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Displaying items by tag: Surfing

#Surfing - Herald.ie reports on a new drive by Irish tourism chiefs to attract surfers to our shores.

The Discover Ireland campaign has been launched in time for the popular winter surfing season in Ireland.

Despite the cold temperatures, winter is when our waves pick up the most and the pros flock to hotspots like Mullaghmore in Sligo, listed as one of the world's best.

But there's great surfing to be had all around Ireland's coast, from Donegal to West Cork, Waterford and even Wicklow.

And the campaign also hopes to reach Irish people who've never picked up a surfboard before.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo keeps making an impression - as the Irish Independent reports it's been named by travel guide Lonely Planet as one of the top surfing spots in the world.

The big wave mecca has been named as one of the 'Best Spots to Catch a Big Wave' in a new book of top ten lists, 1000 Ultimate Adventures.

Only last month, Mullaghmore made the list of USA Today's 'World's Most Surprising Surf Spots' - although it's no surprise to the big wave pros who've been hightailing it to the Sligo headland for years to ride the Altantic Ocean monsters.

Also featured in the adventure tourism guide as one of the best coast-to-coast walking missions is the 387-mile trek across the island of Ireland, which takes in the impressive Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in Co Antrim.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - The therapeutic power of the waves is being used by an Irish network of surfing camps to help children with autism connect with their families and each other.

Afloat.ie previously reported on the Surf2heal programme in Tramore - which pairs autistic children with volunteers to help them have fun with the surfing experience - two years ago, when it was already going from strength to strength.

Now this month, Claire O'Sullivan writes in the Irish Examiner about the latest group of kids to enjoy the surf at Inchydoney in West Cork, one of a network of beaches that includes Garrettstown near Kinsale, Banna in Kerry, Fanore in Clare and Strandhill in Sligo.

And the experience has had some dramatic effects on the children, as one mother testifies.

“In the past few weeks, I’ve seen a kid, whose mum doesn’t like the water, race out of the water to hug her mum before running back in," says Nollaig Hayes, mum of a 10-year-old autistic boy. "It was just this big spontaneous hug from a little girl who had never spontaneously shown affection like that before."

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo has made the list of USA Today's 'World's Most Surprising Surf Spots' alongside such destinations as Dubai, India, Iceland and the River Severn.

"The countryside isn't all that's green in Ireland," the paper writes, describing how "enormous emerald waves pound Mullaghmore Head during the winter, making this treacherous Atlantic break on Ireland's west coast a favourite for surfing daredevils."

Whether or not Mullaghmore's surfing credentials are so surprising is debatable, however, especially since the monster swells are now a feature of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

USA Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#Surfing - Wexford now has its first ever dedicated surf school - thanks to two enterprising brothers.

The Wexford People reports on The Surf Shack in Curracloe, established by Chad and Jack-Tim Murray in an effort to put the Sunny South East on the Irish surfing map.

"Everybody knows that there are good waves on the West Coast," says Jack-Tim, referring to popular surf spots like Lahinch, Mullaghmore and Bundoran, "but most people don't even know that surfing exists on Ireland's east coast, let alone in Wexford."

The brothers aim to entice beginners to the sport, highlighting the smaller surf and safe swimming at Curracloe beach as the perfect environment for novices to ride the waves.

The Wexford People has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - The Blasket Islands are the setting for a new documentary following the exploits of two surfers descended from the ancestral 'king' of the island chain.

IrishCentral reports on The Crest, the story of two distant cousins from opposite sides of the United States - Andrew Jacob from Massachusetts and Dennis Kane from California. Though previously unknown to each other, the two nevertheless share a deep passion for surfing.

And it's the waves that bring them together as they unite in the land of their great-great-grandfather to indulge their obsession and ride the giant swells for which the west of Ireland is becoming so renowned.

Indeed, Canada's National Post is just the latest to discover the attractions of surfing at Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher

Crowdfunded via a Kickstarter campaign, the documentary crew already shot footage in Cape Cod and San Diego before decamping to the Blaskets off Kerry last month to shadow the cousins as they connect to their roots.

The film is directed by Mark Corvino, who co-directed the current film festival favourite music documentary A Band Called Death.

Published in Surfing

#AtTheMovies - The Irish Independent reports that Irish actor Cillian Murphy has signed on to appear in new maritime adventure film The Heart Of The Sea.

Ron Howard is directing the adaption of the Nathaniel Philbrick book, which follows the fortunes of the whale ship Essex and its encounter with an angry sperm whale in the South Atlantic.

Murphy - who previously narrated the award-winning surfing documentary Waveriders among his prestigious blockbuster credits - will play the ship's second mate.

The film also features Thor star Chris Hemsworth, and is set to begin shooting in the UK this September.

Published in News Update

#Tourism - The world-class surfing hotspot of Sligo has failed to make the grade in Fáilte Ireland's long list of leading tourism towns for 2013, according to the Irish Independent.

The north-east county was among a surprise selection of areas known for their maritime and waterways attractions - such as Westmeath on the Shannon and Galway, host of last year's Volvo Ocean Race finale - that were not featured in the Irish tourism board's list of 45 towns and villages put forward for the Highly Commended Tourism Towns award, part of the National Tidy Towns Awards to be announced later in the year.

Counties on the water that did make the cut include Clare and Mayo, with five towns each on the list, Kerry with four - including last year's winner Portmagee - and Donegal and Waterford, represented three times each.

The top prize winner, to be announced by Fáilte Ireland in November, will receive €10,000 in supports for tourism marketing and development.

Though Sligo is conspicuous by its absence, Donegal's triple placing shows the north-east region is a big tourism attraction - and the Tripclocker blog says surfing is at the forefront of that.

With Ireland's exposure to the open Atlantic giving is "better waves more often", according to Killian O'Kelly of Bundoran's Turn n' Surf, there is a wide variety of surf beaches stretching from Donegal to Clare in particular with swells for all levels of experience.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#News - IrishCentral reports that a surfing instructor has been cleared over the death of an American tourist on a beach in Co Kerry two years ago.

Rowan Minjon of Castlegregory had pleaded not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving over the death of Kentucky woman Jenna Hill, who was struck by a reversing truck on Inch Beach in Ardroe on the morning of 2 July 2011 and suffered severe head injuries.

The trial at Tralee Circuit Court heard that the truck driven by Minjon - employed by the Offshore Surf School at the time - had no working horn nor reverse lights.

But Garda vehicle inspector Jim O'Brien said Minjon had not been aware of Hill's presence on the beach, and claimed that she should have noticed the "big bright noisy and near" truck as it approached.

IrishCentral has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Surfing - Two national broadcasters will base themselves in Bundoran this week ahead of the Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival at the weekend.

Today FM’s KC Show will broadcast live from the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Station tomorrow 19 June and Thursday 20 June, while 2FM will broadcast from the Sea Sessions from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June, giving the seaside town unprecedented national media coverage for five days.

As part of a recent Discover Ireland promotion on Today FM, listeners were asked where to send the various shows to on their holidays. Listeners to the KC Show had a choice of sending him to Dingle or Donegal and following thousands of votes, Donegal came out on top.

One of the locations suggested was Bundoran, and the RNLI Lifeboat station at the pier was chosen as the home for the KC Show for two daily broadcasts this week complete with live musical guests Walking With Cars and new Irish act Daithi.

No sooner will Today FM have packed up than the 2FM Roadcaster will be rolling into the Main Beach car park and preparing to broadcast from the Sea Sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The national state broadcaster will give the festival unprecedented coverage with over 20 hours scheduled live from the beachfront. Jenny Greene, Cormac Battle, Ruth Scott and Paddy McKenna will all host their shows live across the weekend.

Bundoran tourism officer Shane Smyth commented: "I am thrilled that not one but two national broadcasters will be in town this week. It will be a welcome boost to the ongoing promotion of Bundoran as a destination.

"Speaking as Bundoran RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer also, I’m obviously delighted that the RNLI will benefit from two days of national coverage and I know that KC and his team are keen to find out more about the lifeboat service here in Bundoran."

Smyth added: "The guys from 2FM had a great time when they were here a few weeks ago and we look forward to welcoming them again over Sea Sessions weekend. Last time they were here they brought scorching sunshine with them – let’s hope they do the same again!”

Sea Sessions is Ireland's "biggest and best" surfing and music festival and returns for its sixth successive year in 2013. Based in Bundoran, the festival also includes surf tour events in Lahinch, Co Clare and nearby Sligo.

Published in Surfing
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