The first ever Galway secondary schools windsurf competition was held on
April 5 in Rusheen Bay, Galway. Started by Cormac O Liodan, Irish teacher at
St. Josephs “The Bish”, the event filled a gap in windsurfing, namely
windsurf competition at schools level.
Sailors from schools all over Galway turned up at 10.30am to get
the lowdown on the event. They were soon informed it would be a slalom
racing competition with a Le Mans style start. Everyone would have to line
up on the beach, kit in hand, and as soon as a flag bearer past them they
had to make a mad dash to the water, hop on the board and race. On sailing
back to shore they then had to run back up the beach to finish the race.
Everyone there was pumped and eager to get on the water, some
hadn’t been sailing all winter! As soon as the course was set and everyone
rigged racing started. The fleet was split into a Silver fleet for the
juniors and less experienced sailors and a gold fleet for the older sailors.
The gold fleet were up first and soon they were stampeding across
the sand. Ronan Mc Guire from the Bish took the lead early on, using his
light weight to eek out every last ounce of planing ability from his gear.
He won the first race and proceeded to win the following two aswell. Hot on
his heels was older brother Morgan who managed to save face to some extent
by over taking Ronan at the last gybe of the last race to win it. Third
place was exchanged between Nigel Plummer (Oranmore) and Simon Gormely (The
Jes) throughout the day. A special mention has to go out to Aoife Reid of
the Jes, the only girl competing, who kept the testosterone levels on the
water in check and sailed well.
The silver fleet were also sailing admirably, for most it was the
first time back on the water since the end of summer! Some good performaces
were turned in too by Fabien “coco” McGovern (the Bish) and Cathal “Teddy
Bear” Hanrahan (The Jes) and it was good to see lots of young sailors giving
it their all.
After four races for each fleet the event was brought to a close
due to the increasing gustiness of the wind. When the scores were totted up
the Bish took top honours, followed by the Jes in second and Oranmore in
Thanks has to go to Cormac O Liodan for putting the event together and
to Peter Gormely for taking time out of his day to help with the running of
things. Hopefully this event will show that inter-schools windsurf
competition is possible and more importantly fun and will continue to grow
in years to come, hey its a day off school!