How Green Was Our Wave

The Dawn of Surfing in Ireland
  • Also available as: E-Book
  • Published: October 2017
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 216
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781490784755
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1970, Irish team competes in Jersey Channel Islands. Left to right: Harry Evans, Dave Kenny, Hugh O’Brien Moran, David Govan, Roger Steadman, Eamon Matthews, Bo Vance, Kevin Cavey, Alan Duke. This nostalgic story takes one back to the beginning of surfing in Ireland, which was hammered into reality by one ambitious youth attempting to live the dream. He was entranced by the Hawaiian Islands and sunny California and thus yearned to make Ireland in that image. This meant expanding the sport and putting Ireland on the world map of surfing nations, and that’s just what happened. Much of this was inspired by his reading an article in the 1962 edition of Reader’s Digest. The story depicted surfers in Oahu on head-high waves, just like the waves in Ireland, he thought! As he went, he gathered supporters and soon formed Ireland’s first surf club. In March 1966, they mounted an exhibit stand in at the Irish Boat Show. At this show valuable contacts were made that were to become lifelong. His club went on a series of surfaris around the coast and introduced the sport in such places as Strandhill, Rossnowlagh, and Tramore. He then competed in the 1966 World Surfing Championships in San Diego and, with his colleagues, staged the first Irish Surfing Championships in Tramore, County Waterford, in September of 1967. The story tells of the people who responded to the clarion call and just how proficient these surfers were to become. It also relates comical yarns, told by the people they met on their way, and also the encounters that early surfers experienced as they attempted to make fiberglass boards—and then try them in the heaving ocean. The book concludes with a look at the 2006 Silver Surfari celebrating the fifty years of the sport. Old timers returned for the event held in Lahinch, County Clare, and Rossnowlagh, County Donegal. All this was done because it was felt that before the passage of time dimmed memories of old, it was good to rally those icons to whom so much is owed.

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