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Displaying items by tag: Sligo

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland has recently added two new guides to its list of resources for anglers fishing in Ireland.

The West of Ireland Sea Angling Guide covers the region from Westport, in Clew Bay, south to the rocky headlands of North Clare, including Galway Bay, Connemara, Killary, Louisburgh, Clew Bay, and the offshore islands of Inisbofin, Inisturk and the Aran Islands.

The guide is in no way comprehensive, and the list of marks and venues is just a sample of what is available across the region's waterways. There are literally hundreds of shore marks in the region that have rarely, if ever, been fished, but the potential waiting to be explored is immense. Getting off the beaten path and trying a new mark may produce the fish of a lifetime.

In addition, the County Sligo Game Angling Guide covers the main game angling waters in the district. It contains information on the location of each fishery as well as details in relation to contacts, permitted angling methods, angling seasons, etc.

Meanwhile, IFI has received numerous submissions from individual anglers, angling organisations and angling tourist providers regarding restrictions on the use of prawn/shrimp as a salmon angling bait on the River Suir for the 2013 season.

IFI is interested to hear the views of other angling stakeholders or from those who wish to make further submissions.

Submissions can be made to IFI Clonmel by email at [email protected] or by post to Inland Fisheries Ireland, Anglesea Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 28 February 2013.

Published in Angling

#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 - 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

#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

#Tourism - How's this for a unique winter break in Ireland - a visit to a century-old seaweed bathhouse in Sligo, anyone?

That's what Guardian writer Nick Fisher did recently when he and his family spent a week in the north-west to partake of Kilcullen's Seaweed Baths, right next to the shore at Enniscrone beach.

Angling is the big tourism draw for the region, now that the salmon season is well underway, with the River Moy providing all the sport a caster could want at any level.

But it's the seaweed baths - fed with water and fresh seaweed from Enniscrone Bay - that put a unique stamp on the whole experience, according to Fisher.

"People with skin conditions... as well as sportsmen and women love these baths," he writes. "Many of the local pensioners have season tickets ('To warm their old bones in the winters') and I'm told it is a very popular hangover cure.

"After the hot silky seaweed soak, the stinging, cleansing, pins-and-needles of the cold seawater shower leaves a bather feeling newly minted."

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MaritimeFestivals - Running for the last three years, Sligo Bay RNLI is once again preparing for the Sea Shanty Festival in Rosses Point later this summer, with all proceeds going to the lifeboat station.

"The festival is a celebration of the long maritime tradition of Rosses Point and the Sligo area," as festival committee chair Willie Murphy explained last year.

"Shanties were working songs used on board sailing ships. The songs were mostly sung when the job involved several crew members working in rhythm together."

One of the many groups that have performed in the past is The Drunken Sailors from Germany, who have written a song inviting people back to Sligo Bay for the 2013 festival from 14-16 June.



The group’s story goes that back in the summer of 2012, the Drunken Sailor Shantymen were infected by the ‘Sligo Bay Virus’, and they asked their witch-doctor what medicine would help.



"You were infected by a well-known serious music virus out of the north-west of Ireland," they were told. "And the only think what may help, is to sing a song which tells a story of Sligo Bay.


"But take the medicine without any alcohol or other drugs, sing a great song for all friends of shanty music and you will get better!"



With this advice, the brave Drunken Sailor Shantymen started to sing the song you can hear in the video above, and which they think may move all famous artists to come back to Rosses Point Sea Shanty Festival later this year.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#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

#MARITIMEFESTIVALS – Rosses Point in County Sligo is hosting its third International Shanty and Seafaring Festival from the 15th – 17th June 2012.The launch of the festival takes place on Thursday 31st of May in the Yeats County Hotel, Rosses Point.

“The festival is a celebration of the long maritime tradition of Rosses Point and Sligo area” stated Willie Murphy, chairperson of the festival committee.

 “Shanties were working songs used on board sailing ships.  The songs were mostly sung when the job involved several crew members  working in rhythm together.With many international and local groups performing “songs of the sea” this festival helps to preserve the seafaring tradition here in Rosses Point.

The Festival is run in aid of the RNLI which provides a 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service across the West Coast for our seafaring population. Proceeds from “Songs for the Lifeboat” concert in the Church of Ireland on Friday 15th and the Main Festival Concert in the Yeats Country Hotel on Saturday 16th will go to the RNLI" added Mr. Murphy.


There will be artists from seven different countries performing at this years event namely, England, Ireland, Norway, Finland , Germany, Netherlands and Spain. There will be free performances in several venues throughout Rosses Point and if the weather is kind a number of outdoor venues will also be used.

This week Seascapes the Maritime programme on RTE Radio 1 will broadcast an interesting piece on the festival.  The story of the Norwegian Barque Narayana wrecked on the back of Coney Island in the mid 1800’s and its connection to the Norwegian group Riggerloftets who are performing at this years festival.  The programme will be aired on Friday night 1st June at 10.30 pm.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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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
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