IRELAND PWA WAVE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

PWA Wave World Champion To Be Crowned In Co. Kerry, Ireland…

The 2002 PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix, presented by Bord Fáilte, will take

place off the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry from 3rd to 10th October. Over

80 professional windsurfers from 20 countries, including Ireland s best,

will be descending on Castlegregory and Brandon Bay, to compete for the

prestigious title of Wave World Champion and 65,000 Euro prize money.

This is the third year that the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association)

has staged the event in Ireland, considered by many aficionados as one of

the best windsurfing spots in the world. The 2001 world champion, Bjorn

Dunkerbeck of Andorra will be back in Dingle to defend his title. The

current Irish Wavesurfing Champion, Oisin Van Gelderen, from Skerries, Co.

Dublin has qualified for this event along with brothers Timo and Finn

Mullen from Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

Throughout 2002, the competitors have participated in PWA World Tour

events around the world where they have picked up points and the Irish

Wave Grand Prix is the climax to the season where the new PWA Wave World

Champion will be crowned. The windsurfers will compete in elimination

heats, gradually progressing to a final showdown on the waves. They are

judged on style, difficulty of maneuvers and overall impression.

The seas off the Dingle Peninsula are perfect for wave and windsurfing

with wave heights often topping the windsurfer's masts," said Mr. Andrew

Owen, event organizer. This event combines the world's best windsurfers,

the visually spectacular sport of windsurfing and the beautiful natural

environment of the Dingle Peninsula to produce a world-class event."

Highlights of the event in Dingle will be televised in a 30-minute show

which will be broadcast to over 100 countries and over 200 million

potential households, showcasing not just windsurfing but also the Dingle

Peninsula.

Sponsorship by Bord Fáilte is via its International Sports Tourism

Initiative. This Initiative was established by the Government in 2000 to

identify and sponsor high profile sporting events that have the capacity

to enhance Ireland s reputation as a premier sports tourism destination.

Mr. John O'Donoghue TD, Minister for Arts, Tourism and Sport, said, The

establishment of the Irish Wave Grand Prix as a permanent and prestigious

fixture on the PWA World Tour is a credit to the organizers and to the

local people of Castlegregory. There is nothing as enlivening as the sight

of wind surfers speeding gracefully and skillfully across the waves and

nothing quite complements that image more than the beautiful coastline of

County Kerry."

The sport of windsurfing is one of a group of lifestyle sports that sits

comfortably at the crossroads of sport, music and fashion and this blend,

together with its' dynamic nature ensures a broad audience and a bright

future. The PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix reflects this pedigree with

activities planned off the water that include fashion shows, live bands

and a lively party scene. The action on the water will be intense but it

won t stop there.

Based in Hawaii, the PWA membership consists of over 250 elite athletes,

both men and women, who have reached the top of their sport.

Issued on behalf of PWA Irish Wave Grand Prix by Heneghan PR.