Downings Windsurfing Competition 25th Anniversary
This year there was a record 86 competitors who took part in the annual windsurfing competition held in Downings, which celebrated 25 years this year.
The organiser of the competition, Nick Fletcher said “A total of 11 races were run throughout the 2 days. A very challenging downwind slalom course was set in the middle of Sheephaven Bay with competitors dealing with winds which were gusting at 30 knots.”
He added “Again this year, safety was of the utmost importance and a huge number of volunteers provided rescue boats including Mulroy Sea and Cliff Rescue, Paul Lenny, James Toland, Jerry and Jerry Gallaher and Martin McBride.”
The competition was an Irish Windsurfing Association ranked event and the President of the association, Gareth Nehille, who was at the event, was very impressed by both the number of competitors and the excellent organisation, with particular thanks going to Maeve McBride.
Gartan Outdoor Centre organisers John Boyce and Ciaran O’Brien, along with all their professionally trained helpers, provided invaluable coaching and support to the Novice Fleet. Three of the youngest competitors, at just 7 years old, were Jessica Hood, Padraig MacGinty and John Fletcher.
There was a vast array of fabulous prizes made possible by the very generous sponsorship of many people including Baird McNutt, Laing O’Rourke, Quicksilver, Roxy, Richard Harshaw, NIVAC Audio Visual, NW Hearing Clinic, Gartan Outdoor Centre, Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors, McBride Fishing, McBride Shop, Mickey Joes, Boardwise, Mevagh Resource Centre, Chris and Cathy Loughridge, John Connor, Frank Casey, Martin Casey, Brian and Anne Marie Kelly and O’Connor, Kennedy, Turtle. This year again, all the money raised goes to the RNLI.
A big thank you goes to Amanda Boyce who provided the catering as well as the team of competitors’ mums. Thank you also the team of people who did all the marking for the races, with a special mention to Ray Clenaghan who spent 2 days inside totalling up the marks on the computer to generate the following results!
Winners in the Gold Fleet : 1st Overall and 1st Men, Pearse Geaney; 1st Senior, Glen Warden; 1st Grand Master, Chris Loughridge; 1st Master, Hannis Louet; 1st U20 Boy, Sean Dillane; 1st U20 Girl, Claire McIlwiane; 1st U17 Boy, Joseph Fletcher; 1st U17 Girl, Amy McBride; 1st U15 Boy Ben McNutt; 1st U 15 Girl, Anna Bonner; 1st U13 Boy, James Gribben; 1st U13 Girl, Sarah Bonner.
The Novice Fleet the winners were: 1st Men, Oisin Goniging; 1st Lady, Aishling Reidy, U17 Boy, Emmet Kelly; U15 Boy, Niall McBride, U 15 Girl, Lucy Backus, U13 Boy, Timothy Burke; U13 Girl, Sophie Fletcher; U10 Boy, Conor Fletcher; U10 Girl, Chloe Hood, U8 Boy, John Fletcher and U8 Girl, Jessica Hood.
Congratulations to all the competitors who took part and keep training for the competition which will be run on the same weekend in July next year!