Sligo surfer takes top Irish title

Stephen Kilfeather accepts his trophy on winning the County Sligo Open

For the second year in a row, Sligo native Stephen Kilfeather (24) has taken the title of Irish Open Surfing Champion.  In a hotly contested competition which concluded at the County Sligo Open at the weekend, Stephen retained the title narrowly beating fellow Team Ireland members Cain Kilcullen and Ronan Oertzen to top place. 

The County Sligo Open is the final event in the Irish “tour” which saw qualification events taking place across the country.  Speaking after the result was announced Stephen said “I’m stoked to win it again – back to back for two years running is a great achievement”.  

He went on to say that the competition was “a great warm-up for the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran”.  Stephen also won the County Sligo Open as well and says that all the competition experience should go on to serve him well in Eurosurf in September.

Team Ireland performed well in the overall rankings with John Britton taking the Senior Title, Ashleigh Smith taking the Women’s Body Board title, Shane Meehan taking the Bodyboard title, Easkey Britton taking the Women’s title and John McCurry regaining the Longboard title.  Team Ireland manager for Eurosurf 2011 Stevie Burns sealed the title of Masters champion on the day.

About Eurosurf 2011

The European Surfing Championships alternate each year between the senior event “Eurosurf” (odd years) and the Junior event “Eurojunior” (even years).  The separation into a junior event and senior event happened in 1992.  The Euros were first held in 1970 in Jersey.  2011 will be Irelands 4th time to host Eurosurf, and 3rd time in Bundoran. The previous Eurosurf events held in Ireland were 1972 in Spanish Point, Co. Clare which was won by England, 1985 in Bundoran, Co. Donegal won by France, 1997 in Bundoran, Co. Donegal won by Portugal. Until recently there had been a trend that the winners in Ireland retained the senior title until the Eurosurf returned to Ireland. England held the title from 1970 to 1985, then France held it from 1985 to 1997 when Portugal won the senior title for the first time.  They then lost the title to Spain in 2003, who proceeded to relinquish it once more to Portugal in 2005. Portugal retained the title in 2007 before losing it to France two years ago in Jersey. This year’s contest takes place from September 23rd until October 2nd.

About the Irish Surfing Association

The Irish Surfing Association is the National Governing Body for the sport of surfing in the thirty two counties of Ireland. We are a voluntary organisation comprising of approximately twenty clubs and groups involved in the development, representation and regulation of surfing in Ireland. Representing surfing in many forms (shortboarding, longboarding, bodyboarding, kneeboarding, standup paddle surfing, skimboarding, body surfing and tow surfing) we are active in areas such as club development, training of coaches and judges, surf school approval, national and international competition, promotion of safety and protection of our surfing environment. The Irish Surfing Association is managed by an executive committee comprising of one representative from each of our member clubs. Our headquarters are located at Easkey Surf And Information Centre where we employ one full time development officer and one part time administrator.