National surf contest mooted for Youghal
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.