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Thursday, 27 April 2017
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3 days in Ireland

 

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Just had an Epic weekend! 

As usual come the end of the week I started looking at the forecasts a little more seriously and one place stood out -Ireland. Ireland of course usually does, but the mention of being picked up as a foot passenger suddenly made it sound a lot more palatable than with the usual unaffordable £300 ferry/van. 22ft and 25mph for £60 would do nicely! 

 

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I have to confess I usually take a lot of kit to the beach. 3 Moo's and about 5 surfboards if there's a big swell (7'3 gun never gets used but you never know!), sails to cover every wind and a whole bunch of camera/vid gear that never sees the light of day. But to be a foot passenger I'd have to take everything in one double surfboard wheely bag, which I soon found out meant 1 Moo (the smallest!), 1 mast, 1 boom, 3 sails, a wetsuit and a surfboard. 

It was actually really easy to travel as a foot passenger. There's free parking to leave your car behind and after a quick check in they wheel your kit off on a trolley which gets returned to you once you're back on dry land. Simples. Huge thanks to Jony Price for picking me up and driving us around Ireland.

 

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My main aim for the weekend was to score Sundays big swell at some of the reefs around Bundoran, but first Jony was keen to go and enter the Magheroarty Classic, which seemed like a grand idea. (and was for Saturday only -ideal)

We pulled up on Saturday morning to the above view with the beach already firing. Lots of happy faces with everyone clearly stoked on the conditions and to see each other. The contest ran super smoothly and in very consistent conditions, which was great for me as I only had my smallest board and a 4.3 rigged. After the freesailing before the comp I was a little worried as everyone seemed to be at a really high standard, but fortunately for me I managed to slip through each round, past Rob Jones in the Semi's and then into the final with Timo Mullen. 

 

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If you can get onto Facebook there's a lot more pics here.. (and some much bigger waves!)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Magheroarty-Classic/631417140218728?fref=ts  

 

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I was pretty surprised to find at the prize giving that evening, that I'd only gone and won the event! Very very stoked! Definitely a result I'm very proud of with it being in memory of Mikey and at such a great place with such a fantastic group of people and in some solid conditions. Very much my kind of event :)

Huge thanks to Tomasz Lotocki and his team for running the event (which was free to enter), and to Michael Clancy for taking the pics, great to finally meet you all!  

 

BIG SUNDAY.

It was hard to get up early and drag ourselves away from Maghers (especially after a night of wedding crashing and sleeping on the van front seats), but we decided to forgo the possible 8hr session and spend some time driving!

 

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This turned into a hell of a lot of driving, and walking , and more driving. But we checked Mullaghmore, we checked Prowlers, we checked PMPA, we checked everywhere!..  and eventually came across what looked to be the most perfect wave, fully open to the wind, grinding down the side of a boulder reef, for an impossible amount of time. Getting to it wasn't easy and involved parking on the nearest bit of road, climbing barbed wire fences and traipsing through fields, before climbing down cliffs and then rigging before another set of crazy obstacles invented by mother nature to stop us getting on the water. The sailing part was easy! 

 

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These kind of pics never do the size justice, but this was easily mast and a half, and a lot further away than it looks. Nicely powered on the 4.3 again. They were towing in at Mully whilst we were out..

  

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I came in first to get a few shots and just caught Jony coming in..

We weren't too desperate to get shots as Jony had set up his solo shot to catch the action..  and of course it completely missed everything.

The tide was now too high and the sets were just mushing through, so we called it a day. We felt a bit gutted about only getting an hours sailing with no pics when Magheroarty would have delivered ten fold, but at least we  know the score for next time.

 

CLEAN MONDAY

Light Southerlies, so we were just on for a surf we thought. I surfed PMPA  in the morning and managed to rip my fin out on the dry suck end section. It wasn't classic as the swell was still a bit messed up from yesterday. As luck would have it there was some wind again, so we checked the forecast and headed back to Magheroarty! It was a late one, and just Jony, Katie McAnena, Finn Mullen and myself out catching lovely clean waves on the reef. Definitely worth the drive back up and a great end to the trip.

We talked about the big reef we'd sailed the day before and Finn told us it was called 'G spot'. A bit of googling later and it turns out that it's quite a big deal in surfing circles..

http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/surfers-roll-up-for-a-ride-on-a-secret-thrillseeking-wave-25899628.html 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU8FqbuDIIs

 

So then it was back on the overnight ferry and hopefully in work for 9am. This is where the trip took a turn for the worse and I had an impromptu day sat on the A50 whilst a serious accident was cleaned up. 

 

So this weekend is the BWA Cornwall event. I've had two days off this week already and it's 19yrs since I met Trudie on Halloween, so it looks like this ones a no show. Though it does look very good on Saturday afternoon, so maybe I'll come down for the waves.

 



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