The first ever Sprite IWA Freestyle Championship was hosted by Rusheen Bay Windsurfing in Galway this August. Rusheen is the premier flat-water spot for freestyle in Ireland having spawned a whole generation of young freestylers, all eager to prove themselves.

With a healthy fleet of 24 competitors competition was soon underway. The gusty WNW wind made competition difficult at times but eventually the first elimination was completed with Oisin Van Gelderen holding off Tim to take top honors with an array of switch-stance vulcans, spocks and spock 540s. However with another day of competition to go and a bunch of fired up youngsters determined not to be beaten on their home turf Sunday could see some major shake-ups.

Sunday morning dawned windy but again very gusty and everybody got stuck in again for another day of competition, everybody except one with Evan King having to pull out after hurting his ear the previous day. Sunday saw some more sliding with Dan King finding form and pushing to the final to join Gwilym Williams who found himself in his second final of the event. Enrolling in the final alongside these two were the competition hardy Oisin and the happy go lucky winner of the losers final Pat Kavanagh. With 3 locals to beat in the final things it was bound to be a tough 8 minutes for Oisin. However his years of competition around the UK paid off and he took the win to claim the event victory.

In the ladies fleet Noelle Doran impressively took the title, fending off the synchronised light wind trickery of Ursula Concannon and Laura Bree with a display of gybes and sail spinning.

In the silver fleet Alex stole the show with Mark Killeen in second and Eoin O' Reilly in third.

But that's not it for Irish freestyle this year as the series will be continued at any of the IWA wave events when the waves don't show themselves.

Overall Results:

Gold Fleet Silver Fleet Ladies Fleet 1 Oisín Van Gelderen 1 Alex 1 Noelle Doran 2 Gwilym Williams 2 Mark kileen 2 Ursula Concannon 3 Tim 3 Eoin O Reilly 3 Laura Bree

Thanks to the IWA for their support, sponsors Sprite for providing the liquid energy as well as www.flyingobjectsuk.co.uk www.seaspritesports.co.uk www.rusheenbay.com, Wind and Wave and Tushingham for the prizes.

Morgan McGuire