Thursday, May 21, 2015

Magheroarty Mayday Video!

Hey guys!
Check out my new video from last weekend's quick trip up to Magheroarty. Massive thank you to Finn Mullen for filming, hero! I still have a lot to learn but what better place to train than the Wild North West of Donegal! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cabo Verde Pro Champ, Irish Winter and Maui!

Magheroarty Winter; snow, freezing gales, monster waves and a big fat smile on my face! 

Well it's time for another onslaught of photos and news from my most recent hiatus from blogging (it's only been 5 months in fairness!). It's been an epic few months of water time and work time. Since I last posted I've been slogging away at work like a mad woman which was super challenging and left little time for me to squeeze onto the water. But that's just how life goes and you have to take the good with the bad. Work dominated for 4 months and I was hard pressed to find time to train on the water and in addition, Irish Winters can be brutally cold, as was this one, which just makes trying to surf or sail an actual mission. But enough whinging..... I've still had some savage sessions and here, best described in photos is a recap of my last few months.... ENJOY!

Let's start with some Winter Sessions....

It's hard to describe how brutally cold these sessions up in the North West of Ireland can be..... in the depths of Winter the air is super-dense and the wind is heavy and gusty and the squall showers of hail stones and sleet make you want to cry!
A Sunny Sligo SUP in January......

Irish GOLD! Loving life on my Starboard 8'0 carbon Pro and Ke Nalu paddles!

When the AWT announced they were planning on holding an event in Cabo Verde I was going to make it my mission to get there! It was a serious pilgrimage and took 2 days of travelling but it was so unbelievably worth it. Vickey Abbott and Sam Bittner made history by having women compete on the island of Sal for the first time. The Goya Cabo Verde Pro was a raging success and the atmosphere amongst the local and foreign riders was insanely positive. Although we didn't score epic Ponta Preta for the contest the girls still proved they could hold their own at this legendary mecca of wave-sailing and I cannot wait to get there again next year! 
I was beyond stoked to have taken 1st place in the women's fleet, my first win on the AWT and something I had never dreamed would happen. WOOOHOOOOO! 

Happy bunny!! 
Loving my Starboard Quad 74L!!!
Happiest person ever! 
Starboard Quad 74L and Hot Sails Maui Firelight 4.3 = dream combo
Camille 1st, Kauli 2nd, Boujmaa 3rd,
Me 1st, Sam 2nd, Vickey 3rd

The ladies of the final! Nicole Bandini, Sam Bittner, Me, Vickey Abbott

And then after a quick stop home back to work for a few weeks I was off to Maui for the 2016 Starboard Photoshoot. For sure this was a major dream of mine growing up in Ireland and training on Maui. I would see all the pros in the catalogues and watch the heli- shoots at Ho'okipa and dream that one day I'd be included...... and that day CAME!! I'll never ever forget being chased by a helicopter at Kanaha with John Carter taking photos from above.... bucket list tick! It's also so amazing to be a part of a team, considering windsurfing is such an individualised sport. It's the first time I really felt a part of a team and getting to hang out with some of my windsurfing heroes for 2 weeks was magic. Also it was such an honour being included in a group of phenomenally talented women like multiple world champion Sarah Quita Offringa, young charger Fiona Wylde and freestyle ripper Oda Johanne. Starboard are pushing the boundaries in windsurf and SUP board innovation and I am so deeply honoured to be riding their products around the world. For sure they are pushing my skills to the next level! Thank you guys! 

Backloop at Ho'okipa, photo credit Fishbowl Diaries, THANK YOU Sofie and Paul!
Swimming with my besties! Mermaids!!

Hair Whip! Thank You as always Jimmie Hepp- HERO! 

Starboard Girls!! 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Magheroarty, Mexico, Maui & Irish SUP champion!

Oh Lord I've done it again.... I've left a major hiatus in updating this bloggy thing, yikes! Sorry friends! Agh well, sure hopefully it's worth the wait! Here's a bombardment of photos to document the last few months for your viewing pleasure!
Well I guess I've been mostly working, sailing, SUPing, surfing and competing over the last few months!
I have been so unbelievably privileged to have joined the Starboard Dream Team for windsurfing and I've just had a delivery of my 2015 wood quads in 74L and 69L. These babies are AMAZING! I have already had some insanely good trips up North to Magheroarty on them and I am so stoked for a Winter at home training on them. Happy Bunny!
Here are a few photos (thanks for Finn Mullen and Michael Clancy for taking them) from the Magheroarty Classic and some free sailing days!

Poor Quality shot but taking a beating on a monster!

The Magheroarty Classic was an amazing event organised by Tomasz Lotoki and showcased the best of Irish Windsurfing talent in the best of Irish Windsurfing conditions. Such a tour de force of sailors turned out from every corner of Ireland and abroad and made it a very respectable, professional event. Steve Thorp totally ripped and claimed the title from Timo Mullen in a really tightly contested final. Massive thanks to Tom, all his staff and the judges for making it such a phenomenal success with the Irish windsurfing family 2014 reunion!

So then I guess I should mention MEXICO!! Such an inspirational group of women competing at the highest standard possible. The AWT ladies are my best friends and they represent talent at the upper echelons of both male and female sailing tempered with a grace, elegance and kindness which makes them truly unique! I was thrilled to make the final and to take 4th behind Ingrid Larouche 3rd, Sarah Hauser 2nd and Fiona Wylde 1st.

Also on the agenda over the last few months has been competing in SUP. Both racing and surf. The SUP scene in Ireland is growing from strength to strength and I feel very lucky to be a part of a unique community of people who are pioneering our sport in Ireland. I am so very grateful to all the organisers of the National and fun racing and surf events that we have had over the last few months. They generously give of their time and make very professional events happen! I am proud to say my results this year include: 1st Lady Irish SUP Surf Nationals, 1st Lady Irish SUP Technical Race, 1st Lady Irish SUP Surf Classic; Aughris Co.Sligo, 1st Lady Battle for the Bay; SUP survivor race, 1st Lady Battle for the Bay; SUP marathon race. All achieved using my amazing KeNalu SUP paddles and Starboard 8'0 pro and 12'6 raceboards!

Finn won the overall men's title too!

Huge thanks to Emmet O'Doherty for organising the racing in Bundoran!

Huge thank you to Paul Byrne and the crew of the Battle of the Bay

Incredible group of Irish Women taking their SUP skills and Irish Women's SUP to the next level!!
And lastly it has been on to Maui this last week for a chance to catch up with my extended family in my second home. Huge surf has hit this week with Jaws going off and I got to catch some swell of my own at Lanes with some friends and also to party in style with all my AWT Bestie Girls! 

Here's a little nugget I caught at Lanes.... just up the road Jaws was firing!

Hanging out with my AWT/PWA girls at the 2014 closing ceremony, stunners!!

See ya next time!