Surf’s up in Youghal for Mun­ster

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

Up to 2,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to ar­rive in Youghal next week­end when the town hosts its first Mun­ster Surf Cham­pi­onships.

The cham­pi­onships will fea­ture par­tic­i­pants from surf­ing hotspots such as West Cork, Water­ford, Clare and the Youghal club it­self.

Youghal Surf Life­sav­ing chair­man, Mark Ward, said 360 chil­dren aged eight to to 14 (nip­pers) and 150 aged 14-18 (ju­niors) will com­pete across the event.

“It’s safe to say the car park will be fairly full!”, he said.

The surf­ing chal­lenges will in­clude ‘swim with fins’ (12-14 ages) and a ta­plin re­lay.

Deemed the most pres­ti­gious and com­pet­i­tive event in surf life­sav­ing, the ta­plin re­lay usu­ally in­volves two swim­mers, two board pad­dlers and two ski pad­dlers.

They race around buoys and back to shore, max­imis­ing the pre­vail­ing con­di­tions.

Other chal­lenges will in­clude var­i­ous beach races, in- clud­ing 50-me­tre sprints, 15m flags and sprint re­lays.

Beach flag fo­cuses on re­flexes and sand sprint­ing power, with con­tes­tants be­gin­ning by ly­ing face-down on the beach.

Com­peti­tors must turn and run 15 me­tres to grab a ba­ton from the sand.

With fewer ba­tons than com­peti­tors, they are pro­gres­sively elim­i­nated un­til only one ba­ton re­mains.

Com­pe­ti­tions com­mence at 9am daily and will con­clude in the af­ter­noon.

The top 10 in each event will qual­ify for the na­tional cham­pi­onships in Wex­ford later this month.

The cham­pi­onships ar­rive in Youghal, four years af­ter the lo­cal club was founded.

Op­er­at­ing un­der the aus­pices of Cork Wa­ter Safety and, in turn, that of Ir­ish Wa­ter Safety, mat­ters went swim­mingly from the be­gin­ning.

The club now has over 150 mem­bers, the vast ma­jor­ity teenagers or un­der.

How­ever, it also has se­nior (18-30) and mas­ters’ (over 30’s) par­tic­i­pants.

In their colour­ful wet suits, the ea­ger ad­her­ents are a reg­u­lar sight at Clay­cas­tle beach, enlivening the land­scape as they dash for the surf and hone their skills.

“The club is based on teach­ing wa­ter safety dur­ing the win­ter but we train in the sea all year round”, says Mark, ad­ding “fit­ness is para­mount”.

David Noo­nan and David Buck­ley of Youghal Surf Life­sav­ing train­ing for the cham­pi­onships.

Ruby Whe­lan,train­ing for the Mun­ster cham­pi­onships.

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