GMIT Mayo wins Irish Surfing Intervarsity Championships
Double success for Surf Club with 'Men's Novice' and 'Overall Club' titles
GMIT Mayo held off stiff competition from a strong IT Sligo team and reigning champions NUI Galway to win the 2014 Surf Intervarsities at Keel beach in Achill, Co Mayo on Sunday (23 March 2014).
GMIT Surf Club took the Overall Club title with IT Sligo in second place, NUIG third and UCC fourth. GMIT’s Jordon Ramsey won the Men’s Novice Surf with Ali Leonard, Trinity College Dublin, winning the Women’s title.
A record entry of 182 students from 15 colleges took part in the competition on Saturday morning (22 March) with weather conditions presenting large swells, strong winds and wintry showers. The harsh conditions gave way to much more pleasant surf on Sunday morning when the GMIT Mayo team celebrated its first national surfing title.
The competition, widely regarded as one of the best competitive surfing events in recent years, was hosted by GMIT Mayo’s Surf Club for the first time, in partnership with the Irish Surfing Association. The event was attended by a constant stream of spectators during almost 20 hours of competitive surfing throughout the weekend.
It was a tight call between the three Connaught Colleges. GMIT Surf Club Captain Kevin Murphy from Wicklow says the moment they were declared winners is one he will never forget. He was presented with the winning trophy from world famous surfer Fergal Smith.
Nigel Jennings, GMIT Sports Officer, Mayo campus, says: “It was an extraordinary event and a brilliant weekend where the Surf club represented GMIT Mayo proudly. Great credit goes to the organising committee Jarlath McHale, Eilis Teegan, Alan O Connaire, Chris Delamere, Jason Phelan and Peter O Riordan, and all the volunteers and club members who worked hard all weekend.”
“The event ran impeccably and so did all the competitors, especially our own Club. GMIT is now the top surfing college in the country,” adds Mr Jennings.
GMIT Mayo had 36 competitors: Jason Phelan and Jarlath McHale progressed to the Quarter Finals of the highly competitive Mens Open, Kevin McHugh made the Semi's in the Longboard and the following students got podium positions and brought the points that saw the team crowned 2014 Irish Surf Intervarsities champions: Catherine Mulooley (5th Women’s Open), Eoin O'Shaughnessy (6th Bodyboard), Alan O' Connaire (4th Bodyboard), Gavin Porter (2nd SUP-Stand Up Paddle), Emily Rice (3rd Women's novice), Eilis Teegan (2nd Women’s novice), Niall Coombes (3rd Men's Novice) and Jordan Ramsey (1st Men’s Novice).