Monday, November 30, 2009

Mikee & Paul do exercise with RNLI

Paul O'Kane got a phone call from John Garvey in the Sligo Bay RNLI a few months back interested in doing an exercise with a tow surfing crew. With the increasing amount of people taking up surfing and other water sports it wasn't rocket science that it was a good idea to do an exercise with the RNLI so they can see how maneuverable jetskis are, tow surfing rescue methods and how this can be used in the aid of people in trouble in surf, it also gave us a better understanding of the RNLI procedures and rescue methods if tow surfers ever needed to be rescued. Then 3 weeks ago we had a big day at Mullaghmore which allowed a couple of RNLI people to see first hand how Mikee and Paul and other tow teams surf big waves and go in and get there tow partners if they were caught inside with mountains of whitewater raining down on them. They were fairly impressed by that and thought they were all nuts, so seeing that they decided to do an exercise a few weekends later. It was a great help to both parties as we all learned alot from each other, we did everything from the RNLI guiding us through thick fog into clearer waters which was really spooky, demostrating picking up injured people and the different methods of doing this between the RNLI boat and the jetski and seeing how the RNLI boat performed at towing a jetski was pretty impressive. It was a really good day and well worth the effort put in. On behalf of Mikee and Paul we would like to thank the Sligo Bay RNLI crew for an entertaining day and we're looking forward to working together in the future, cheers.
Dummy rescue
Mikee rescuedThe RNLI doing a pick up exercise with Mikee as the man in trouble, they were very fast and efficient as they swooped in on Mikee from half a mile out. I was very impressed by how quickly they accessd the situation and by how the driver got the boat in position perfectly so the crew could grab him with ease.
Tow surf rescuePaul demostrating here to Stephen on how they approach someone who needs to be rescued, it looks easy in calm water circumstances like this but imagine what it's like with 30ft of white water bearing down on you. The RNLI crew were well impressed with Mikee and Paul's rescue methods and professional attitude to it all.
Rescue deviceThe RNLI showing us how they use a simple mat with handles on as one of many ways to get someone onto the safety of their boat as quick and safely as possible.
Ingenious step ropeThis was the simpliest thing but absolutely a brainwave of an idea. A strap clipped onto the side of the boat to be used as a step ladder, we were well impressed with this, makes life alot easier.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hugh Galloway rips

I first saw Hugh surf at this very same spot a couple of years ago with Fergal, and the 2 of them ripped the place apart. A couple of years on he still charges harder than ever, he paddled out here the other day when alot of others were staying in there cars with the heaters on full with a nervous look on their faces whether to go out or not, most didn't. He got a couple of great barrels before his leash snapped and had the good old swim in, when Hugh walked past me i said to him "looks heavy and a bit all over the place", his reply was "ah it's nice once you get out the back, good hollow barrels". I ended up giving him my longboard leash and he went running back out and pulled into some really nice barrels, most of which i missed due to the wave in front sending too much spray up, maybe i should jump in the water and shoot...I don't think so! Hugh pretty much dropped into everything everyone alse paddled for the shoulder until dark, the kid's got balls, some shots below from the session
1 of many bystanders

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumping week of surf

This last week has been pretty good, i've been tripping all around the place trying to find new spots in the heaving swells as well as trying to get some sun for the photos...well you can't win them all i guess. The big yellow thing in the sky never showed up really but can't complain as I saw some great surfing in various spots up and down the coast. One day in particular was when the big 10m swell hit, there was alot of sth in the swell so hunting down somewhere out of the blasting wind was a challenge, but I found Paul out by himself at a stormy Easky right, he pretty much got blown away and the US navy found him in Nova Scotia, opps sorry that was my kite i lost. Paul got a few waves much to the delight of the surfers that had turned up and decided wisely not to head out. Anyways here's a few pics of the last week, enjoy.
TemptationsCain Kilcullen

Paul O'Kane

Paul O'Kane

aye there's me gold

Mikee Hamilton

Mikee Hamilton

Dave Lavelle

Sweet paradise

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Home is calling

I got an email from NZ telling me to check out NZ Surfing mag online for a look at a beast of a wave they had recently surfed for the first time back home. I straight away got on to mum to send me a copy over(cheers mum, and thanks for the socks), it arrived yesterday in the post and wow it blew me away, after seeing how you don't really need a big swell to get big waves over here in Ireland I knew there would be some gold in surf soaked NZ. This wave is 20 or so km's off the coast so all that produced this was a 4m swell, i am loving it. Cory Scott was the photographer, the lads who took it on were Sam Willis, Damon Gunness, Daniel Kereopa, Felix Dickson, 2 skis and a 14ft boat with spare fuel and a band aid! Fiar balls to them, they surfed for 6 hrs solid in sunshine, from what i hear they're still grinning ear to ear. It's got me pumped for now i know not only are there tow spots being found but there are some damn good surfers amped to tackle them, can hardly wait to get home. So much potential and espeacially at places like this where a good part for the year it's near glassy conditions with the sun out.
Thee mag

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winter '07

Everyone seems to be doing a bit of videoing these days so i thought i'd better jump on the band wagon before my hard drive packs up. Back in 2006 i bought me self a crappy camcorder just to muck around with and it broke in 2008! It just so happened that i had ended up capturing the swell of the decade in Feb '07, Doolin was just a white water mess, including the locals many have said there were waves of 80ft on the face at Aileens this day, when you watch this keep in mind i filmed this at high tide and Aileens is barrelling it's tits off and check out how it's breaking on the stack at high tide too! Some really scary footage at the start of someone getting rolled over boulder alley at Aileens. Al getting whipped in by Cotty on a perfect monster peak, with some smaller waves towed by Axi and Benjiman putting on a mental display of barrel riding earlier in Dec '07, my apologies for the camera zoomed out so far, i was taking photos at the same time which brought me to the idea below. And some footage of Steve towing Tom and Paul towing Duncan New Years eve '07. Music by "No us for a name". It's only short and the camera quality is absolute shite but enjoy anyways, something from the past.

The idea occurred to me while trying to film and photograph at the same time at Aileens in '07, i finally decided to take my idea to good mate Graham recently, he polished the design off and carved it out of a solid block of Aluminum, and this is the result. Cheers Graham, all i need now is for someone to sponsor me a decent camcorder...please

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barrelling Bundoran

Went for a walkabout today and ended up at Fundoran, nice little waves coming thru, the usual spots working. Neil Britton was out along with Emmet Doherty, they looked a bit stuffed from the session earlier in the morning before i turned up, sounded like the peak was really cookn. This little spot i got to in time was barrelling it's tits off, young Cian Logue from Ballyshannon was pulling into some real gems getting a couple of nice cover ups, a couple of bodyboarders out there got a 7 second barrel each according to the time sequence on me camera, sik stuff, but the surfer of the day was Damien Conway from Lahinch, you could really tell the lad has surfed alot of reefs around Clare, taking late drops with ease and pulling into the barrel effortlessly, was worth the trip up, the sun was even out for a change.
Emmet Doherty

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mental Mullaghmore

What a day of everything, the weather was the normal doom and gloom but we didn't care cause the waves were insane, one hell of a big day for Mullaghmore, great crew of guys on it, really worked together well, there was Mikee, Paul, Al, Cotty, Duncan surfing, with Dave as back up & safety as well as taking a bit of video alot bit closer than we could get in the boat, had Declan driving the boat with myself and Joe trying to get something on the cameras through the rain & misty spray rocking about like no tomorrow. Mikee took the rope first being the only Goofy foot out there and bagged a couple of bombs that we missed due to unforseen circumstanes with the boat which made us an hour late, apparently one of his waves was just mental, also missed Cotty's bomb that nailed him big time ripping off his £700 brand new knee brace & almost his leg too!! Once we were out there it was really bumpy and heaving. I couldn't help but wonder if all these guys are nuts or just so stoked on surfing that they couldn't pass this up. I was crapping myself as everytime i went to shoot some shots i nearly fell out of the boat with all the chop! It was great to see it all from the water thou as this was the first time here for me from that angle, pretty unreal. Duncan got some impressive waves, seemingly not fazed by the size of it all. Paul got some great ones and did a stonking job on the driving and big Al got the squarest wave i have ever seen. For more of a story go to Wavelength. Can hardly wait till the next time, cheers guys

Mikee gunning it