Northern Ireland’s only surfing event is set to take place this Easter weekend, April 19th and 20th.
Surfers from all over Ireland are looking for forward to the second annual Causeway Coast Surf Festival at West Strand in Portrush. The festival, which is a totally unique event, will see a mixture of surf contests, skateboarding, beach volley ball and music in the beach marquee; plus the Shore Shots surf film festival.
Organisers, Causeway Coast Surf Club (CCSC) are expecting the event to draw large crowds of fans and visitors to Portrush and Portstewart to experience what surfing is all about.
The North coast of Ireland is well known for its great surf and Portrush is regarded as the home of surfing here in NI.
With some of the best beaches and facilities anywhere in the country, the surf festival is a celebration of the beach culture that has been developed here since the first surfers took to the water in the 60’s.
With the promise of good conditions and waves, anyone visiting the North Coast this weekend should take time to come and see all the action.
The weekend starts off on Saturday morning with the main surf event, plus the added attraction of local skateboarders running demos. No one will be able to miss the beach marquee, supplied by Maverick Marquees, which is at the centre of the West Strand.
A collection of DJs from Antidote Sound System, acoustic acts, the Ropey Brothers, Toni Whitten, Team RKT and Natalia & Ciara will also be playing over the weekend.
Dubsurf will roll into town on the Saturday, with a collection of classic VW vans and campers.
The event site will also have climbing walls, snag golf, beach volley ball and a surfers market, with a touch of surf photography and art on display in the marquee; so loads for visitors to see and do and all free to attend. For those new to the sport or wishing to try surfing, all the local surf, SUP and Coasteering schools with be at the West Strand for everyone to get involved and have fun in the sea.
The main surf event has 6 categories, men’s and women’s open, longboard, bodyboard, U18s and Stand Up Paddle board, SUP. Organisers are expecting some of the best surfers to compete, in particular, Gearoid McDaid, just back from the World Championships in Ecuador, where he came 20th in the world.
Local interest will be in John McCurry, Martin “TK” Kelly, Jamie Russell, Andrew Mennie and back from New Zealand, Bosco McAuley, plus many more top surfers. Many times Irish champion, Stevie Burns will also be taking part and the SUP event is expected to get a large entry, with Irish Champ and big wave rider Finn Mullen, a strong favourite.
New to this year’s festival is the ShoreShots Irish Surf Film Festival at the Flowerfield Centre, Portstewart on Saturday 19 April at 7.00pm, bringing big screen fun to the Surf Fest with all the best edits from an incredible winter of Irish surfing.
They’ll have all the best surf footage from the last 12 months around the island as well as some truly mind-blowing surf movies from further afield.
Catch all the thrills and spills on the big screen! Set up by Galway surfers Aidan Ellis and
Shane O’Donoghue, Shore Shots has been trying to support Irish surf culture and encourage the
sport’s men and women who devote their lives to chasing new waves and pushing themselves to
new limits. They bring not just the best videos and photography but also share the simple beauty
of surf culture and the incredible lifestyle surfers here in Ireland are lucky enough to be a part of.
No crowded beaches or polluted cityscapes, just amazing cold water adventures and an endless
coast of perfect peaks waiting to be explored. Find out more at www.shoreshots.ie. Local film
makers Andrew Mennie and Melanie Curran, from Meldrew productions are also expected to
screen some of their latest footage.
Event organisers, Gerard McAuley and Greg Wallace, from the CCSC, commented, “This is the
best line up we’ve ever had for the surf fest in Portrush and we’re stoked that so many sponsors
have been able to get involved this year, especially, Circle One and Coleraine Borough Council,
without whom we couldn’t stage the event. Circle One have been supporting surf events here in
Portrush for the last five years and it’s brilliant to have them on board again.” For a full list of all
the sponsors, surf shops, surf schools and other businesses who are involved in the Causeway
Coast Surf Festival, check out the event website.
The 2014 festival also has a number of charities involved this, including the RNLI, Eye Feel Good
and Surfers Against Sewage, the environmental lobby group, plus the RSPB.
Full information on the and details of how to enter the competition are available at
Entry is £10 per category and all entrants must have full competitive insurance. Entry is free for
all members of the Causeway Coast Surf Club for all contest categories.