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Surfers On Standby for Third Big Wave Tow-in Session

10th November 2012
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Surfers On Standby for Third Big Wave Tow-in Session

#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
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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