The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) has announced that Portrush will host the 2017 World Surf Kayaking Championships.
The global event attracts competitors from countries around the world including; Australia, America, Japan, Costa Rica and Europe and competitors from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
It is scheduled to run over a nine day period in September 2017 and will welcome visitors, competitors and their families to the north coast.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan told Times Sport: “This is great news for the Borough.
“It offers visitors, competitors and their families an opportunity to enjoy our famous northern Irish hospitality and the beautiful scenery and visitor attractions our borough has to offer during their stay.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for young athletes involved in the sport to show the world what potential we have here, to hold such high level competitions on a regular basis and of course to showcase their talents.”
Commenting on the announcement the spokesperson for CANI Ashley Hunter said: “World class events such as this are only possible through partnership and support from organisations such as Tourism Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
‘We will work closely with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council over the next few years to deliver the event here in Portrush and meet the expectations of the officials, competitors and visitors alike.
‘The shoreline in Portrush has been the training ground for previous world class athletes including local men Johnny Bingham and Andy McClelland.
“These Northern Ireland athletes and the Northern Ireland squad will be hoping for podium finishes.
“Overall this news is a fantastic opportunity to further promote surf kayaking and canoeing within Northern Ireland and raise the profile of the sport, encouraging more people to get in the water and get involved’’.
As a precursor to the World Championships in 2017, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) and the Ulster Paddlesurf Club are hosting the ‘British Championships and Home Internationals 2016’ in Portrush.
Ashley Hunter added:“Hosting the British Championships and the Home Internationals will enable Northern Irish athletes to compete on home waves which will help to prepare them for the World Championships.
“The 2016 event is a smaller scale event which will enable the organisers and volunteers to test the venue and scoring systems ahead of the world class in 2017.
For more information on the 2017 ‘World Surf Kayaking Championships’ please contact the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) on 028 9073 8884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.