Flat as a pancake

Mark Patterson

Dear me… how can surfers complain about great weather? But we do. And I am. Amazing high pressure all week has made it like summer. The last 12 months in the UK have been the hottest since records began in the 1600′s sometime. But the ocean has been as flat as a pancake. Loads of folks here crack that global warming makes Ireland a more continental kinda place, and I like that too. But the unseasonably high pressure also means crap surf. Nuthin up north. Nada. And the weeknd looks like a sleeper till late on Sunday when a fresh eye is forecast to go loco. Talk about extremes. It looks mostly onshore when it gets here, but theres plenty of room for sheltered spots to go off.

Castlerock Fatality

Its so early in the season, and already a tragic fatality at the coast this week. 15 year old Robert McCullan from Coleraine was swept to sea in his wee dinghy, right at the same spot as the father of three lost his life last year – Downhill. Boats, cops, helicopters etc were all out to try and save him, but to no avail. They reckon lifegaurds might have made a difference, but beach patrols don’t come on site till later next month when the summer beach crowds get bigger – Coleraine Council govern all that and theyre under pressure to re-address the question of patrolling. Its another reminder about rips and coastal conditions, especially in that very area where so many of you have been finding good surf of late. Heres the link to the full story on the bbc:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6614509.stm

Long Terms

Anyone else been tracking this swell for next week? Amazing. Flat and hot for a week like August, and now even after its moderated some, were still looking at 15 foot or so on some of the bouys for Monday and another pulse on Wednesday. That don’t mean 15 foot waves of course – but for sure the big spots out west will go well overhead. The water still has a nip, so don’t treat it like a sunny summer wave if you do get in. Late on Sunday evening could be good up north.

“North West Surf Club”

For some time now, guys like Josh Einsle (Derry) and Iain Gilmour (Letterkenny) have been wanting to see if its worth pitching a new surf club to the north west lineups. For years now, surfers here have just done their own thing, but their argument is this: without a club, surfers have no official say or clout and remain unorganised. So, the guys have organised an exploratory meeting. Josh:

“I have booked a night meeting at Sandinos for Tuesday May 15th to see if there is enough interest in forming a NorthWest surf club. The details for the meeting so far are: Tuesday May 15th 7:30 PM till ~ 9:00PM (with Latin Groove DJ set to follow) in sandinos cafe bar Water street derry in the back bar. There will be a surf movie to follow business side of meeting and then Sandinos already had a latin groove DJ set planned so they said we were welcome to stick around for that”.

Good luck to all involved, plus watch this space for another “Surfism” gig in the near future.

Silver Surfari

Got an email from Naomi Britton about this – I didn’t know it was Naomi who had made the Silver Surfari film ” … my documentary The Silver Surfari has gotten into an international film festival taking place in North Donegal. It’d be great if you could pass this info onto anyone who you think would be interested in it up your part of the country! Iain mentioned that you have a mailing list that you send reports out to every Friday so it’d be great if the festival and screening could get a mention! The Silver Surfari, Screening at The Guth Gafa Film Festival Gortahork, Co Donegal. Friday 11th May @ 9.30pm in the Cinemobile. For more info check out www.guthgafa.com . The Silver Surfari records an epic surf trip undertaken by the pioneers of surfing in Ireland, now grey bearded and balding, as they retrace their early footsteps along the wave rich West coast of Ireland. This feel-good historic documentary, through stunning original Super8 footage and tales from the pioneers, reveals a way of life far from the typical vision of Ireland”.

Surfism – Frankenreiter?

As batched earlier this week, its possible we may be able to work it for Donovan Frankenreiter to play with a full band in Derry. Some good feedback from all over – cheers for all mails on this – it seems we’d get a hearty crowd of surfers from all over the island to come and see the man. Update: it all hinges on whether we can work it to get him from the States, and not from just over the water as was originally hoped – a bit more expensive etc, but still worth doing etc. Some have asked to tie him into surf events, and id be happy to push for that if and when we get the Derry gig confirmed. If he’s here, it will either be July or September. I’ll keep updating.

Jane Bradfords

Also gigwise, the Jane Bradfords are to do a midnight show in Masons Bar, Derry, tomorrow night (Sat). Theyre the brainchild of Decky Gallen, [who is the brotherchild of 'Chelle Gallen in this batch]. They are a superb outfit – indie electronica – and IT’S A DAMN FREEBIE for some reason! They did our Electric Mainline live showcase a few months back on the bbc, and blew the roof off the place. Also remember this weekend is the culmination of the Derry Jazz Festival, which is amazing. www.cityofderryjazzfestival.com . 200 gigs all over the city and district. Take your pick there – most of the pub gigs are freebies.

Catch plenty

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