Wait period ends for Irish big wave event
Billabong Big Wave
Presented by Monster
Mullaghmore, Sligo Ireland
1 November - 1 March 2012
Waiting Period Expires for Billabong Big Wave Event in Ireland
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 February, 2013 : - - The four month waiting period for the Billabong Big Wave surfing contest in Ireland expires on March 1. It's the second consecutive year now the event hasn't been 'green lit' for go. Organisers and competitors need a combination of giant waves and favourable winds to stage the event at Mullaghmore in county Sligo.
The event has been run once only since its inception three years ago. For safety reasons the event is restricted to invitees only. Because lives are at stake only those surfers with recognized big wave experience are invited to compete. Competitors are also expected to be well versed and qualified in the all necessary rescue and water safety procedures.
Mullaghmore, along with Aileen’s at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most fearsome and challenging big wave locations in the world. This year's waiting period saw two 'amber alerts' when some of the world's best big wave riders, along with qualified Irish teams, gathered at Mullaghmore to ride waves in excess of 30 feet.
Unfortunately though the winds that accompanied these giant swells deteriorated and made the sea conditions unsuitable for competition. Contest director Paul O'Kane said he was hopeful next year's waiting period in the winter months will produce similar conditions to 2011 when huge storm swells coincided with perfect light offshore winds.
"From observation it seems that every three years the jet stream in winter shifts a bit which allows for a spell of favourable weather and calmer offshore winds while still pulsing in huge swells from winter storms far out to sea," he said.
"In the interest of safety for all our competitors, plus as a visual extravaganza for our specators, the event in 2011 is the benchmark we measure up to in terms of green lighting the competition.
"So we remain hopeful that more favourable conditions, like in 2011, will prevail next winter when the giant storm swells start battering our northwest coastline again.
"In the meantime I'd like to express a big thanks to all those competitors, sponsors and organisers who were there ready to stage and particpate in this year's event on the two occasions we went to amber. Hopefully next year the waiting period provides better conditions and we get a solid green for go."
The event is sanctioned by the Irish Surf Rescue Club and the Irish Surfing Association. For further information contact: Event organiser Paul O’Kane (086 3854016) or media officer Wayne Murphy (086 3475100).
Source: Billabong Europe
Author: Wayne Murphy
Tags: Mullaghmore, Ireland, Billabong, Big Wave