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Displaying items by tag: Paul O'Kane

#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 - 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.

#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.

Published in Surfing
More than 20 of Ireland's and Europe's top surfers took on the monster waves at Sligo’s Mullaghmore Head at the weekend in Ireland's first ever 'big wave' surf contest.
The Tow-in Surf Session 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.
Club president Paul O’Kane told The Irish Times: “Our surf riders and personal watercraft operators are all very safety conscious, highly trained, and contests like this can help to further develop skill sets.”
Eric Ribiere and Benjamin Sanchis from France took top place in the open category in a contest that rewarded skill and commitment on the biggest waves. Peter Conroy and Gyln Ovens came first in the Irish division, follwed closely by Al Mennie and Andrew Cotton.
Awards went to professional boarder Gabe Davies for best wave, Al Mennie for best barrel and Richie Fitzgerald for heaviest wipeout.
Easkey Britton also held her own as the only female competitor, catching a solid 20-foot wave.

More than 20 of Ireland's and Europe's top surfers took on the monster waves at Sligo’s Mullaghmore Head at the weekend in Ireland's first ever 'big wave' surf contest.

The Tow-in Surf Session 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.

Club president Paul O’Kane told The Irish Times: “Our surf riders and personal watercraft operators are all very safety conscious, highly trained, and contests like this can help to further develop skill sets.”

Eric Ribiere and Benjamin Sanchis from France took top place in the open category in a contest that rewarded skill and commitment on the biggest waves. Peter Conroy and Gyln Ovens came first in the Irish division, follwed closely by Al Mennie and Andrew Cotton.

Awards went to professional boarder Gabe Davies for best wave, Al Mennie for best barrel and Richie Fitzgerald for heaviest wipeout.

Easkey Britton also held her own as the only female competitor on the day, catching a solid 20-foot wave.

Click HERE for more video of the contest's big wave surfing action.

Published in Surfing

About the 29er Skiff Dinghy

The 29er is a one-design double-handed, single trapeze skiff for youth sailors.

There is an active class in Ireland, just one of the 38-countries from across all continents now racing the high-performance skiff.

The 29er is one of the latest dinghy classes to arrive in Ireland and has a 50/50 split between boys and girls.

The class like to describe the boat as "The most popular skiff for sailors who want to go fast!".

Derived from the Olympic class 49er class and designed by Julian Bethwaite the 29er was first produced in 1998.

Two sailors sail the 29er, one on trapeze.

The class is targeted at youth sailors aiming at sailing the larger 49er which is an Olympic class.


The 6.25-metre high rig features a fractional asymmetrical spinnaker; a self-tacking jib decreases the workload of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches.

The 15.00 m2 spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.

The 74kg weight hull is constructed of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout.

The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon.

The mast is in three parts - an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a polyester-fibreglass composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weights, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate. Foils are aluminium or fibreglass.

About the ILCA/Laser Dinghy

The ILCA, formerly known as the Laser, is the most produced boat in the world, with 220,000 units built since 1971.

It's easy to see why the single-handed dinghy has won the title of the most widely distributed boat of all time.

The Laser is a one-design dinghy, the hulls being identical but three rigs that can be used according to the size and weight of the sailor.

The class is international, with sailors from 120 countries. The boat has also been an Olympic class since 1996, being both the men's and women's singlehanded dinghy.

Three rigs are recognised by the International Laser Class Association (ILCA):

  • ILCA 4: sail of 4.70m2
  • ILCA 6: sail of 5.76 m2
  • ILCA 7: sail of 7.06 m2

29er skiff technical specs

  • Hull weight 74kg (163lb)
  • LOA 4.45m (14.4ft)
  • Beam 1.77m (5ft 7in)
  • Crew 2 (single trapeze) 
  • Spinnaker area 15.00 m2 (181.2sq.ft)
  • Upwind sail area 12.5 m2 (142.0 sq.ft)
  • Mast length 6.25m (20.5ft)

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