The Irish Slalom Tour is growing strong and his third event confirms it.
The third round of the 2008 Irish Windsurfing Associations Slalom Series took place over the weekend of the 19-20th July at Downings Beach, Donegal. Now in its 25th year of gracing the golden sands at Downings Beach, the event played host to no fewer than 86 registered competitors; the biggest attendance at an Irish National windsurfing event in more than 10 years!
With excellent organisation, and massive local and national support, the event saw fantastic racing conditions for all windsurfing abilities. Figure of 8 slalom was completed by the novice racers within the shallows of the harbour, while the Gold and Silver fleets raced 5 buoy downwind courses set out into Sheephaven Bay. The main fleet completed 11 races and 1 master blast in glorious conditions, with average wind strengths of 15-20 knots.
In the Gold fleet racing, Pearse Geaney from Cork took 1st Mens and the Overall win, Downings veteran Maurice Owens took 2nd Mens and 2nd Overall, with Dublin based Fintan Day taking 3rd Mens. Newcomer to the racing scene this year, Hannes Louet Feisser took 1st Master and 3rd Overall, followed in 2nd position by Peter McNutt and Johnny Hood in 3rd. Super competitive Chris Loughridge took 1st Grand Master to outshine Alan Harris and Richard Harshaw in 3rd, while in the U17’s, local windsurfers Joe Fletcher pipped Matthew McNutt to take the win, with Eamonn Kelly in 3rd. Young Ben McNutt took the U15 victory, with Anna Bonner in 2nd. First lady was Siobhan Toland.
The Novice fleet was split into Gold and Silver. Gold Novice winners were Emmet Kelly (U17 Boys), Sarah Bonner (U13 Girls), James Gribben (U13 Boys), Niall McBride (U15 Boys), Oisin Gonling (Men) and Aishling Reidy (Lady). Silver Novice winners were Sophie Fletcher (U13 Girls), Timothy Burke (U13 Boys), Connor Fletcher (U10 Fleet Boys), Chloe Hood (U10 Fleet Girls), John Fletcher (U8 Boys) and Jessica Hood (U8 Girls).
Without doubt, the Downings event represents the pinnacle of Irish Competitive Windsurfing, in a truly beautiful location, with fantastic people and superb organisation – well done to all involved!
The next event in the Irish slalom series is in Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork, over the weekend of the 23-24th August 2008. Keep an eye out for the new series website coming online soon www.irishslalom.ie