10 Nov 2014

Finn Mullen wins 2014 Irish SUP Surf Championships

By Finn Mullen

It’s been a successful Autumn for Starboard rider Finn Mullen who won his 6th consecutive Irish SUP title in perfect surf at the 2014 Irish National Championships Bundoran, County Donegal.

The famous A frame reef wave of the ‘Peak’ in Bundoran was the contest venue and the near flawless conditions saw some of the best surf experienced for a national championships in recent years. Showing the rise in popularity of SUP, the SUP entry was the second highest of the event and hotly contested with Finn Mullen just edging local charger, Emmet O’Doherty. Emmet later showed his versatility though by winning the longboard division at his home break. Both Finn and Emmett elected to ride their 8’5” pros in the 6-8′ surf but in third place was Strandhill and Irish surfing legend Neil ‘Bingo’ Byrne who used his Starboard pro 9’8 to full advantage in the powerful waves on tap, finishing ahead  of  respected ASI SUP instructor and Irishsup.com team rider Paul Byrne in fourth.  First women was Katie McAnena on her Starboard Pro 8′ marking it a clean sweep for the Galway Doctor, having won the 2014 Irish SUP technical racing title 2 weeks earlier.

Speaking on his season and equipment choice Finn commented ‘We were really blessed with conditions in competitions this year but also great camaraderie amongst all the competitors with everyone pushing each other to keep building the sport and making new friendships too :). This year my go to boards in competition were my 8’5 and 8′ pro and 7’11 x 30 which is a super fun board. I rode all these with stock fins, pretty much middle in the box and teamed up with my XS enduro paddle which I absolutely love despite my not very XS size ! :). Really looking forward to next year and trying my new 2015 pro boards which by early reviews online, seem to be absolute rippers :)’

Finn_and_PaulByrne (Large) Finn_Irish_Championships_1 (Large) Finn_Irish_Championships_2 (Large) Finn_Irish_Championships_3 (Large) Neil_Byrne_Irish_Championships (Large)

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22 Oct 2014

Ferry Wave!

By Peter Kosinski

The ferrywave is a unique wave at the entrance to Dublin Port. It occurs when the late afternoon ferries all return from the U.K leaving behind a wake which breaks into a wave with a combination of tide and wind.

On this particular day the stars aligned with 3 minute long rides and perfect sunshine. The wave breaks over a few sections of sand and can offer up hollow sections to do some turns on. The best thing about it. You can be in Dublin city centre in 5 minutes after you finished surfing!

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13 Oct 2014

Charlie Jones – 2014 Battle of the Paddle

Team rider Charlie Jones was one of several UK riders to make their way out to Salt Creek California for the 2014 Battle of the Paddle, since getting back Charlie has

Elite Race: So the way the elite race worked was you were either put into heat 1 or heat 2 and you had to come over the line in the top half of your heat to make it into the elite final. So I was in heat 1. So the race start came round fast and nerves had kicked in! I’m standing on the start line watching head high plus sets come crashing into the beach and looking to my left and right and seeing paddlers like Kai Lenny and Danny Ching, it was a tad intimidating!

Luckily they started us in a bit of a lull, so I managed to get out through the surf without any dramas but was left in the wash of the front pack, which led to me going in a few times, putting me near the back of the heat. I managed to make up a few places before the first buoy, and as we turned around the buoy and started heading back towards the beach, I could see and hear this huge set crashing into the beach! I was praying for a lull as I turned the inside buoy and started heading back through the surf and ended up tacking one wave on the head which lost me a bit of time, finally managing to paddle in to the beach run. The 2nd and 3rd lap stayed the same, I managed to ride a nice head high wave into the beach with 2 other guys on the 3rd lap, which felt good when you’re flying in on a wave with hundreds of people looking at you! 

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On the final lap I managed to catch a couple of guys and then got pounded by a massive set coming into the beach! I came across the line somewhere towards the back of the heat. Not the result I was hoping for but I still had so much fun racing in those conditions! 

Distance Race: This was a 10 mile course set out, so we only had to play in the waves twice, which was good news for me! 

I managed to get a good start making it over the first few waves putting me in a good position just behind the front train lead by Casper, I managed to stay in this position for most of the race with a few people coming past me like Ryan James on the 2nd lap, he had a nightmare start getting stuck in the shore break with loads of other racers, and then came flying past me like I was standing still! 

I managed to catch a nice wave into the beach to come across the line in 53rd overall, including the unlimited and all the 14″s who started before us, I finished 6th in the 19 to 29yr old age group and not sure where I came in the 12’6 class but was somewhere in the top half which I was happy with!

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So it was an epic event and a good learning curve! 

Charlie

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