The Denny Irish National Surfing Championships were held at the weekend in Easky, Co.Sligo. It was one of the largest nationals ever with over 150 surfers competing from all over the country. Talking to Easkey during the event she commented on the conditions and challenge that lay ahead, “We were blessed with perfect surf on Saturday, big waves, offshore winds and the sun was shinning, unheard of at an Irish surf contest! The standard of surfing was the highest ever seen at a national event. All the girls were ripping so I knew it would be a tough battle to retain my title.”
In the first round Easkey made surf history by scoring the first perfect 10 that’s ever been scored at a women’s event in
Ireland, and the only 10 at the National Championships. However there were still several rounds to go before the final, “I have to keep the fire stoked now all the way to the finals, I have to keep the level up to win.”
The conditions deteriorated slightly for the finals on Sunday but there were still some fun sets coming through. Easkey, Shauna Ward, Bundoran, Nicole Morgan, Bundoran and Tahlia Britton, Rossnowlagh were competing in the final. It was an intense 30 minutes with long waits between the waves and a lot of strategy came into play to get the best waves. Even though the wind was blowing and the rain had arrived the crowd cheered on the shore and honked horns in their cars, the atmosphere for the women’s event was electric. “I picked off a good set wave early in the final and surfed it almost onto the rocks. Paddling back out I saw the other girls catching some good rides, which made me surf harder.” Easkey strenghtened her lead by posting more solid scores leaving the other girls to battle it out for 2nd place. “I couldn’t believe it when the hooter finally blew and the commentator announced, ‘Easkey Britton makes it 3 in a row!’ I’d won my 3rd National title at Easky, my namesake wave and the place where I won my first title. This was the hardest and sweetest victory yet,” said an ecstatic Easkey after her fantastic win.
The National Championships were also the selection event to decide the Denny Irish Surf Team who will be competing at the Euroepan Championships in
Anglet, France. Congratulations to Easkey who also qualifies for the National team and will represent
Ireland in June. Easkey speaks ofher hopes for the Europeans, “I love France, especially Anglet, its a powerful beachbreak and the water will be warm! I’m really hoping to make the finals this year, give it my all and see if I can reach the top. Surfing in Ireland is really exploding and I’d like to see it get the respect it deserves from the rest of the European surfing community, to be recognised as a force to be reckoned with!”