Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUPping is currently experiencing a huge surge in popularity with people of all ages and sizes discovering a wonderful new way to enjoy our waterways. Leading the way is Harbour SUP and Sail from Adventure Sligo who are responsible for introducing many to this relatively new sport. It’s not only a way to enjoy an afternoon however, SUPping also has a competitive side and on Easter weekend Harbour SUP and Sail are holding the wonderfully named Connacht Battle for the Paddle. Now there’s a different way to enjoy a day out with the family, watching SUP experts showing their skills in the surf.

“The Connacht Battle for the Paddle is Irelands premier all discipline SUP event”, explains Mikee Hamilton of Harbour SUP and Sail, “That means competitors have a choice of events to take part in. The event includes Distance Racing, Technical Sprinting (racing around a course in the surf) and a SUP Surfing contest”.

This is the fourth year of the Connacht Battle for the Paddle and competitors are expected from all around the country. “We’re hoping to get some from the UK and Europe as well”, says Mikee Hamilton, “The Irish SUP Surf Classic is taking place the weekend before at Aughris/Tra Bhuí so we are hoping that the majority of travelling competitors will compete in both events. We welcome entries for all categories and subject to ability we have equipment available to hire for competitors”.

The SUP events take place on both Easter Saturday and Sunday. Saturday begins mid-afternoon in Enniscrone with the 3km Technical Sprint race which is three laps of a course running from Enniscrone Pier into the beach and surf. On Saturday evening it’s time for the Distance Races (2.5km and 5km) on the River Moy from the first bridge in town to The Quay with a finish loop in front of Crockets. On Sunday, Enniscrone Beach is the venue for SUP Surfing centred near the Old Bathhouse. The exact schedule will be announced about four days in advance; weather plays its part in making final decisions.

Spectators are very welcome and will be well catered for with food and drink stalls. The event is kindly sponsored by Billabong Ireland and Typhoon International. For further details, contact Mikee Hamilton (086 0315737, or look for @harboursup on Facebook).