To be honest there was a lot of unknown for this Edition. To run a Wing Event based in Howth is not as straight forward as running a kitesurfing one on Dollymount. A new sport, a new spot, traffic and madness in Howth to deal with, tides in and out, and hundreds of amazing racing boats all over the place yet, we said yes to the warm invitation of @Brian Turvey/ Howth Yacht Club.
It started with “do you want to do a bit of paddle boarding part of the Regatta?"… and then the discussion went on and on and here we are: The First Wing Event in Ireland!
It was exceptional and it also reminded us how important events and festivals are, especially coming out of those Covid times where sometimes we fall asleep, we get busy doing other things, normal jobs, taking life easier and a bit lazier lets say.
Yet the amount of magical moments we had during this weekend reminds us how important it is to meet, to gather and to share this burning passion we have for the Watersports! So much adrenaline and adventure! Each day of the 3 days event brought his full pot of Gold in terms of fun and buckets of smiles!
DAY 1: Warm up: WING VS SUP: to the Eye!
No way we can ever do something that close again! The forecast was just so perfectly perfect for a Hitchcock thriller style race on the water: it was so tight. 10-12 knots onshore. Hard for the paddlers who joined, bravely, and hard for the wingers who had to go all the way upwind after paddling from the Harbor. We loved the concept. Well done to all the competitors who participated, not all finished the line on the wing but the most important was to participate. Colm Murphy did what he does the best: Switch on his "mega muscles" mode and fired in front of everyone, creating the surprise even in front of 14’ Race SUP Boarders and of course the wingers.
The level of Slagging at the Finish Line was real, and everyone could enjoy the amazing site of Ireland Eye and its pristine turquoise waters. We ended the race day in the very VIP Lounge of Howth Yacht Club for a very special prize giving with … the French Ambassador! What a treat! Don’t even ask why and how… Anyway it was so great to be all together and thanks to our amazing sponsors some lucky ones went back home that night with some amazing presents!
Results of WING/SUP to the EYE: Colm Murphy (SUP) Kevin Jennings (SUP) Eduard Ruane(SUP) Francois (WING) Linda Odwyer (SUP) Conor Battigan (SUP) Samir Naji (SUP) Gerry McGlinchey (WING) Alex Levieux (WING)
DAY 2: Part1 : the Slaloms in Malahide Estuary.
Shallow waters are ideal to learn winging there, but it's also a great spot to run fun slaloms and we got lucky with 20/25knots of sunny wind… yes sunny wind, we love the idea!!!
We ran 3 slaloms and what a fun thing to do! Some of the best wingers in the country started to battle and went as fast as possible to the buoys… the jibes were epic and the tension was present! Yet everyone was smiling at the idea of doing something new… Well done to Richard Boudia who was flying with his AFS 950 and won this mini event. A very special thank you to our race crew, Linda, Colm, John and Jeanne!
Results are: Richard Boudia, Francois Colussi, Ryan Coote
Part 2: The main event of the weekend was to join the Lambay Race on Saturday afternoon.
The plan was to join the Sailing Races and reach the island, 12km away from Howth and back. Weather conditions were ultra tough with some real Easterly swell. A few races were cancelled and some courses were shortened for the Sailing part. We decided to adapt our course; Burrow Beach to Ireland's Eye and back for a mega downwinder.
15-20knots super sunny, the beach was looking like Mexico and our 10 heroes ( for this first edition we could only have 10 selected riders) went off to the EYE in epic yet challenging conditions. Seven of them made it and we were blown away to all ride together alongside the Black Sails and other big Sailing vessels.
Some of us explored a bit closer to the stack to meet choppy waters as choppy as … as.. there is actually no comparison ! It was hell and not even the ribs could get there. We then took off for a long downwinder back to the beach. Stoke level: one billion!
Saturday night the little gang of brave survivors enjoyed a very wild and beautiful night at the Yacht Club with incredible entertainment. We actually can’t remember the last time we were dancing on tables..! Dj Mark ( Olympic Sailing Silver medalist!) brought the whole crowd to the next level. What a great feeling to be alive all together… … which is a great transition to the less alive morning...
DAY 3: Rain and light winds, head is in pain, but full of sunny and magical memories from the previous days.
We decided to cancel Wing Racing as conditions were so marginal and in fact, we already ran everything we wanted to run so we could take it easy. After a lovely coffee and breakfast at the village, Ryan, Richard and Francois decided to check the spots around to find another good little surprise: there was actually a WAVE waiting for us down there, in Balscadden…
In no time, ( approx 1h30 of debating yes no yes no maybe) our three “survivors” decided to run an expression Foil Surf session and it was inspiring to see legendary wave riders Ryan Coote and Richard Boudia transforming tiny bumps into amazing rides!
Truly Pure Magic! Our very own Francois was crap to be honest, he blamed the gear… yeah right! Anyway, this was the first edition of the Wing Regatta and we will keep this one in mind for a long long time: the amount of smiles and fun we had, and this feeling, once again, to be at the really start/ beginning of something so new.
Wing ( windsurfing/ wingfoiling and foiling in general) is only starting and the sky is the limit..!
We would like to thank all the competitors for their so great attitude and enthusiasm, well done to all of you! You were part of the #1!
Thank you to @Howth Yacht Club and Brian for all their amazing welcome and support during the event, especially with the assistance on the water to make such events possible in challenging conditions. Their professionalism and passion are second to none and it was so great to mix communities!
Thank you to all the volunteers and helpers all along the weekend, they know who they are especially Colly, Linda, John, Jeanne, Karl, Oisin, Eduard, Aga, Lilly and Juli!
Thank you to the Magic team as usual they are the best especially Gero our wing man for the season, Aziz, Karolis and of course Manon!
Thank you too the amazing photographers especially the one and only Briana Hegarty who took amazing shots . Gero and his drone, no need to mention them any more
Of course thank you to our amazing Sponsors for the event: AquaMarina, AFS, King Sitric, WineMasons, Pure Magic and last but not least thank you to our lovely and loyal customers to keep supporting local businesses like ours so we can sometimes do crazy things like that to give back to the community! Keep dreaming and Keep exploring and pushing your limits! #lifeispuremagic #wingregatta #waveregatta
Click here for all the event pictures taken by the amazing Briana Hegarty!!!