This year Irish Surfing celebrates 50 years of the sport in Ireland with a range of events and finishing with a gala dinner at the inter-counties in October.
The 50th Anniversary of Irish Surfing marks the foundation of what was the Surf Club of Ireland in 1966.
Kevin Cavey, recognised as the grandfather of Irish Surfing, started the Surf Club of Ireland after finding some like minded souls at the 1966 Boat Show.
Cavey said: “I started surfing after reading about it in the Reader's Digest, with some friends I started Bray Ireland Surf Club and after going on a surf trip to the North West we set up the Surf Club of Ireland.”
He is still surfing today, and is heavily involved in cystic fibrosis charity and the therapeutic benefits of surfing.
His trip to the north west included a visit to Rossnowlagh beach in Co. Donegal where he met the Britton clan and introduced them to the sport.
As the owners of the Sandhouse Hotel they ordered some surfboards for guests to use little knowing that their family would become so key to Irish Surfing.
Their son, Brian Britton, went on to become president of Irish Surfing, the European Surf Federation and a Vice President of the International Surfing Association.
Heavily involved still
While Brian has stepped back from the administrative side of Irish Surfing he is still heavily involved in the sport as are his siblings, children and nieces.
Britton said: “I am happy to see Irish Surfing reach it’s 50th anniversary stronger than ever, and delighted to be involved in the planning for the events this year.”
“The sport has grown so much since it’s foundation, there are surfers all over the country from all walks of life and Irish Surfing now has an international profile with the discovery of big waves off our coasts.”
Britton also said: “I am particularly pleased to see the recent announcement in Rio that surfing is finally going to be included in the Olympics, being the first to proposed this initiative back in 1994.”
Current Irish Surfing Chairman, Henry Moore, from Tramore Surf Club is a member of another extensive family of surfers featuring a number of national champions at various level over the years.
50th Anniversary gala dinner
Moore will be master of ceremonies for the upcoming 50th Anniversary gala dinner being hosted by Irish Surfing at the Sandhouse Hotel.
He said: “I’m looking forward to an evening which will include the sharing of hairy stories and tall tales from the founders of Irish Surfing; and drawing together surfers who haven’t seen each other in many years.”
Information on the 50th Anniversary Celebration is available at www.irishsurfing.ie or contact Fin McCool Surf Shop, Rossnowlagh, Tel (071) 9859020.
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