Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Surfer wins Fair Play award

22nd April 2010
Irish Surfer wins Fair Play award
An Irish surfer has been given a fair play award for sharing his only board with a competitor whose baggage did not arrive at the World Surfing Games. John 'Long John' McCurry, a longboarder from Portrush, is the first surfer to win such an award.

The International Fair Play Committee, (Comité International pour le Fair Play, CIFP), has awarded Irish Surf Team member and Portrush local John McCurry an International Fair Play Diploma for excellence in sportsmanship.

The CIFP which is a not for profit international non-governmental organisation, exists to foster sportsmanship in international competition, presents awards annually at the World Fair Play Awards to recognise acts of fair play carried out by sportspeople or teams.

This is first such recognition given to any surfer in the world and the highest such award given to any Irish sportsperson.

25 year old John, a three-time Irish National Champion, who has competed in surfing for Ireland at many European and World contests said, “I am overwhelmed by receiving this Diploma. Its fantastic to see surfing recognised in this way”.

It was John’s actions during heats at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games held in Costa Rica in August 2009, which earned him the international fair play recognition.

Having arrived in Costa Rica early to practice for the Games John snapped two of his contest boards, one of which was repaired just in time for the start of the event.

Meanwhile, one of John’s main rivals, top British competitor Ben Skinner arrived just the day before the start of the contest without his surf boards, due to a baggage handling error at the airport. Ben who had flown in last minute for the Games had been competing on the World Longboard Surfing Tour.

As the two surfers “ride” the same type of surfboard, John offered to share his board with Ben for the first day of competition. Both surfers made it through their first 4 heats and into the next stage of the contest. This selfless act of sportsmanship had never before been seen in the world of competitive surfing.

Ben’s own boards arrived that evening, allowing him to continue the remainder of the contest with his own equipment. In fact he went on to win the bronze medal. John, who made it through to the fourth round of the contest, said afterwards, “what else could I do but lend him my board, Ben’s a friend as well as a rival. It was great to see him make the final and take third place. Next time I hope it’s me”.

Published in News Update Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating