This Sunday 15 March is the last date for surfers and boarders around Ireland dto submit their entries for the competitions at Doolin Surfest 2020, which is set to return next weekend for its second year.
Doolin Surfest celebrates the passion and talent of Ireland’s surfing community — and offers attendees the chance to learn more about the West of Ireland’s connection to the ocean.
The three-day surf, music and film festival festival will take place from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 March, hosted by Hotel Doolin, and boasts an impressive programme of events with competition at its heart.
Surfest will bring to a close the current surfing season by awarding surfing talent for their achievements. Sponsored by Red Bull, the titles of Biggest Wave of the Year, Ride of the Year and Wipeout of the Year are up for grabs, with the winner in each category awarded €1,000 and a commemorative sculpture.
Surfest and Red Bull will also host The Shorties – a short film competition which will see hundreds of surfers, body boarders, wind surfers, stand-up paddle boarder and kite boarders enter short films of themselves in action on the waves over the last year.
One short film will be revealed as the overall winning entry, based on the entrant’s talent, the narrative and cinematography of the submission, with the entrant being awarded €2,000 and a commemorative sculpture.
Acclaimed international pro surfers and Red Bull athletes Naxto Gonzales, Andrew Cotton, Conor Maguire and Justine Dupont will be on hand to partake in a Q&A about their careers to date and inspire the next wave of surfing talent.
Competitions director at Surfest, Clem McInerney, said: “It’s incredibly motivating for the sport to have an annual event where all surfers, of all abilities, can meet with their peers out of the water to celebrate and reminisce on the achievements of the year — the waves caught, the near misses, the wipe-outs and more.
“Ireland’s surf and boarding community is growing every year and here in Clare we have a loyal community but so too have other pockets in the country such as Donegal, Sligo, Cork, Waterford, Dublin, Kerry and of course Northern Ireland.
“We’re still accepting entries to all of our competition categories until March 15th so I’d urge any surfers, regardless of experience, to enter and come along on the weekend to experience the festival.
“Surfing is an incredibly important contributor to our tourism economy so Doolin Surfest, now back for its second year, is certainly becoming recognised as a highlight in water lover’s calendars.”
To enter a Surfest competition category, and to view the categories and rules, visit doolinfestivals.ie.
Along with a surfers' market, bouldering, foraging, yoga, cliff walks, sea swims, pier jumps, BBQs, some other highlights of the weekend include:
- Beach clean-up at Doolin Pier in association with Clean Coasts
- Wim Hof Method Workshop — also known as The Iceman, Hof is an extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures.
- Panel discussion on ocean health with Karen Foley (Environmental Awareness Officer with Clare County Council), Eoin McCarthy Deering (Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon and surfer), Dave Flynn (West Coast Surf Club chair and engineer), Ollie O’Flaherty (big wave surfer and water quality advocate) and Róisín Garvey (Green Party Clare County Councillor).
- Wetsuit repair stand, encouraging surfers to prolong the life-cycle of their surfing equipment
- Sustainably inspired food creations from chef and writer Finn Ní Fhaoláin
- Live music from much-loved Irish acts DJ Kormac and King Kong Company
Welcoming the festival, Hotel Doolin general manager Donal Minihane said: “Our ethos as a hotel is a sustainable one and now that we are recognised as Ireland’s only carbon neutral premises, we’re even more conscious of the responsibility we have to safeguard the beauty of this extraordinary environment around us.
“Surfest is not only a celebration of surfing talent and the world class surfing on offer here, but an opportunity for us to instil in our attendees our passion and respect for the ocean – a medium that inspires, heals, humbles and exhilarates.”
Doolin Surfest will also be making contributions to two local Co Clare surf clubs, the West Coast Surf Club and the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, to help them to maintain the work they do in keeping safe surfing thriving in the area.
Weekend tickets are priced at just €59 for all activities (excluding Wim Hof workshop, which is priced at €49). Individual tickets are also available to attend one day of the festival. For tickets, visit hoteldoolin.ie or doolinfestivals.ie