Displaying items by tag: Sligo
#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.
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.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - A Sligo-based surfer has relived the moment when he was attacked by a shark in his native New Zealand.
As the Otago Daily Times reports, 42-year-old Peter Garrett was surfing off Taranaki on North Island on Tuesday when the shark mauled him, leaving 10 bloody wounds - each about 2cm deep - with its razor-sharp teeth.
"He was bleeding quite a bit," said James Bruce, one of two vets surfing in the area who came to his aid. "You could tell from the teeth marks it could've been more serious."
Speaking to the Irish Independent from New Zealand, Garrett said he was knee-boarding at the time when he felt a bump to the board and a sudden sharp pain in his leg.
"I looked down and there was a shark on my leg and I sort of yelled obscenities at it... But it came back and I kicked at it with my flippers."
New Zealand has a relatively high incidence of unprovoked shark attacks, with some 44 on record since the mid 19th century - compared to 39 for the whole of Europe.
The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.
#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.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - Sligo County Council is considering its options for disposal after the county's second whale stranding of the winter, when a 60ft male fin whale was beached at Agharrow.
A spokesperson told the Sligo Champion that the whale was in an area known locally as Staid Abbey, lying on a smooth rock ledge that slopes down towards the sea, and is a difficult point to access - particularly in the present stormy conditions.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a whale carcass was washed up at the end of last month not far from Agharrow at Raughley. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed that this was the first validated stranding recorded of a fin whale in Co Sligo.
That whale had its flesh removed for fertiliser, while its bones were studied by PhD students from NUI Galway ahead of being buried in a nearby field to allow for the natural decomposition of remaining flesh before future preservation.
#MIRROR–As sailing regattas around the world bid to outdo each other running sophisticated social media campaigns, it looks like the tiny Mirror dinghy has stolen a march on even the Volvo Ocean Race's Galway Girl with a specially composed song for its next World Championships.
The 2013 Mirror World Champs is bound for Ireland, the event previously having been held in Sligo in 1987. More recently, in 2010, Sligo Yacht Club also hosted the class European championships.
The unique red sails shanty is presented in a youtube format and comes all the way from Albany, Australia, the venue of the last world championships won by Irish pair Ross Kearney and Max Odell last January.
So with the 'Albany worlds done and dusted and some boats and egos busted' listen in (below) to find that for energy and wind Colcannon is a must! It's sure to go down well here in two year's time.
The sun shone over Sligo Bay as Paul Bossier accompanied by his wife Susie with Martyn Smith, RNLI Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats Ireland and Tony Hinney, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, paid his first visit to the station.
Paul Bossier CEO of the RNLI with the volunteer crew and fundraising committee outside Sligo Bay lifeboat station
Mr Bossier has shown around the lifeboat station and the lifeboat gift shop.
Mr Bossier said "I am really delighted to come here today to see how all the community is contributing to this dynamic lifeboat station and to meet the crew who look after this dangerous part of coastline. This is an impressive station."
Speaking on behalf of the station Willie Murphy, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said "it is a real honour to welcome Paul to the station today. This visit means a lot to all the crew and fundraising committee".
#SURFING - The waiting period for the second Tow-In Surf Session at Mullaghmore Head is now under way.
The invite-only list of the world's top big wave surfers has until 1 March 2012 to try to best the monster waves ridden in last February's inaugural contest.
Irish pioneers Richie Fitzgerald, Peter Conroy and Glyn Ovens will be on call for the return event, which has also invited back open teams winners Benjamin Sanchis and Éric Rebière, according to Surfworld Bundoran.
Sanchis is also the 2011 Billabong XXL biggest wave award winner, and intends to defend his crown in Sligo.
“Mullaghmore is a spectacular wave, but you really need to be prepared to surf big waves there," he said.
The first Tow-in Surf Session - which was even immortalised in a documentary - was organised by the Irish Surf Rescue Club in part to dispel the myth that tow-in surfing, where surfers are towed by jetski to bigger offshore waves, is an irresponsible activity.
“Our team has put an enormous amount of training, both here and abroad, to ensure that the sport of tow surfing and this event can be as safe as possible," said organiser Paul O'Kane.
The latest news on the second Tow-In Surf Session will be made available on the Billabong website HERE.
Ireland's first ever 'big wave' surfing contest has been immortalised in a new documentary film (SEE TRAILER BELOW).
High Pressure – The Story of Ireland’s First Big Wave Surfing Contest follows the story of those hardy souls who took on the monster waves at Sligo's Mullaghmore Head in the inaugural Tow-in Surf Session last February.
Produced, directed and edited by Dave Mottershead and Daniela Gross, the film also examines the philosophy of big-wave surfing and the value of the waves to Irish coastal communities, and is described as a "must-see and must-have" by website Surfer Today.
"Local surfers believe there are still new surf spots to be found and challenged on the Irish coast," the site adds, noting that the film "opens the professional book of surfing in Ireland".
For further enquiries regarding High Pressure – The Story of Ireland’s First Big Wave Surfing Contest, contact [email protected].
As ever Rosses Point in Sligo was a beautiful spot to arrive to bright and early Saturday morning. Some may have been up at an ungodly hour, but it's well worth it to come to the top of the hill and look down on a line of peeling surf, a clear sky and a strong breeze.
Race officer Gus Henry had us out early because he had four races to run off each day, two for the Open in the mornings and two for the Youths in the afternoon.
Once a year owners lend their most precious possession to sailors under the age of 23, the hope being they might get a gra for what we do. How could you not when it's blowing like that ?!
First race Saturday morning set off in a good breeze, nice square line, and enough room so we could all get away nice and clean. Steven and Jonnie looked to put the gold fleet to the sword and bet on the right hand side in emphatic style,no doubt what they thought would work. Having worked our way up the middle I'd like to think that they made that side look a lot better than it was just because they eat up the beats in a breeze. Those that had heavily split to the left came in looking just as good. As always if you could hook into a gust on the reach, you might just hold on to it and escape, and it seemed to be a feature of the day ,as ever, that a little bit of luck might put you in the path of something the others might not get.
The second beat found the leading boat having to try and cover a heavy right/ left split from the four closest pursuers ( guess which way Steven went ! ). But again, there wasn't much in it.
Some crews struggled a bit on the beats, and some even fell out but if they could hold even a slim gap, they would usually escape down the reach to set themselves a wee cushion. Coming down the final run the leader was going to need it. Paddy and Tania survived a late surge from the chasing pack to record a fine race win. Ah, the sound of gun...such a glorious thing....
Race two and the Race Officer raised the Black Flag, he had no intention of pissing about wasting time. This made some of us a little nervous and I know a bo.at that was very gun shy, Dessie and Keith however happily set off on Port at high speed and only one boat pushed them back into the middle of the course.Dashing their dream of owning the right hand side, and what they belived might have been eternal glory. It wouldn't have been. Niall with Oisin back in the boat, popped around the top in a good position having worked their way up the left late in the beat and set about reminding the fleet how good they can be. But they had the previous race winner and a few others besides to contend with. A fast reach, an exchange of opinions at the gybe, a climb on the next leg, no-one quite brave enough to go straight and risk others coming over the top ,the only real decisions came at the leeward mark. Paddy and Tania went left, and gained massively putting them right in contention, they protected their lead aggresivley down the final run, forcing a penalty on one of the competition, and in the process nearly losing 3, 4,5, and 6 who were nose to tail down the other side of the course and going faster. But they popped around the bottom just ahead and held on to record another bullet. Ha, who needs a six time National Champion in the front of the boat when you've got Tania !
Next up the Youths who were to bear the brunt of a strenghthing breeze, bits started breaking off boats and quite a lot of swimming interspersed a game of follow my leader, when someone took them all off on the wrong course....The RO gamely set them up for another one in the strongest breeze of the day. They all came ashore with grins on their faces , Especially Dan Gill who won the only Race.
A great feed was enjoyed in the Sligo Yacht Club , and a few dice were rolled to decide the fate of a nice new GOACHER spinnaker sponsored by the Grangecon Café in Blessington .
The spinnaker was a reward for those owners who had kindly lent their boats to juniors, thank you to all of you.
Next up the Hot Toddy in Mullingar. Fresh water to wash your boat in and the possibiity of new sails as prizes just by entering the event.
The New York Times recently paid a visit to the River Moy in Co Sligo, where angling has experienced a resurgance in recent years.
Since the ban on drift netting off Irish shores in 2007, salmon numbers in the Moy have risen to 75,000 annually, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland.
It's a welcome boon for the River Moy, which also suffered the effects of dregding for agricultural purposes in the 1960s which "cripped much of the integrity of the river’s substrata away, creating the equivalent of a featureless canal through much of its course."
Weirs and spawning gravel in tributary streams have helped the Moy to recover some of its former glory, and the river now welcomes thousands of anglers each year - especially to the top spots in Ballina town centre.
The New York Times has more on the story HERE.