I bumped into Sancho the eve before departure for this year's Nixon Surf Challenge, in Little Princess Pizzeria in Hossegor. I was having the Burrata (I shit you not, those of you who think there's no upgrade on regular buffalo mozzarella, think again). I'm not sure what he ordered, but let's say La Reine or something, a ham one. Anyway, he mentioned he was off to Eire for the Nixon Challenge, and I offered my sincere condolences, which he duly accepted.

That is because despite their very good intentions, despite spinning the globe and picking spiffing destinations ranging from Kamchatka to Hainan to Iceland to the Canazas, those Nixon Challengers often seem to get cursed with decidedly average surf, wherever they may go.

'oh ye of little faith' scorned Chronos, god of timepieces and accessories, from on high.

Because we were oh so wrong. This time, they scored a sweet bit of Irish sunshine (!) fun if small surf, sailed a wooden boat, swam with dolphins, dug some veg and to a man, left Ireland - as do all of us - better people than when they arrived.

Who dat?

oh noone spesh really... well apart from Chippa Wilson, Gony Zubizarreta, Jony Gonzalez, Charles Martin, Willy Aliotti, Sancho, Eric Rebiere, Fergal Smith, Marc Lacomare, Vincent Duvignac, Kepa Acero, Marlon Lipke... you know, a canny wee bit of shred talent.

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