Humans of the Biosphere - Windsurfers
What does the Dublin Biosphere mean to me? Growing up in nearby Sutton the Biosphere is a place full of memories from going to the beach as a kid with my Mam and Dad, brothers and sister. Often it was just crab fishing with friends and then exploring Red Rock as a teenager. As an adult now it is a place that I get to enjoy with my wife and two daughters.
Sutton is where I first started to windsurf which has become my life's passion and has shaped my life ever since. My name is Malcolm Scott and I am a passionate windsurfer for over 36 years and a founding Member of Bull Island Windsurfers. I was on boats and in the water before I could walk. I started windsurfing when I was 13 and fell in love with it straight away. It had speed, jumps and I loved the challenge of sailing in stormy conditions. It's like motorcross on water. In the mid-1980s windsurfing was booming and Sutton creek would be packed full of colourful windsurfing sails. It was our very own version of Baywatch minus Pamela Anderson of course and the sunshine but there were a good few of us who thought we were Mitch Buchannan.
As our level improved we started sailing the waves of Dollymount for some wave riding and jumping fun. For a very long time I didn't appreciate what an amazing water sports location Dollymount beach and the surrounding area was. From a windsurfing perspective it was perfect.
The Dublin Biosphere area is an amazing place. On its day Dollymount and other beaches in the area can be an amazing wave location, especially when the Atlantic swell pushes all the way up the Irish Sea to gift us with waves of up to 4 meters high similar to those on the west coast of Ireland. Most people don't get to see the windsurfers enjoying them as they happen on those days when storms with various different names travel across the Atlantic and hit Ireland. These windy provide windsurfers with the kind of conditions that we love and train for.
There are two excellent windsurf speed sailing courses at Sutton, Sutton creek and Burrow beach. At low tide there is a super flat section of water that allow speed sailors to hit speeds of over 40knots or 74km. Sutton Creek and the Malahide Estuary are fantastic safe spots for beginners and intermediate windsurfers to learn and hone their skills. All the locations along the coast are excellent windsurfing / water sport locations that cater for different skill levels. This windsurfing paradise is just a few kilometres from our capital city that now offers a huge variety of employment and well-paying jobs. Over the years I have gotten to know windsurfers from all over the world who can't believe that we have a resource like this just on our door step. In many countries windsurfers have to drive for hours to get to the beach and often when they get there it is so packed that there just isn't enough room for them all. For some city dwellers windsurfing is something that they can only do when they go on holidays. Living in Clontarf it is just a five minute drive to the best windsurfing beach on the east coast of Ireland and when I get there the beach is almost empty. Dollymount windsurfers have gone on to compete at the highest level in their sport, with both Mikey Clancy and Oisin Van Gerldern competing in the Professional Windsurfers Association windsurfing events around the world.
We get a lot of wind in Ireland. However when it's not windy we engage in the new sport of stand up paddle boarding (SUP), with some surfing and sea swimming . Dollymount can get surfing conditions,but it is very rare and you must know what to look for and if you time it right you can go surfing !!! Surfing conditions require a big swell and light West to North West winds. My two young daughters love surfing on Dollymount as they can surf the small and less powerful waves. For SUPing you have the choice of flat water trips to enjoy the beautiful scenery or the wildlife of Red Rock and Ireland's Eye. For supping on waves you can also enjoy the unique experience of surfing on the waves produced by ferries ships as they enter Dublin Port.
There much more amazing stuff to do at the Dublin Biosphere other than watersports . No matter what the weather is ,or what your age is or your fitness level there is an activity that you can do. The biosphere area has fantastic parks, sandy beaches,cycle paths,hiking and running trails for walking, biking, sea swimming, kitesurfing ,fishing , sailing, golf, kayaking ,cliff diving and bird watching just to name some. It is an amazing resource Dublin offers .There are very few capital cities that have such variety of opportunities for the various sports and activities on their door step. It is something to be appreciated and cared for... its something that brings me, my family and many others so much fun, joy, relaxation and pleasure. Experience it and no doubt you will enjoy it and want more.
Malcolm Scott ... Bull Island Windsurfers.
Thanks once again to Biosphere Volunteer Social Influencer Derek Skehan for sharing his article and ‘Humans of the Biosphere’ image with us