Round 1 of the O''Neill Irish wavesailing tour was held in Louisburg, Co Mayo. While most of the country was out watching the parades, admiring the dyed green rivers of knocking back green beer a dedicated bunch of windsurfers completed four rounds of competition. Due to the howling easterlies being almost dead offshore in Louisburg the sea was flat with only the smallest of wavelets reaching the shore, wave competition was off the cards.

A freestyle competition was run in its place with each round going towards the O'Neill Irish Freestyle Championship at the end of the year. With the air temperature dropping to as low as four degrees every sailor deserved a prize just for surviving the weekend! As the competion progressed it was Oisin Van Geldern (JP/Pryde) and Morgan Mc Guire (RRD/Ezzy) who emerged as the two contenders for the overall event win.

After 3 rounds of competition completed Morgan was clinging onto first palce with Oisin right behind him. The final of the fourth round was the deciding round and while Oisin took the round win Morgan managed to retain first place to secure overall victory by 0.3 points.

Other performances of note were Neil Turpin,who made most finals of the

competition with his consistent repotoire of old skool and not so old skool tricks, and Dan Gardner(RRD/Simmer), who learnt goiters in a day in a bid not to be outdone by Oisin!

Also the ladies showed their mettle over the weekend and stuck it out in the mind numbing cold to get through their rounds. Anna Ryan put up a good fight but it was the Louisburg local Noelle Doran who finsihed in top spot.

In the fun fleet "Dangerous" Dave Norman secured glory with his powerful repotoire to finish first. See fellow fun fleet competitor Mikey Clancy's website at www.mikeyclancy.tk for photos of the event.

The next IWA event is the Fleadh Seoil, a fun event for windsurfers of all ages and abilities held in Belmullet from Friday April 28 to Monday May 1.

The O'Neill IWA Freestyle tour continues with a dedicated freestyle competition on August 19/20 in Rusheen Bay, Galway.

The next stop for the O'Neill IWA wave tour is Achill, Co Mayo on the 16/17 of September. See www.sailing.ie/windsurf for more details.

Overall Results : 1. Morgan Mc Guire (RRD/Ezzy) 2. Oisin Van Geldern (JP/Pryde) 3. Dan Gardner (RRD/Simmer) 4. Neill Turpin

Ladies: 1. Noelle Doran 2. Anna Ryan

Fun Fleet: 1. Dave Norman 2. Mikey Clancy 3. Barry Loughran

Photos By: George Allen