The film showcases the world class surfing destinations available off the North West coast which are now attracting the best international surfers to the island. Bundoran based Richard Fitzgerald and UK Champion Gabe Davies head up a distinguished surfing cast, including Ireland’s surf champion and University of Ulster student Easkey Britton – the first women to ride big wave spot Aileens at the Cliffs of Moher.
An unexpected local connection to the origins of this most sublime of sports is revealed in the film. It was George Freeth, the son of an Ulsterman, who re-introduced the ancient Polynesian art of wave riding in Hawaii at the start of the 20th century after it had been stamped out by missionaries. Freeth went on to transform and popularise the sport in California where he became the world’s first lifeguard. History comes full circle as we see skilled Irish surfers link up with world champion Kelly Slater, pioneering Irish American soul surfer Kevin Naughton and the renowned Californian based Malloy brothers in order to ride some of the most exciting surf Ireland ever seen in Ireland. The story climaxes with a big wave finale using the newly developed technique of tow surfing as Gabe Davies, Richie Fitzgerald, Al Meanie and Duncan Scott ride monster waves off the coast of Mullaghmore on 1 December 2007.
* Irish premiere as part of the Dublin International Film Festival. Friday 22nd Fenruary 2008._see www.dubliniff.com for details.
* Northern Ireland premeire at the Belfast Film Festival 10-19 April 2008._see www.belfastfilmfestival.org for details.
Title: Waveriders_Year: 2008_Duration: 75 mins_Format: 35mm_Production: Inis Films & Besom Productions co-production_Director: Joel Conroy_Producer: Margo Harkin_Fianciers: EU InterregIIIA / ICBAN, Northern Ireland Screen, The Broadcast Commission of Ireland, BBC Northern Ireland and Bord Scannán na hÉireann / Irish Film Board