CONTEST STATUS UPDATE: RED – ON HOLD
The Billabong Tow-In Session 2013 scheduled for Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo this Sunday (January 27th) has been called off following the latest weather forecasts which indicate winds quickly strengthening to storm force conditions.
The weather charts earlier this week looked really promising for a ‘Green Light’ to stage the one-day contest this Sunday with a massive swell marching towards Ireland, accompanied by favourable winds.
But unfortunately the storm which is bringing the huge surf towards Ireland has suddenly intensified and has whipped up dangerously strong winds which make running a surf contest in huge seas an impossibility.
For obvious safety reasons the event was this morning put on hold again until a more suitable day can be scheduled.
The waiting period for the event expires on March 1 so event organisers are still hopeful of running the contest sometime in the next five weeks.
Contest director Paul O’Kane said it was a tough call postponing the event again as a lot of spectators were really looking forward to it.
“But the bottom line is the issue of safety for the competitors will always come first,” he said.
“The winds forecast for Sunday and most of next week have now gone beyond the parameters for what we could actually safely run a contest such as this in.
“When making a call about a big wave surfing contest like this, which is life-threatining even when staged in light winds, we need to be confident that all our competitors will return to shore safely.
“It’s not just the giant seas combined with the ferocious winds that would make sea conditions next to impossible for the competitors to ride the surf.
“These storm force winds also make it impossible for the rescue and safety team to communicate effectively in such harsh conditions.
“Therefore in the interests of everyone’s safety it’s best that we save our powder for another shot at it on another day.
“But with the North Atlantic in full roar now the ocean is well and truly alive with more gigantic surf coming our way.
“So I remain hopeful that one of these next massive swells will finally coincide with the lighter and more favourable winds that we need.”
Meanwhile a strong Irish and International field of invited surfers will remain in Ireland to see what happens throughout the week. They will join many keen local surfers looking for good waves in more sheltered locations.
Happy hunting and safe surfing to one and all.