clancy locked onto the possibility of it happening at his favourite reef break at Maheroarty in Donegal all systems were on high alert tracking the massive storm across the Atlantic.

Arriving at early morning in Donegal following a four hour drive from Dublin, Clancy saw the wind switch south westerly and the incoming tide starting to line up perfect 25ft–monster waves.

Armed with his 4.7 North Hero sail and a Fanatic 75 ltr quad board Mikey rode some of the biggest waves seen in Ireland all afternoon.

In the misty conditions some of the seasoned windsurfers watching from the peer marvelled at the world class quality of the Dubliners ability on such huge waves ."This is why I love windsurfing so much and having epic sessions like this are pure magic" said a delighted Clancy.

Published in Surfing
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#SURFING - It may have been too late for the postponed Tow-In Surf Session, but the big waves at Mullaghmore Head finally picked up this week - and some of the world's top surfers were there to take advantage of the swell.

As The Irish Times reports, an extreme weather system nicknamed the 'Viking storm' helped produced monster rollers on Thursday that are the biggest the area has seen in 15 years.

Devon surfer Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton rode the biggest wave when he tackled a 50ft giant, assisted by his Irish tow-in partner Al Mennie, while Brit boarder Tom Butler recorded the biggest barrel.

Richie Fitzgerald described the scene as "very calculated madness", noting that a safety crew was on hand as the 16-strong group took on the "huge, unruly and very dangerous swell".

The Irish Times has much more on the story, while Surfer Today has more video of the last winter swell at Mullaghmore Head HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - Northern Irish surf pro Al Mennie will be taking on a different challenge later this month, when he sets out to paddle a surfboard from the Giant's Causeway to Scotland in the name of charity.

"It will be the northernmost crossing of its type in the world," says Mennie of the 25-mile route from Antrim to the Scottish island of Islay.

"I will have to deal with freezing cold temperatures, large open ocean swell, potentially high winds and the deadly currents around a well known navigational hazard of a North Atlantic island."

Mennie will be on his own except for a support boat carrying food and water. He will be wearing a 6mm wetsuit and crossing the most dangerous stretch of water around the Irish coastline, "known for its extremely deadly currents as the Irish Sea tides drain between Rathlin Island and Northern Ireland".

The NI surfer is embarking on the challenge in aid of Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, which is a charity close to his own heart.

"My dad died suddenly of a heart attack aged 50 and I know lots of people who have also lost loved ones to heart problems too," he says, "so I really want to help make a difference by raising money for this charity."

For more details or to make a donation, visit the charity page at Al Mennie's website HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - Rip Curl has posted some stunning video of Irish-Australian surfing pro Mick Fanning and his teammates captured using a Matrix-style '30 camera array'.

The technique, described by Rip Curl as a "a technological world first", uses a line of GoPro HD video cameras shooting consistently as surfers ride towards and past it, capturing unique "frozen moments of time" that create a virtual 3D effect.

See more video of the Rip Curl team's 'Mirage Moments' on YouTube HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - The second Billabong Tow-In Surf Session will not sadly run this year, following the end of the four-month waiting period yesterday.

Organisers decided to postpone the invitation-only event till next winter after conditions off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo failed to reach the minimum height requirement, as Magicseaweed reports.

“We’ve had a few swells that have come close,” said contest organiser Paul O’Kane of the Irish Surf Rescue Club. “However we set the standard incredibly high with the first event and were determined to only hold the event if the conditions were as good as that, if not better.”

Magicseaweed’s Ben Freeston concurred, saying that “the conditions needed for Mullaghmore to show it’s real face are so specific you might only see them a handful of times in the best years.

“This year we have had four or five swells that were big enough to be interesting, but not quite competition standard.”

The inaugural session was organised in an effort to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing, where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves, is an irresponsible activity.

Last year's contest was also immortalised in an upcoming documentary from Mully Productions.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - Team Australia proved that when it comes to watersports, they're a step above most of the competition at the inaugural ISA World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championships in Lima, Peru recently.

The paddleboarding duo of Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer each won three gold medals, along with the team gold medal and the perpetual Club Waikiki Trophy, which will be awarded to the overall team champion every year.

But for every powerhouse team like Australia, the USA and South Africa, there were teams like Ireland who arrived at the world championships to represent themselves well, but also to be able to say they were there for the beginning of something big.

"The event was just amazing, such a positive vibe amongst all the competitors, everybody that we met from local organizers to everyone at our hotel or the drivers," said Finn Mullen, who competed along with teammates Dave Owens, Paul Byrne, Ed O'Farrell, Keith Gorman and Jane Downes.

"They were all so stoked to have the contest and see us all here," Mullen added "and there was like this amazingly friendly vibe in the water, because really they were being super gracious to us, giving us the break for the entire week, and they couldn't be more accommodating and I couldn't me more happy that I was able to be a part of it."

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - Conor Conlon of CMP has produced this wonderful video of top professional surfers taking on the Atlantic swells of the west coast this winter.

Setting up his gear on the shore during a window of clean swell, Conlon captured the likes of Aaron Dees, Conor Maguire, Easkey Britton and newly signed Ripcurl rider Noah Cohen catching the waves (more photos and video HERE).

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - A six-strong Irish team is in Peru to compete in the inaugural World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboarding Championships, which commence today (19 February).

The surfers have travelled at their own expense to the Peruvian capital Lima to take part in the International Surfing Association-sanctioned event, where they will contest against paddleboarders from 19 other countries.

“It is the first of its kind and we wouldn’t want to miss out," team member Paul Byrne told TheScore.ie. "The fact that it has been recognised enough to hold an international competition means stand-up padding (SUP) is here to stay.”

Dubliner Byrne first got involved in SUP in Australia, and found on his return to Ireland that he and his friends didn't need to seek out the popular surf out west to keep up with the sport - the swell produced by ferries in Dublin Port is just what they needed (see video of Dave Owens above).

Byrne joins Owens, Finn Mullen, Ed O'Farrell, Keith Gorman and Jane Downes in South America for the World Championships, which run till 25 February.

“We been competing in Europe," he says, "but it is sure to be tough against surfers who are sponsored to do it for a living.”

Published in Surfing

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has confirmed the sighting of a humpback whale off Achill Island in Co Mayo last weekend.

Surfers off Keel Beach were credited with the discovery, after spotting a large whale of 30-60ft breaking the surface multiple times, lifting its tail fluke vertically.

The sighting is only the fifth validated record of a humpback whale off the coastal area from Galway to Donegal.

"It remains something of a mystery as to why sightings of this species remain such relatively rare events along our west and northwest compared to our south and southwest coasts," says IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.

"This latest sighting is a timely reminder that species such as humpbacks can and do turn up in places that are well outside what we perceive to be the known 'hotspots'."

Humpback whales tend to feed in inshore waters, which should make them increasingly easier for the public to spot from the shore, he added.

The IWDG has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#SURFING - One of Germany's top surfers was in Ireland last week to sample some of Ireland's biggest waves, InsideIreland.ie reports.

Sebastian Steudtner was in Sligo to films a series of online views for Tourism Ireland in Frankfurt to pique the interest of German surfers and holidaymakers.

As well as mountain biking at Knocknarea and Union Woods, Steudtner took on the monster swells at Mullaghmore Head - made popular among the world's big wave surfers by the Tow-In Surf Session that's now in its second year.

The 'teaser' videos for a larger TV and online project will be premiered next week at the Berlin International Film Festival before hitting the web later in spring.

Kristina Gauges of Tourism Ireland said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the world-class surfing and adventure product available in this part of Ireland to a niche audience in Germany."

InsideIreland.com has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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