Ireland Spring 2017
During the semester I was lucky enough to take part in Intervarsities for The University of Limerick. These are competitions against other Irish universities for all of the clubs and societies to take part in. It is very friendly but bragging rights are at stake so people like to take it seriously. I was lucky enough to find my place upon the "A" for the surf club. Not wanting to let the team down I figured I had to try as hard as I could to not let the team down.
Although in surfing competitions each person surfs for themselves the points of how far you make it in the competition are calculated and applied to the universities overall score. This is why the pressure was on! My Irish friends were confident in my abilities to do great but I wasn't so sure. They were so great by inviting me into the club wit open arms and supplying me with whatever I needed I felt the pressure. In reality this pressure was just from myself but I still didn't want to lose in my first heat.
The competition day came and all of Lahinch, where the competition took place, was packed with fellow university surfers waiting and watching. I had my first heat at around 11am which I took first place in thankfully. As happy as I was to do good in my first heat I knew that it would be about an hour and a half till my next heat because of how many people were competing. Staying in my cold wetsuit all day was so incredibly draining because of constantly being wet and having the wind chill throughout the day.
My next heat came and went. I took first place again! I have competed many times but never do I feel confident so this was awesome but also made me nervous because I had to keep competing. At that point I was informed that I had about two hours till my next heat. I went back to the hostel and changed and finally had time to warm up. I went and watched my fellow teammates compete and then figured I should go back and suit up for my own upcoming heat.
The whole day the event organizers were a little off on declaring times for heats but I figured since I had gotten a two hour break that I had the times figured out. I was wrong. I received a frantic call from one of my teammates saying my heat was about to start. Being in dry clothes in a warm hostel looking down at my wet wetsuit I was frozen in shock. After about five seconds I realized I had to move fast! I changed into my frozen wetsuit and sprinted to the beach and after putting on my jersey went out into the water. I was only about five minutes late to the heat but had gotten second place in that heat. Luckily they take the top two and just like that I had made it into the finals.
At this point I was just so happy to be in the finals I didn't even care if I got fourth. I had competed with so many talented surfers and my team was so happy to have me get into the finals. I was ready to get the heat over with and get into dry clothes by this point in the day. The heat ended and I didn't know how I really did but was happy to make it that far. We weren't told the scores until later that night at the awards ceremony.
After surfing all day and being so physically exhausted I was still gleaming. We, as a team, went to the awards ceremony and it was great! I had gotten third in the heat which meant that I had gotten third overall out of the 40-ish Irish surfers who competed. The University of Limerick had gotten second place overall which was big for them because of how many great surf clubs there are across Ireland. Not to mention the University of Limerick is an hour away from the ocean, which means that anytime we want to go surf we had to do mini rode trips. Overall I was so happy that I got to help them do well and I had a medal to bring home as an amazing souvenir.
This is right after the final had ended with an amazing coastline, sunset, and group of lads.
The is later at the award ceremony! If you look hard enough you can see that I am about to fall asleep.
This wasn't from the contest day but this was after surfing last night in County Clare. The temperature was around 16 Celsius and we had to pull over just to appreciate Irelands best weather.