Last year proved to be one of the best ever for competitive surfers from the Causeway Coast.
Four members of the surf club achieved five National Titles in the 2013 Irish Senior tour, including Portush local Martin Kelly, Finn Mullen from Lurgan, Peter Kosinski from Dublin with Stevie Burns taking two titles with firsts in the Longboard and Masters.
John McCurry finished the year with a second place in the Longboard, whilst former six-time Irish champion, Andrew Hill - still competing at national level after 25 years - was placed third in the Masters.
Surf explorer and film-maker Andrew Mennie put in a solid performance during the year to finish with a third in the senior division and local lifeguard, Bosco McAuley - currently on a gap year in New Zealand - came in fourth in the Bodyboard.
Club Chairperson, Gerard McAuley, said: “It’s been a great year for the club - five National Titles and 16 medal winners from the 2013 series is just tremendous. It says much for the quality of surfing here in Portrush and Northern Ireland. We hope this continues in 2014.”
Many of the medal winners were in the Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) category, which has increased in popularity over the last couple of years, becoming a common sight on local beaches.
This winter has seen some of the best surf on the North Coast in months and it’s common for visitors to watch large numbers of surfers in the water on the many local beaches.
The surf club itself wants to do more to help people of any age get into the sport and will be opening the surf club up this spring for new membership. This year will also see the launch of the North Coast Surf Life Saving Club working alongside the Causeway Coast Surf Club to help develop the skills needed to enjoy the ocean and experience the benefits that surfing and surf lifesaving can bring.
Anyone interested should email the Causeway Coast Surf Club on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/northcoastsurflifesavingclub
Northern Ireland’s main surfing event this year is scheduled for the Easter weekend, with a range of surf contests, skateboarding, beach sports, surf film and a photography festival planned, plus a music marquee on the beachand night time entertainment in Portrush, organised in conjunction with Coleraine Borough Council.