Na­tional surf con­test mooted for Youghal

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Christy Parker

Youghal surf life­sav­ing club is a strong con­tender to host the 2018 Nip­per & Ju­nior Na­tional Cham­pi­onships amidst lav­ish praise for its stag­ing of the Mun­ster cham­pi­onships at Clay­cas­tle.

Par­tic­i­pants from other clubs say they will strongly rec­om­mend a bid from the east Cork town’s in the wake of the week­end’s suc­cess.

Al­most 500 chil­dren from clubs across Cork, Water­ford and Clare com­peted in the two- day event, as over 2,000 vis­i­tors packed the beach area with cars, camper vans and tents.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the hosts, Cork County Coun­cil, lo­cal water res­cue and safety ser­vices and the wider com­mu­nity pro­duced a seam­less suc­cess on what was the four year- old club’s first time stag­ing a cham­pi­onships.

The event high­lighted the vast, un­tapped po­ten­tial of Youghal beach.

Youghal surf life­sav­ing club chair­man Mark Ward says vis­i­tors were “de­lighted to have im­me­di­ate ac­cess the com­pe­ti­tion area, with­out hav­ing to carry equip­ment for half a mile.” He also thanked Cork County Coun­cil for pre­par­ing the beach.

The vis­i­tors were warmly wel­comed, with the hosts pro­vid­ing com­pli­men­tary tea and snacks.

Chair­woman of Ir­ish Water Safety in Water­ford, Lola O’Sul­li­van de­scribed it as “the best or­gan­ised, most en­joy­able cham­pi­onships” she had ex­pe­ri­enced in 30 years of at- tend­ing such events.

“The pres­ence of the Coast­guard and the RNLI, plus fre­quent Garda pa­trols, cre­ated a real sense of safety”, she said.

Ms O’ Sul­li­van fur­ther praised the county coun­cil for pro­vid­ing easy ac­cess for vans and emp­ty­ing bins through­out the week­end.

Clare McGrath, chair­woman of the Ir­ish Water Safety Com­mis­sion and a Water Safety De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer with Clare County Coun­cil echoed the sen­ti­ments.

“Clay­cas­tle was ideal for young con­tes­tants, with no big waves or swells like you might get else­where,” she sur­mised.

The Clare of­fi­cial re­flected that “ev­ery­one knew what their job was and did it well. As a mem­ber of the gov­ern­ing board that is Ir­ish Water Safety I will cer­tainly be ad­vo­cat­ing Yo ugh al for the na­tional cham­pi­onships.”

The surf life­sav­ing cham­pi­onships are ro­tated across beaches in four coun­ties. Next year’s na­tional cham­pi­onships lo­ca­tion will be known within weeks.

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