BILLABONG BIG WAVE CONTEST BACK ON IN IRELAND
Mullaghmore, IRELAND (Tuesday 6th November 2012): Some of the world’s best big wave surfers are making their way to Ireland again this winter to compete in the third annual Billabong Tow-In Session presented by Monster at Mullaghmore in county Sligo.
The waiting period for the event started on November 1 and finishes on March 1. Organisers only need one day of giant waves to stage the event. Last year’s event was cancelled because the required waves in excess of 20 feet failed to arrive during the four month waiting period.
The inaugural event in 2010 however saw competitors taking on 20-30 foot waves at Mullaghmore, a break that is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most fearsome and best big wave locations in the world.
“Mullaghmore is an incredible wave, one of the heaviest I’ve surfed and one that holds unlimited potential for giant waves,” said the 2010 winner Benjamin Sanchis from France (pictured above at Mullaghmore). Sanchis and his partner Eric Rebiere have been invited back to defend their title.
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 all the necessary rescue and water safety procedures. Along with the defending champions competitors from Ireland, Hawaii, USA, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Tahiti and South Africa have all been invited.
The runner-up team from the inaugural event, Peter Conroy (Co. Clare) and Glyn Ovens (GB) are among several Irish teams set to challenge the overseas surfers in their home country.
“Mullaghmore is impressive with its grassy headland acting as natural amphitheatre for spectators to watch the event,” said Conroy, “but it’s a scary place when the surf is big. There’s lots water swirling around and surging up from the underwater reef ledges. Hopefully this year’s event will get great waves and we will all return safely to shore.”
The event is sanctioned by the Irish Surf Rescue Club and the Irish Surfing Association.