Bundoran: a lucky town for the Portuguese

Portugal is the new 2011 European Surfing champion. Th Portugueses surfers secured their title in Bundoran, Ireland, during the European Surfing Championships. In an ironic twist, Portugal were also awarded the trophy in 1997, the last time that the event was held in the seaside town. Portugal won 3 of the 7 different categories, two 2nd places, one 3rd and one 4th. The only category in which Portugal did not place was Longboard.

Thousands of spectators gathered along Bundoran’s Tullan Strand to watch the cream of Europe’s surfers compete for the top spot in each of their divisions. After what has been a very exciting and unpredicitable surfing contest, todays final proved to be no disappointment with Ireland’s Ashleigh Smith coming second in Europe in the womens bodyboarding division.

In the nail biting final Ashleigh was narrowly beaten by Portugal’s Catarina Sousa by a mere 0.07, followed closely by Gemma Harris (Wal). However Ashleigh was still happy to claim Ireland’s only medal in the competition – a silver.

After putting in a consistent performance throughout Eurosurf 2011 Ben Skinner (Chi) has emerged as winner of the Longboard Competition after dominating his heat. In the surf seniors Pablo Solar (Spn) and Joncour Thomas (Fra) battled it out for first place with Pablo emerging victorious in a impressive display of surfing.

Sarah Beardmore (Eng) won her heat in by a landslide to become the European Ladies Open Champion. Sarah led from the start, dominating the heat and winning by a 7.0 margin over Leticia Canales (Spn). Disappointly Dejean Marie (Fra) was unable to surf a scorable wave.

Portuguese Paulo Rodrigues was a worthy winner of the Surf Masters, beating neighbour Dani Garcia (Spn) by almost 3 points, followed by Salvaire Olivier (Fra) and Greg Owen (Wal).

In the bodyboard open fellow Portuguese country men Manuel Centeno and Hugo Pinheiro fought for pole position with Manuel taking 1st place and Hugo having to settle for third place, with Guillermo Cobo (Spn) placing second.

From the very outset of Eurosurf Bundoran France have dominated the competition. In the opening day they scored 8 out of the best 15 waves of the day and 8 of the top 15 overall scores of the day. France remained the competition leaders throughout the contest only to be over taken by Portugal and Spain on the final day of the contest. Ireland achieved a very repectable 6th place overall.

“Eurosurf as a whole has been an enormous success. We couldn’t have asked for better waves all week and the contest overall has been problem-free. We are indebted to our team of volunteers who have ensured the smooth running of the competition all week and have put in many long days over the past week and a half", said Contest Director Eileesh Buckley.