The hero 2020 needs.
And by now you have read of Hurricane Epsilon and the “wave” of carnage that it created all across the north-ish Atlantic. Rude fights breaking out in the water at Nazare as gimme-gimme surfers tried to hog all the glory. Poor decisions being made on British shores where heedless tourists were swept out to sea, forcing dramatic rescues from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
But who would have guess that just across St. George’s Channel on that Emerald Isle the politest, most well-mannered big wave surfer in the world would ride that country’s biggest ever wave?
Oh gather your children around so they can grow up in the vein of Conor Maguire.
Conor, like all others, saw the swell approaching and knew it would be singular but did he prepare himself immediately for fame and fortune?
His first concern, according to the local paper, was “…whether it was socially acceptable to go out in the midst of a national lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
“So typical. My main concern was not to offend anyone or put pressure on the hospital system or anything like that. We contacted Sligo county council and got permission to surf, spoke to the coastguard. We had four skis and a paramedic on hand; two spotters on the cliff. We couldn’t have been any more safe, and [it was] the perfect time to take a good crack at it. The original idea was just to have respect for the locals and not to offend anyone. My friends are based in the area and we spoke to a lot of the locals before and they were buzzing people were out there. And the headland was like an amphitheatre; there were cars all the way around. Everyone was in their cars, adhering to Covid protocols, as were we. In the harbour, with the safety briefing, we had masks on and all that stuff. It was pretty professional.”
So thoughtful. Thoughtful in an unheard of way in 2020 and the fates rewarded our hero with the ride of his life.
“You could see it the whole way coming in. In the middle of the bay [Maguire’s jetski tow-in driver] was like: ‘Uhhh, okaaaaay,’ and I thought: ‘Oh fuck.’ Then he just picked me up, did a loop and slung me in like a big pendulum … When I was dropping down, it kind of felt like I was dropping 30 or 40 seconds, I was going and going. The wave itself, it was smooth, man. I felt like butter or something. It was pretty easy … I just kind of stood there [laughs]. But it ended up catching up with me in the end.”
And all those gimme-gimmme surfers at Nazare should be forced to do a politeness course with Conor Maguire so he can learn them the way of peace and prosperity.