What a week past …. Dawn and dusk surf was 'on' almost every day this last week. Last weekend too, was way up there for a lot of people - really beefy offshore swell, and some great stoke reported from all over the place… Mart, Ger, Dooley, jAy, Big Pete, Christy and loads more… 1 snapped board and 2 snapped leashes in our lineup alone meant a lot of swimming, and a lot of ding repairs (cheers Yevin), but it was worth it … good pics from all over in the new gallery - link below. Swell continued to rattle all and sundry all week and Conall, Gary, Shim, Ger, Mart and loads more report dawn and dusk gold. Good to hear. Last night was really beefy and clean up north. Add to that the fact that the clocks go back in 9 DAYS ! (25th)… we're almost there to the good evening light.
Good luck to all for St Patricks weekend. Surf agus stout planned for loads of lineups - Skellingtons are off to N Donegal, Monty has a crew for Galway, Josh and a squad are for La Hinch and Peter predicts good surf all day tomorrow at Bundo. Big swell and big wind might make it hard to find shelter on Sunday when winter is set to return, but keep us posted as to how you get on. Should be plenty of action on the North Coast 2morrow for sure …
After this weekend of big wind and big swell, the long and sustained sizeable surfage seems to peeter out … some ride though recently eh? Lets keep an eye for the next big one.
Special welcome this week to anyone who hoks in via the "Surfers Path" weblink, or Hawka's site or any of the other good folk who have asked to have this tied into theirs. The more the merrier. Alex and the Path team have put the Batch up as a portal to the Irish surf scene. All good….
Full weekend surfing 'cast below as always ...
Other things ...
Featuring Port, Intervarsities and Pete Mayne (West Oz). Cheers to all. Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radiofoyle/programmes/markpatterson/surfing/gallery18/gallery.shtml
***Sunday Swell Warning? ***
No point saying much more apart from the obvious. Craziness. The sea will be the size of a house, and the wind will make the big spots suicidal, especially given the very big tides expected. Having said all that, it’s a rare chance to explore the so called "dead", east facing, totally sheltered breaks, or even the inner recesses of the sea loughs - all sorts of wee nooks and crannies will have the chance of a wave this Sunday. The cold on Sunday will be baltic.
Troggs Junior Comp
Good luck to Bosco and all the other groms lining up for this one…. Here's Andy with the detail:
"Contest next sat and sunday 24/25th march troggs junior causeway coast surfing championships. The categories are U18 Surf, U16 Surf, U14 Surf, U18 Girls Surf, U18 Longboard and U18 Bodyboard. There should be a good turn out as it is the final selection event for the junior team to compete at the Worlds in May. Meeting at the new watersports/surf centre on east strand sat morning 9am. all the best and thanks again. Andy Hill"
Magee Surf Club
Nice update in from the Magee surfers, who did really well at the recent Intervarsities. Pics in the next gallery:
"Shauna Ward of Magee surf club finished second at the British University Championships at the weekend. The university sports scholar and defending champion led the UU Surf team to Newquay, Cornwall for the BUSA event. Aaron Ward surfed well to get through a few rounds in the men’s event and was unlucky not to reach the final. Team mates Deirdre O Brien and John Conway put in a brave effort surfing the tough conditions the weekend offered as did Marty Mc Aleese who joined the magee members from UUC. With Gale force winds, hailstones and a massive swell, the rescue team in Newquay had a busy time. The British Intervarsity’s has the largest entry number of any competition in Europe with over 450 students competing."
Mal - the Full Story
While were on the recent Intervarsities, Derry Surfer Mal Kelly was there too, as part of the Aberdeen Uni team. Here's a lil' stoke from the boul Mal:
"We came second in the student nationals with everyone making the third round and our South African making the final. It was an awesome achievement. Come on the DEEN! Also met up with Shauna and took their group to our hostel, it was great to catch up with someone from back home. Check out the photo which is no doubt doing the rounds... i think it pretty much summed the whole weekend up!!! We came.. we brought the noise.. (ask shauna)..we came second.. we travelled the guts of 30 hours round trip on two filled mini-buses and damn we drank!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty proud so we are...."
St Pats Seal Pup Release
Emma mails a nice story from the shores of Lough Swilly ….
"A young seal pup of 5 or 6 weeks was found on a road in Inch Island by 2 islanders in January this year. It was very emaciated, and had made its journey from the sea to the road (crossing a couple of fields on its way!) in search of food. The islanders contacted a local wildlife ranger, who contacted the Irish Seal Sactuary, who rescued the seal and brought it to their sanctuary in Dublin. It was kept there and looked after until it had reached a healthy weight, and is now ready to be released into the sea again. They have named the seal "Inch".
The Irish Seal Sanctuary is a voluntary organisation, and would usually release the rescued seals into the Irish sea, but the people of Inch Island raised some money to facilitate the release of the seal off the coast of Inch, where it was found. The release is to take place on St. Patrick's Day on Saturday - the event kicks off with a storytelling session by Breezey Willow at 1.30 on Inch Hall, and then the seal will be released at 3pm in Mill Bay Beach. The Irish Seal Sanctuary urges people to contact them when they find a seal in distress, and NOT to approach the seal. 2 Numbers - Hilary McMenamin Letterkenny - 00353 876720383, and John Lynch in Bundoran 00353 871278810."
[I interviewed John Lynch from the Irish Seal Sanctuary with the fuller story on the show this week, and its there in the "Listen again" icon on the main programme page if you're interested. Station link below. Good to keep those numbers in the car in case you ever do find a seal pup?]
Safe Surfing. #3
After last weeks stuff on safety, rips etc, Simon Alexander mails some more good info. Keep this stuff coming. Si compiles Ceefax page 429, which a lot of surfers find helpful as a daily marker for surf conditions in the UK and Ireland. BBC 429 has swell and wind for both Donegal and Hebrides (Dead handy if youre not online when you crawl outa bed of a Saturday) …Si:
"HI from Guernsey … thought this might be of interest: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/coast_sea/surfsafety.shtml"
Jay found this on surfline …. Great global pics to inspire us all of a dull March day: http://www.surfline.com/photos/portfolio/troyer/troyer_portfolio.cfm
Quality Montage #2.
And heres another our man in Wales Mart Aaron found: http://www.bh2o.co.uk/page3.htm
WWF Northern Ireland
The World Wildife Fund here are responding to the govt Marine White Paper, but want Stormont to take it forward locally. Heres the bones of the press statement out y'day. Surfers might want to keep an eye across stuff like this. WWF:
"This White Paper is a good starting point but having campaigned for new marine legislation for more than five years, WWF is hoping that a Marine Act will be in place by 2008. While some issues like oil and gas and shipping will be dealt with on a UK basis, Northern Ireland is responsible for issues like fisheries, marine nature conservation, pollution, aggregate extraction and renewable energy licensing within its own territorial waters. In WWF’s view it is vital that a Northern Ireland Marine Bill is transposed quickly as part of the UK wide Marine Act to provide a coherent framework to regulate and sustainably manage these and other issues affecting our seas. For example, this new legislation should help the Government to tackle climate change by encouraging offshore renewables development while allowing our marine wildlife to adapt to its impacts. WWF welcomes the need for a ‘network of Marine Protected Areas’ as set out in the White Paper. Strangford Lough is already protected and the unique sponge population off the shores of Rathlin Island make it another good candidate for marine protection.“By introducing a new management system for our seas which includes zoning of areas and activities, we can help preserve our precious marine biodiversity. Over half of Northern Ireland’s wildlife lives in and around our seas - over 4,000 species - and yet less than 4 per cent of it is protected,” said Malachy Campbell, Policy Officer, WWF Northern Ireland.
"Land And Sea"
Saw the signs for this up near Jays place in Springtown Industrial Estate and called in. Philip Cauley has started a new shop, called Land and Sea. Its all broadly water based gear. Fishing, canoes, etc etc. But he also has a selection of suits and mini-mal boards. You cant miss the signs once youre in the Industrial estate. Worth a look if youre over that way. Link: www.landandseasports.com
Marts Aussie Mate
Martin Aarons mate is up for a "Lounge Lizard" talent thing on Aussie TV. People might wanna check the link and vote. Takes a while to load. Link:
Surfing Mice …
Finger in Astoria mailed a funny vid about a surfing dog, but its an attach, not a url, and I don’t like mailing attaches to this batch, just text. So instead, heres the surfing mice that 'Chelle found on Youtube. You can actaully see the wee buggers trim their line - better damn surfers than most of us are! Link:
St Patrick, and a raised glass to all at home and abroad.