Kelly wins Irish National Championship for 11th time

Martin Kelly celebrates after winning his 11th Irish National Bodyboard Championship.
Martin Kelly celebrates after winning his 11th Irish National Bodyboard Championship.

Coleraine man, Martin TK Kelly is celebrating again after being crowned Irish National Bodyboard Champion for 2013.

This is Kelly’s 11th national title and is somewhat of a record as he now stands alone as the most decorated Irish surfer of all time with this sway of titles at National level. Martin is a member of the Causeway Coast Surf Club and has been at the forefront of Irish and Northern Irish Surfing for 20 years and at the age of 35 he is now more positive than ever.

Kelly moved to Cornwall last week to train for six months. “There is a great standard of surfing here in the West Country and I hope to improve further,” he told Times Sport. “There are lots more competitions here that I can use for training.

“My goal for 2014 is not to defend my Irish Title but to rejoin the European Tour Of Bodyboard where in the past I have finished 21st. A tour with a world class standard and in some ways almost harder than the World Pro Tour.

“I have had some great help from sponsors over the years but I have to give a big thank you to the people who have made my 11th title possible.”

Gerrard McAuley, Chairman of the Causeway Coast Surf Club said: “It is a great acheivment by Martin and we are proud to have him involved and representing our club. He has been training hard for a long time and he fully deserves this honour. It has been 13 years since the trophy has been north of the border and back where it all started and belongs.”

Finishing third and fourth on the Senior tour in recent years Kelly started off the 2013 Senior Tour with a win in the Causeway Coast Portrush Open in April on home turf.

The second event of the year saw him travel to Easkey in Co.Sligo where he came a strong second to the 2012 Irish Champion in a hard fought final where Kelly scored a 9 point ride in the last 30 seconds of the Final taking him from fourth to second. This was the turning point with regards to winning the tour. Any less than second in Easkey would have made it difficult for me.

Next up was the Strandhill Open in Sligo. Here Kelly riding new equipment finished a respectable third. This was enough to secure him the 2013 title with a solid accumulation of Tour Points.

Martin would like to thank his sponsors for helping him achieve his goal. They are: Mitchell Smith, MBS Motorhomes, Coleraine; Coleraine Commercials, Coleraine; Billabong Wetsuits; The Body Board Depot, Newquay, Cornwall; Core Bodyboards; Atlantic Soul Surf; Portrush Yacht Club.