September 17th and 18th sees the return of the West Coast Surf Club’s Longboarding Competition and Festival to Lahinch.
Now in its thirteenth year, organisers expect a full turn-out of up to 64 surfers, both male and female, from throughout Ireland to demonstrate their finest traditional longboarding skills and to compete for a range of prizes including Best Wave, Best Local and Best Surfer.
The Longboard Surfing Competition and Festival is unique to Lahinch and internationally similar events include the annual Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational held at Noosa Heads, Australia. The West Coast Surf Club itself is one of Ireland’s oldest surf clubs having been established in 1971.
Ollie O’Flaherty is an internationally renowned surfer and is Joint Chairman of the organising team in charge of the competition. He spoke of the importance of surfing to the area. “Surfing in itself is an integral part of the local business mix in Lahinch and throughout the wider Clare and Shannon Region being an all-year-round activity. It is also a sport which has zero environmental impact, which promotes health and water safety to all ages and has a rich appeal world-wide so we’re delighted to be staging this Competition again this year.”
Joint Chairman and local Longboard surfer Dave Flynn paid tribute to the sponsors behind the event “We are particularly grateful for the support and cooperation we receive from all the local businesses and sponsors from restaurants to bars, surf shops and surf schools.”
In addition to competitors, organisers are also expecting a large number of spectators to Lahinch for the weekend particularly following the recent press coverage of spectacular storms and an established reputation for consistently excellent surfing conditions and facilities which have earned Lahinch a reputation as Ireland’s very own ‘Surf City’.
Top prize this year which is sponsored by Paddle Pillow, a locally owned surf aid device comprises €500 for the Best Male Longboard Surfer and €500 for the Best Female Longboard Surfer, both competition sections are subject to minimum numbers.
To enter, applications may be made online at www.westcoastsurfclub.com on/before 16th September; entry will not be accepted on the day. Membership of the Irish Surfing Association is also essential and further details are available at www.irishsurfing.ie .