To the joy of surfers an extreme weather system, nicknamed the “Viking storm”, has generated some of the largest springtime rollers off the northwest coast in recent years with one surfer catching a 50ft wave off Mullaghmore, just 15 minutes from Bundoran.
Surfers from around the world were attracted by the huge waves with many coming from Europe as well as from regions as far away as Hawaii, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. The surfers were accompanied by two rescue boats and were watched by hundreds of people on the Mullaghmore headland. It was estimated that these were the best surfing conditions during the month of March for 15 years in this area. It has also been said that these are the biggest waves ever to hit Ireland.
The storm originated off Greenland, hence the nickname the “Viking storm”.
Bundoran surfer Richie Fitzgerald, said that a particularly low tide on Thursday contributed to a “huge, unruly and very dangerous” swell. He also described some “incredible rides, some horrendous wipeouts, broken ribs, some bruised muscles, lost boards, broken boards, shifting wind, massive boils, cross waves, super shallow sections”, during an exciting session on the water.
Images from the Mullaghmore session have been quickly entered into the XXL Biggest Wave competition. The Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards event is the most important and prestigious ceremony that recognizes the most daring and death defying surfers in the World. It includes awards for everything from best paddle-in to best wave award. The most coveted award is for the Ride of the Year for which the recipient will win $50,000 dollars. Andrew Cotton (UK) has entered into the Ride of the Year category for his wave riding in Mullaghmore.