Date Published: 06-Apr-2011
There is a place in Hawaii – Maui to be exact – where raging waves of up to 120 foot in height charge mercilessly towards the rugged coastline, threatening to engulf the rolling sugar cane fields that teeter uneasily in the breeze on higher ground above.
Among surfers and windsurfers alike, this deep water reef break is legendary. The magnitude and intensity of the waves, which can gather speeds of up to nearly 50 kilometres per hour, is the ultimate dream-maker for adrenalin junkies. It is the nearest thing to their Utopia. The name of this place of danger and peril? It is simply – and fittingly – known as ‘Jaws’.
While the thought of courting the extremities of the ocean may leave many of us searching for a new pair of shorts, for 24-year-old Galway girl, Katie McAnena, she describes ‘Jaws’ and Maui as “the Mecca of windsurfing”. She adds: “It is like Augusta for golf.”
McAnena, who is currently ranked as Ireland’s No 1 ladies windsurfer (and sixth overall in the country), spent a year travelling between Hawaii, a place she has been to four times, and Western Australia in 2008 and 2009 – experiencing the thrills and spills of what she describes as a “lifestyle sport”.
Having grown up in Galway City, where she spent her Summers mastering the sport’s basic principles at Rusheen Bay Windsurfing on Barna Road, McAnena made the brave decision to take time out of her medical studies at NUI Galway to head to Maui, recognising if she was to improve, then she had to be able to mix it with the best.
“I got to meet a great crew over there and that is where it all kicked off,” explains the final year medical student. “I just saw the waves and saw what you could do. It took a long time to get to the level that I am at now, though. It was such a hard slog.
“I suppose it is a different sport to others because it is not a constant. If you play football or tennis or even golf, you go out and you train every evening and that is it. With windsurfing, you are depending on the conditions to be right; you can’t just go off on an afternoon and practice. You have to wait for the wind and the waves to come.”
In Hawaii, there were no such problems.
“Maui is just unbelievable,” she exclaims. “It is just perfect. The wind and the waves are so constant and in the Winter time the waves are huge. I don’t know if you have ever heard about ‘Jaws’, but those waves are massive. Just incredible!”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.