A Tribute to Mikey Clancy: Part One

Mikey Clancy, our son and Sean’s brother, his life is a remarkable story. Words by Michael Clancy.

From the earliest days he was a small kid with a big heart.

Even in the various indoor and outdoor playgrounds he had amazing agility as a child. Soon he was a star midfield soccer player with his club Raheny United and although the smallest kid on the pitches in Dublin he had similar qualities to players such as Roy Keane the Irish International.

He remained loyal to Raheny Utd, refusing offers to sign for more prestigious clubs. Soon Mikey stopped playing soccer on principle over a dispute with his coach. He then joined his college rugby team St.Pauls College, Raheny where I coached and he played at scrum half, winning many accolades for his feats of bravery in a tough sport.

His summers were spent on trips around the world on fantastic family fun filled active holidays and working at Fingal Sailing School to earn enough cash for his new sport, windsurfing (school holidays in Ireland are for three months!).

It was soon very obvious that Mikey loved windsurfing and on the advice of John Power, the owner of the centre, he went on a Peter Hart clinic at Magherorarty, Donegal. Again the diminutive 15 year old excelled and won sailor of the week on the course and was hooked on wavesailing.

He signed up to national team status with a host of windsurfing brands and embarked on overseas clinics with Chris Pressler and countless trips to improve his skills. His freestyle skills were really good too! Mikey particularly loved the radical Pozo environment and it soon became his second home.

Along with Philip Koester, Alessio Stilrich, Moritz Mauch, Gerard Lopez  and many other Spanish kids, Mikey found a new set of fellow young enthusiastic windsurfers. Mikey soon was landing all the moves in Pozo and loved double forward loops.

He believed competition made him a better sailor but at heart he was a soul windsurfer.

His expertise at working out weather related windsurfing conditions saw him windsurf all the wonderful spots in Ireland. He often missed days at school and would spend time making videos rather than studying. He competed in BWA, PWA Wave Classics and IWA events over the years and suffered setbacks with his fused ankle. Never once did he give up trying because he just loved the family of windsurfers and being out on the water just enjoying windsurfing. He was a good kid too, recently getting all his fellow pros to sign a rash vest in Denmark as a gift for a seriously injured Irish windsurfer Jack Kavanagh.

I once asked him what place he finished in a BWA competition at Brandon Bay and he said:

I don’t know Dad but I had a great five hours freesailing beside the competition zone and the parties were great.

That was Mikey:  fun, happy, loving and living life full on.

Recently he qualified with a merit award at DIT in marketing and was also awarded the colleges top elite sports scholarship. His death has left a deep void in our lives and his biggest supporter Bernie his mother and his brother Sean are truly heartbroken.

All I can say, with hand on my heart, is that he loved every windsurfer and everything to do with windsurfing. Some may never know how rounded he was as a person. He helped kids at college, loved rock concerts, UFC, rugby and a whole host of other things.

Mikey and I never had a row on all our time on the road, as I listened to his rap artists and he listened to a lot of Elton John albums.

He won the Irish Championship for 15 minutes last year but laughed his head off at how funny life can be in such circumstances when he was dethroned of the title. In that very competition he competed with his ankle seriously damaged yet he never said a word to anyone. Why? He wanted to meet everyone and he might have missed out on a session at Brandon Bay!

Our family and the world is really one big family will all miss a remarkable Mikey Clancy.


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