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Saturday, 1 December 2007

Record size waves predicted for West Coast Ireland today


Massive waves are set to batter the western shores of the British and Irish Isles this weekend, and a small group of dedicated surfers are ready to take up the challenge of riding the biggest swells forecasted in recent years.

Swell forecasters are predicting the arrival of powerful swells peaking Saturday afternoon of 38 feet (12.5m) high. There is an 18- second wave interval between the crest of successive waves, a daunting measure of the power behind these swells, generated by a 960 mb low-pressure system out in the Atlantic west of Ireland.

Once the swell comes out of deep water off Mullagmore Head, Donegal Bay, onto a shallow reef shelf, the waves can double in size as the wave crest is forced upwards by the changing seafloor contours, making waves heights greater then 55ft faces likely for the surfers.

The four surfers who are looking forward to the oceanic equivalent of summiting Mount Everest are Duncan Scott (Newquay, UK), Alistair Mennie (Portrush, IE), Gabe Davies (Newcastle, UK) and Ritchie Fitzgerald (Bundoran, IE.)

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