"Last year we drew a line in the sand," said organiser Paul O'Kane from the Irish Surf rescue club (ISRC), a man who knows a thing or two about tackling serious waves on the west coast of Ireland. "We won't hold the event unless the surf is as big and clean as that. It's not always easy getting massive swells with light winds, but we've the whole of winter and hopefully it will come together. Either way, we'll be prepared and the ocean will call the day. We've set the benchmark, now we just wait."
Since last year the ISRC has further trained up its elite team of water safety crew, as with a 20 feet minimum wave height required to run the contest, the safety of competitors is of paramount importance. The club was set was set up on a voluntary basis to improve safety within tow surfing in Ireland and can now use the Tow-in Surf Session to both show the effectiveness of PWC's and help formalise procedures down the track.
"Our team has put an enormous amount of training, both here and abroad, to ensure that the sport of tow surfing and this event can be as safe as possible. It's a step in setting up a set of legal procedures that all the various local authorities both understand and adhere to," said O'Kane. "While the event is designed to also showcase Mullaghmore Head, County Sligo as a place of unique beauty and incredible surf, we also want the world to see just what passion and commitment is needed to surf these waves."
© Roo McCrudden