This weekend (17th – 19th November 2017) will see the Scottish national surf team – both juniors and seniors – descend on Ireland’s Surf Capital Bundoran, to take part in the revived Celtic Cup surf competition against the Irish surf team.
Last run in the early 1990s, the competition was a staple event in the surf calendar for many years, alternating between hosts in Scotland and Ireland. It lapsed but it was decided that it should be revived once again following a conversation at the World Surf Championships in France earlier this year, where Scotland and Ireland represented at the first World Championships since it was announced that Surfing will be included in next Olympics in Japan in 2020. The Celtic Cup is a great chance for the teams to compete at an International event in the lead up to the Olympics qualification.
William Watson is president of the Scottish Federation and is looking forward to the event “Over the years, there’s been a special relationship that’s formed between the surfers of Scotland and Ireland. Whether this has been a travelling Scot/ Irish surfer welcomed into the surf community of the other nation or our top surfers, like brothers in arms, standing side by side supporting one another at International events. Rekindling the Celtic Cup to me celebrates this deep rooted bond, its something I’m very pleased we’ve been able to make happen and I know many of those whom have supported and lead our federations over the decades are equally proud to see its return. I would like to wish each of the competitors success and I very much look forward welcoming the surfers of Ireland to our shores for the event next year”
Shauna Ward of Bundoran Boardriders Surf Club is one of the organisers of the event and outlines the weekend’s plan ‘We’ll be starting off with a small opening ceremony in Bundoran Community Centre on Friday evening. The surfers will get the chance to experience Irish hospitality and music that night followed by the competition on Saturday (conditions permitting). There will be music that night followed by the competition again on the Sunday. Depending on conditions the competition may be run off on Saturday or Sunday or both days – a decision will be made on this closer to the time. In the event of down time, a bowling tournament has been arranged – Scotland v Ireland – it should be a good one! Finally prizegiving will take place on Sunday evening at a presentation dinner at the Peak Restaurant.’
Spectators can keep up to date on the competition and its status via Irish Surfing on Facebook and Twitter and of course can come along and cheer on the competitors throughout the event. Surfers from all over Ireland are part of the Irish team and one of those is Neil McCarthy from Ballyshannon, son of Brian MacCarthaigh who competed for Ireland in the Celtic Cup in the 80s.
Sam Christopherson is the Scottish junior team coach and adds ‘Our junior team are proper excited, they have been chatting about nothing else and can’t wait to meet your team and surf the Atlantic swells in Ireland! It will be the first time for almost all of them to be in Ireland and a really great experience which we are so grateful for the invitation”, “as for me I love Ireland and love the people so am really looking forward to coming and sharing some good times and great waves!’.
For more about surfing in Bundoran, see https://discoverbundoran.com/surfing/