Mikey Clancy – Tragic news
We were and still are totally shocked about this news today. The Irish windsurfer Mikey Clancy has passed away. This Mikey, whom we knew for many years, since he made his first steps in windsurfing. The windsurfing family lost a very talented and passionate sailor.
Last December we did this interview with Mikey and were writing e-mails back and forth with him. We don’t yet have any more details about his death, but hope that Mikey rests in peace somewhere in windsurfer’s heaven. The deepest sympathies from the entire staff at Continentseven goes to his family!!!
Mikey sailing at his favourite reef break at Magheroarty in Donegal in March 2012!
This was unfortunately our last interview with Mikey!
21 year old Mikey Clancy (IR-253) from Dublin is one of the best Irish wave sailors and he is one of the most dedicated sailors, we’ve met. When he started windsurfing, he already loved to be in the waves. Some years ago, Mikey joined one of our kids camps on Fuerteventura and luckily we got some waves at Sotavento for Mikey. Mikey was not interested in freestyle although most of the other kids spinned trough Vulcans and Spocks. We recognized early, that he is a waverider. No wonder, Mikey showed up at the Fuerteventura Wave Classic. He was one of the few participants who were able to ride house high monsters in lightest wind conditions at Puertito. We were really happy to have a chat with Mikey, who is not a kid anymore. He studies and is still living the waveriding dream. 2012 he even finished on the 13th place at the PWA event in Klitmöller.
Last year we have asked Mikey to tell us his New Year’s resolutions 2012. Now we asked him again, to look back and comment his resolutions.
– Have a happy healthy and windy 2012. Hmmm as a windsurfer I think we would all like a bit more wind so hopefully 2013 will be even better for that. But yes thank god I have had good health and mostly a happy 2012!
– To get good results in University exams. Yep this one took a little bit more time to achieve but I’m glad looking back that I put in the extra work as I have learned a lot and will give me a better work ethic.
– Launch my new website/business. Yep launched my new website www.mikeyclancy.com after a good bit of change. Turns out I didn’t have enough time left over between windsurfing, university, internship and working so it was put on the back burner for the moment.
– Get on the water as much as possible. Yep I think I got on the water as much as I could. I would still prefer to be out more days but that what keeps you wanting more I guess.
– Make a couple of nice windsurf videos (me and other riders). Nope I haven’t completed this goal (only one video) and I’m too not happy about this I really love making videos but we have been very unlucky with how things went. Not having a cameraman on the good days and having one on the crappy ones. Its something I will be working on asap now I have a little bit more free time! Saying that though I made some other music and event videos but I really want to just make windsurfing ones!
– Irish Champion for longer than 15 minutes. No unfortunately not this year due to a clash between world cup events and Irish wavesailing championships I wasn’t able to secure the title for the year.
– Irish Intervarsities Champion. There was no wind for the wave competition but we did do a really cool wave coaching session for the student wave sailors!!
– Finish inside the top 20 in the PWA world rankings this year. No, unfortunately I wasn’t able to compete at both Pozo and Teneriefe world cups as I had to make the decision to work and finish my internship to be able to compete at both the Klitmoller and Sylt world cup events. However I did prove I have what it takes finishing 13th in Kiltmoller.
At the moment Mikey is in Ireland and waiting for the arrival of the big storm of the year.
Continentseven: You finished the PWA event in Klitmöller on a great 13th place, after a more than one year long break from the PWA tour? How was it possible to have such a great start with your best result ever?
Mikey Clancy: It’s amazing to actually, being away from the International competitive scene for a while makes you that little bit more nervous about how you will stack up against the best in the world. I am so happy to be back competing with the world best windsurfers. It’s been a long while and I have had to overcome a lot of issues to get there which makes me that bit more motivated to do my best. The standard just keeps rising thanks to the incredible talent that we have in the sport and it’s great to be a part of it.
C7: Are you still limited because your heavy ankle injury you had a few years ago?
Mikey Clancy: At times, but not really, it’s taken me a year from when I felt comfortable windsurfing, to get to the level that I was at before. It has been very frustrating at times for me. I seriously had to step up and become a lot more smarter in the way I trained for windsurfing. A lesson that I am still learning but when you can see the rewards you get after applying yourself it is the most rewarding thing you can feel.
C7: Are you motivated for the PWA tour 2013 and will you do the whole tour and other events?
Mikey Clancy: Yes extremely motivated, I have shown I can mix it with the best so I have a lot of positive momentum coming into the winter season in Ireland. I could sit and be upset about what happened but at the end of the day that dosent do any good. In fact I would say what happened in Sylt, that I learned more getting a kick in the ass than doing well.
My main focus for competition is to compete at all the PWA events in 2013, the time off between events suits me as I have a whole list of things I want to improve before the next event. For other events: At the moment I simply don’t have the time, I’m studying full time in University so it is hard to combine both lives. Aside from that it is very difficult for me to raise the funds during my college year working to pay to compete at the world tour events. The PWA tour has the best sailors in the world and that’s who I want to compete against.
C7: How did you keep yourself updated during your injury break and through the last year?
Mikey Clancy: Continentseven. I’m a windsurf addict like most of the guys on the tour, so I’m always watching all the videos that come online and also the live streams when I can.
C7: You changed sponsors in the beginning of the season. Did you need some time to get used to your new gear setup and is it a big help to have Nik Baker, one of the best competition wavesailors in the past, as a team leader?
Mikey Clancy: Yes, I am so happy and grateful to be part of the North Sails Fanatic and Ion teams, I had never used any other type sail in my whole time windsurfing so it took a little time to figure out the different reactions of the sail, I feel so comfortable on the sails now and I really think the new gear setup will allow me to push my level. Having Nik on board is really great benefit as he has a wealth experience that is invaluable and hopefully something I can benift.
C7: Are there any riders, whose style you like a lot?
Mikey Clancy: Wow there are so many riders styles that are so sick, for me though my 3 idols would be Thomas Traversa, Kauli Seadi and Alex Mussolini. For me Thomas’s super late vertical style is something I really like to watch, he has a fearless attitude and approach to riding waves and it’s something I am constantly trying to emulate on the water. As I was getting into wavesailing Kauli was at the beginning of his dominance of the wave tour, personally he has been one of the most influential figures to look up to, his fluid wave riding has revolutionised the sport of windsurfing and has really open a lot of doors in how we approach wave sailing. Alex is also another insertion of mine as he attacks the wave with his progressive attitude whilst holding the core traditional values of wavesailing at heart to hit the lip. It’s this combination which really attracts me to how he attacks the wave. The one video I have been waiting for ever since I saw a rough edit in Reunion was Thomas’s and Alexs video Just Like That which had some really really insane action form two of my favourite sailors.
C7: Magheroarty, Belmullet, Easky, Brandon Bay are potential spots for the Red Bull Stormchase! Not for this year anymore, as the waiting period is over. Which one do you see as the most suitable one with stormy conditions for a possible Ireland mission?
Mikey Clancy: All of the spots can go off, I think when we get a huge storm it depends on the direction of the low approaching to find the best and most suitable spot to sail in. I know sometimes in winter the conditions are Impossible to sail in as the swell and winds just get too much.
C7: Do you often sail at some of the spots and did you ever see one of them with 50 knots+?
Mikey Clancy: Yes, I sail quite reguraly at the spots in the NW coast, depending on the different forecast I make the trip across the country to catch some waves. I have sailed when it has been close to 50 knots in nearly all the spots haha crazy overporwed on 3.3. the spot I would least like to sail in those conditions would be in Belmullet as there is no shelter or easy way out past the waves so there is a pretty high chance you are going to get messed up but that’s only if there was anything bigger than a 5 or 6m swell hitting at the same time as the super sting winds as there will be no chance to make it out past the back.
C7: Is it realistic to get waves and wind with 50 knots at one of these spots?
Mikey Clancy: Yes there is a very high chance I would say that Novemeber, December is going to be the time when we will see a big storm hit. However the wind that comes with the storms change very rapidly and can be quite gusty and difficult to sail in so it will be tough for the storm chasers and crew to get it all to come together for them.
C7: Would you like to be part of the Stormchase or do you prefer to sail at your homespots just with friends or alone. Your father told me that he is often scared when you are out in these massive waves. He just can watch you, follow with the cam and call the coastguard. Are you scared sailing at those rough spots?
Mikey Clancy: Yes, I would love to be a part of it, its such a cool concept and hopefully will be so radical, the hardest part is actually to capture and show the intensity and strength of the winds to the audience as it always looks easier on camera! The funniest part of windsurfing is going away on a trip and scoring a sick session be it with your friends or alone, you may have to go ten times before you get an epic day but when it comes all the time and effort is priceless. The adrenaline as you catch uncrowded wave after wave is something so special. Yes there have been times and will be times when it is just to crazy to go sailing, you have to be able to push your limits but you must also be responsible for your safety of you and your friends so that no tragedy. Alone it is more scary than if you have someone sail with you as when its wet and cold you can often let it get to you too much and get overwhelmed by the conditions even if its actually not that bad.
C7: What’s you favourite spot in Ireland?
Mikey Clancy: Hands down would be Magheroarty, I hate to say it and was going to give you a different answer but I just absolutely love the conditions there for wavesailing there. But there are a 100 other spots to that are equally if not better than Magheroaty quite regularly.
C7: How many times do you make it on the water a month and what’s your most used gearset?
Mikey Clancy: On average I would say between 10 – 15 times per month, it could be 5.3 and big boards starboard tack to 3.7 – 4.2 port tack jumping or dew depending on the month. It also depends on if I have college and work to do, the days get really short here in the winter and you can sometimes miss the best of the conditions with the fading light so it can be a bit of a struggle being a windsurfer in Ireland. I train quite regularly during my days of the water to keep my body in shape as you need to be ready for when it’ s windy or else you spend you whole session struggling to make any progress.
Have a look at Mikeys’s blog, if you want to read more about Mikey!
© continentseven.com 2012