• High Pressure

High Pressure is a new documentary film telling the story of Ireland's first big wave surf contest, the Billabong Tow In Session.


Last year's Billabong Tow In Session presented by Monster Energy, the Irish Surfing Association and Irish Surf Rescue Club, is still being chewed over and digested as one of the great days in Irish and European surfing history. As such it’s fitting then that one filmer and his girlfriend have taken a year out to make documentary film based on the event. The 45 minute documentary called High Pressure focuses not only on the surfing on the epic contest day, but also highlights all the elements and personal stories that led up to that perfect storm at Mullaghmore Head last February. A four minute teaser of the film can now be seen at http://vimeo.com/30620110

Dave Mottershead is the man behind the film and was perfectly placed to capture both the birth and explosion of tow surfing in Ireland. His brother Barry has been tow surfing with Paul O'Kane for years and as a videographer Dave had tagged along filming the pair chasing the huge swells each winter. When Paul first raised the idea of the inaugural Tow In Session competition Dave, along with his journalist girlfriend Daniela Gross, sniffed an opportunity.

"We knew straight away that there was potential for a great story here," said Mottershead. "Of course we couldn't have predicted just how good the waves were going to get. To get a swell like that, with no rain and no wind for the whole day is almost unheard of in this part of the world. It was absolutely spectacular, picture perfect."


High Pressure though is more than just a surf film about the comp. “Daniela and I always had a broader goal of going way deeper than just filming the great big-wave footage," continues Dave. "We wanted to show the whole scene, to show what drives all these surfers to ride the waves and to show the commitment, preparation and training that goes into it. We also wanted to document the work of the Irish Surf Rescue Club has been doing to make the sport safer."


The film also examines the science of why these massive waves break at Mullaghmore and elsewhere along the west coast of Ireland. Using seabed mapping and oceanography experts it shows how Ireland is uniquely placed to handle some of the biggest waves in the world. It also reveals the economic implications and just how the sport of big wave surfing is providing a boos to the communities of Ireland.

With a full year of work done on the project, Dave and his crew at Mully Productions are now in discussion with various TV networks to have the documentary shown both locally and internationally. "Ideally we want the film to come out before this year's Billabong Tow In Session," said Dave. “While last year was pretty spectacular, we are just hoping lightening strikes at twice. At Mullaghmore though, that’s entirely possible."


This year's waiting period for this year's Billabong Tow in Session presented by Monster Energy, the Irish Surfing Association and Irish Surf Rescue Club runs until March 1st, with organisers needing a minimum 20 feet wave height to run the event. For more news, invitee information and images log onto www.billabong.com/eu/event/149/billabong--monster-tow-in-surf-session