Tribute to Late Michael Vaughan

A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL VAUGHAN OF LAHINCH, RECENTLY DECEASED.

 

A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL VAUGHAN OF LAHINCH, RECENTLY DECEASED.
In 1970 the name Michael Vaughan began to impress the young surfers who frequented Lahinch. Not only had the West Coast Surf Club been formed but they found that there was a desire at the council level to promote surfing because it had such potential and it was different. The Mentor of west coast surfing emerged as the late Michael Vaughan R.I.P., a Lahinch hotelier and chairman of Lahinch Development Council. Michael fully supported the West Coast Surf Club by providing them with a changing room area and a facility to store boards beside the Sports Centre. He also embraced the newly formed Irish Surfing Association and realized that Irish teams were already going overseas to compete and were holding annual Surfing and Intercounty Surfing Championships in Ireland. In the words of Roger Steadman Ex Chairman of the Surf Club of Ireland and Secretary of the ISA, "Michael had great understanding and was hugely supportive from the very beginning even when the perception to a lot of people was that surfing was weird and a danger to swimmers."

 

MICHAEL VAUGHAN PRESENTING TO DAI HALPIN OF WALES, WINNER OF THE JUNIOR DIVISION AT EUROSURF '72, LAHINCH, CO CLARE

Soon after that he was approached and asked would he support the idea of a European Surfing Championships to be held at Lahinch. To this he responded positively and vigorously began to promote the cause. On September 16th 1972 the Championships began and there were teams from the England, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain and of course Ireland. The judging was done from the upper offices of the Sports Centre that had been built under the direction of Michael Vaughan and his committee. Its strategic position made it the ideal Contest Control centre with a clear view of the ocean in all directions.

BACK ROW L TO R - FRENCH, WELSH, SPANISH AND ENGLISH MANAGERS. FRONT ROW L TO R - MANAGER OF THE MID- WESTERN TOURIST ASSOCIATION, HARRY EVANS (SURF CLUB OF IRELAND), MICHAEL VAUGHAN (LAHINCH DEVELOPEMENT COUNCIL AND CHAIRMAN OF SHANNONSIDE TOURISM) ATTENDING THE EUROPEAN SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS PRIZE GIVING DINNER IN THE CONVENTION CENTRE AT LAHINCH IN SEPTEMBER 1972


The surfing conditions were small but well shaped and the event was a success. It was also very well publicized by the media as it was one of the very few instances at which UK teams competed in a peaceful well supported atmosphere despite the North of the island being in a state of turmoil. The message was Surfing and Lahinch have no boundaries and all are welcome. On the final night there was an awards banquet for over a hundred surfers and guests. As well as the representatives from each competing country, there was the Lahinch Development Committee and the manager of the Mid Western Tourist Association. This was the moment that surfing became a household name in the region as it began to take its place along with Gaelic Sports and Golf. We the surfers of Ireland owe Michael gratitude for all he has done and wish that he finds pastures of joy in his heavenly domain.

Brain Britton, Sam Mc Crum, Roger Steadman and Kevin Cavey

 

Posted on 15/01/2014 by Brain Britton, Sam Mc Crum, Roger Steadman and Kevin Cavey