Mathew Lamont's 2019 in review
2019 has been a really successful year, I've been able to travel to the world championships in Peru, surfed on the longest wave in the world and defended my British title. I've been lucky enough to time university breaks with swell hitting the west coast of Ireland all year, surfing some of my favourite waves. I've definitely missed being able to surf as much as possible while at university, it's great still being able to get on the water and run a few rivers instead, but I always get excited just before I come home at the idea of getting back in my surf boat and onto the Atlantic Ocean.
I was lucky enough to spend 3 weeks in Huanchaco Peru training and competing in the world championships. I came away with 2 9th places, my best ever result in the senior category at a world championships. I can't wait to train more and get an even higher result at the next world championship in Bude at the end of September 2021. My favourite part of Peru was definitely the time I got to spend surfing all day everyday on a great wave, catching up with old friends and making some new ones, who I'm sure I'll see at the next worlds.
Whilst in Peru I had the chance to take a day trip up to Chicama, the longest surfable wave in the world. It was an amazing experience, when you're used to surfing waves that are significantly shorter, it was really strange that half way through the wave, you were only half way! An incredibly intense wave to surf, not because the wave is particularly critical or intimidating to surf, but because you have to stay focused on your surfing for so much longer than usual.
Eventually I had to come home from Peru, but this meant my favourite competition was soon approaching, the Irish open. As always, we had fantastic surf at one of my favourite breaks. It's always a very exhausting competition as it only runs over one day, but I still surfed well enough over the day to finish in 3rd place in both categories against some great paddlers. I'm already excited for next year's event!
My last competition of the year was the British open, held in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I defended my title in a huge range of conditions, surfing 3 different breaks over the weekend. I also added another 3rd place in the long boat. A highlight of the event was seeing some of the juniors beginning push the seniors in the open categories, with one junior, Adam, taking second place in the short boat. It'll be great seeing everyone again at the British open in Bude next year!
Finally I ended the year where I started, back home in Ireland. I managed to get some great waves and got both my new boats in the water before heading back to university. 2020 is nearly here and I'm excited to try and surf some new places, as well as to keep competing and hopefully adding some more results. See you on the water.