Kiwi surfers pay tribute to eco-hero Jonathan

Visionaries are few and far between. Even rarer are visionaries who are prepared to put their money where their mouths are. If time is money, Jonathan Patrick McCarthy was one of that rare breed - a man who saw things before others and was passionate, even obsessive, about protecting surf breaks.

Better known as the “Fang”, Jonathan was one of New Zealand’s leading surfing environmentalists. He passed away in the seaside suburb of Sumner in his hometown of Christchurch on 25 June 2009.

For those who did not know him Fang was the Environmental Officer for Surfing New Zealand and the leading advocate for the establishment of New Zealand’s first ‘Surfing Reserves’ Fang believed that surf breaks, the playing fields of surfers, were just as deserving of protection as the sports grounds where rugby players and netballers hone their skills.

His love of surfing was fuelled at a young age when he forsook rugby and headed off to surf breaks in Bali, Timor, Fiji and Hawaii as well as Australia and New Zealand. He had a sense of fun and a mischievous nature that sometimes got him into awkward situations, but he was invariably able to extract himself with his wit.

Fang was seriously injured in a bike accident in 1987 and it was his long and tenacious recovery that gave him the inspiration and courage to return and surf the 20 foot waves of Hawaii and Timor. You only had to ask him about those days then sit back and listen for the next 40 minutes or so while you were dragged into a world of fun and adventure.

His profession as a lawyer, his strong Irish heritage and passionate belief in legal and social justice combined to make him a force to be reckoned with. He was a strategist, a man of patience and a master of the English language. He took on criminals, the law the police, big business, councils and the government … and won.

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Tullan For The Township 

On Saturday Aug 22nd, Bundoran will host the 3rd annual fundraising event 'Tullan for the Township' at Tullan Strand.

This is a fundraiser run by all the surf schools in Bundoran for the Niall Mellon South Africa Townships. 

This year, Niall Mellon is coming to launch the event at the Allingham Arms at 10.30am on Saturday morning.

A full program of live music, 10K run, horseriding & other stuff kicks off at noon until 6pm. 

At 6pm the world's biggest surf lesson will commence.

It is a world record attempt, everybody is invited to join in.

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Romain Cloitre 

The ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro experienced another short day of competition as three heats only were completed during the outgoing tide at Lacanau this morning. Some two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves allowed the twelve getting their chance to surf today to show some good surfing, former ASP European Junior champion Romain Cloitre (REU), 20, impressing the ASP judging panel to net a 16.34 point combination, the sixth best score of the event thus far.

Cloitre, who surfed against fellow top seed and ASP World Tour member Nic Muscroft (Victoria, AUS), experienced a tough heat not finding any decent ride for the first ten minutes of the heat before coming back in the race to oust Muscroft and Brad Ettinger (USA) and advance through to Round 3.

“I was really nervous at the start of that heat and already thinking of my coach watching me and stressing out,” Cloitre said. “Then I got that first wave, it took me a bit of time to find a second ride but it was the best wave of the heat and that 9.17 definitely relieved the pressure. I am happy to make it through and get to surf in the expected better waves.”

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