Irish Surfing crowned 13 new national champions in Bundoran, Co. Donegal at the weekend.
The competition started just after dawn on Saturday at The Peak in Bundoran but with many of the competitors having trouble just catching the waves in fickle conditions the contest director decided to move to Tullan Strand.
Only two surfers successfully defended their 2014 titles while the other titles went to entirely new winners or some past champions regaining titles they’d previously lost.
The 2015 National men’s champion is 20 year old Gearoid McDaid from Sligo who defeated defending champion Stephen Kilfeather in a tightly fought final at Tullan Strand. Local Bundoran surfer Owen Murphy caused a few upsets en-route to the final before finishing third while current under 16 boys champion, Garbhan McCloskey from Rossnowlagh Surf Club kept a youthful look to the open final.
The women’s title went to Sophie Pigot of West Coast Surf Club after defeating juniors Ayesha Garvey, Holly Widger and her European championship’s teammate Grace Doyle.
The two surfers to retain their titles were bodyboarder Shane Meehan and kneeboarder Luke Porter of Co Sligo and Causeway Coast surf clubs respectively.
Ione Byrne from Easkey Surf Club secured two national titles in the women’s bodyboarding and women’s longboard.
Four brand new divisions were added to this year’s national surf championships while one was dropped. The Senior division (over 27) was dropped from the lineup as that division is no longer part of either the European or World Championship events.
The increasing number of veteran surfers in Ireland led to the introduction of Grand Masters (over 45) and Kahuna (over 55) divisions for the men, and a women’s Masters (over 35) division. The other new division is Women’s Longboard as a result of increasing numbers of women longboarders.
Chairman of Irish Surfing, Henry Moore, may have only gotten silver in the Grand Masters division but he did have the privilege of awarding the inaugural Women’s Masters title to his wife Brigita.
2015 Irish National Surf Champions
Open Champion: Gearoid McDaid (Co. Sligo Surf Club)
Women’s Champion: Sophie Pigot (West Coast Surf Club)
Longboard Champion: Craig Butler (Easkey Surf Club)
Women’s Longboard Champion: Ione Byrne (Easkey Surf Club)
Bodyboard Champion: Shane Meehan (Co Sligo Surf Club)
Women’s Bodyboard Champion: Ione Byrne (Easkey Surf Club)
Kneeboard Champion: Luke Porter (Causeway Coast Surf Club)
SUP Surf Champion: Emmet O’Doherty (Bundoran Boardriders)
Women’s SUP Surf Champion: Katie McAnena (Co. Sligo Surf Club)
Masters Champion (over 35): Kerry Larkin (Co. Sligo Surf Club)
Women’s Masters Champion (over 35): Brigita Moore (T-Bay Surf Club)
Grand Masters Champion (over 45): Stevie Burns (Causeway Coast Surf Club)
Kahuna Champion (over 55): Paul O’Kane (Easkey Surf Club)
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