Surf's up as Belfast teen wins title
A Belfast schoolboy is riding on a wave of success after becoming the Irish junior surfing champion.
Teenager David Bannon, from Jordanstown, won the title in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.
The 17-year-old, who has been surfing for eight years, travelled to Australia and Bali this summer to focus on his competitive surfing while availing of top quality coaching at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre.
At the Denny Irish Junior Surfing Championships a tight final unfolded last weekend in difficult conditions with David, a lower sixth year student at Belfast Royal Academy, battling against other top surfers.
David performed some critical manoeuvres, displaying power and speed in the small weak waves to take the title.
He edged out competitors such as John James Newmarch from Co Sligo and Owen Murphy from Co Donegal.
David's achievement is all the more significant since he does not live beside the surf, unlike many of his fellow competitors.
The Co Antrim surfer spends his summers in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, and is a member of Rossnowlagh Surf Club.
During the winter months David can only surf at weekends, opting for Donegal or the North Coast to pursue his passion for surfing.
The next major event for David will be the European Junior Surfing Championships in 2008.
He will be aiming to qualify for the Irish junior team at next year's selection events to achieve a respectable European ranking in his last year as a junior.