Farewell Farrel O Shea

04/06/2024

The windsurfing community is in mourning following the tragic death of Farrel O'Shea on 2 June in La Palme, southern France. This event marks a huge loss for the windsports world.

Farrel O'Shea, originally from Wellington in the West Midlands, discovered windsurfing in the late 1970s on a small lake in Telford. It was on this modest stretch of water that he learned the rudiments of the sport, quickly becoming hooked on the feeling of freedom and speed that windsurfing provides. In the early 1980s, Farrel O'Shea established himself as one of the most prominent British windsurfers, appearing regularly in specialist magazines. He stood out not only for his technical skills, but also for his pioneering spirit. He is best known for executing the first killer loop or cheese roll filmed by Alex Williams in Fuerteventura in 1986. His ability to master radical manoeuvres such as forward rotations has made him a leading figure in the field of waveriding.
But Farrel O'Shea's career is not limited to competition. He's also an innovator, helping to design and build lighter, higher-performance boards with friends at M&M Custom and Lightwave Custom. His expertise also extends to writing, with the publication of ‘An Introduction To Windsurfing’ in 1987, a book that remains a reference in the field.

In the 1990s, he moved to Abersoch and continued to make an active contribution to the sport. He founded O'Shea International in 1994, a brand that produces boards and a range of sails, while remaining a competitive windsurfer reaching record speeds, such as 44.34 knots at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in France.
Farrel's commitment to board sports never wavered. He got involved in wakeboarding and organised the Wakestock festival, combining competitions and musical concerts, attracting the best international talent. In 2003, he discovered stand-up paddling and added this discipline to his collection, anticipating its boom. His brand became a leader in the design and production of inflatable boards, with an emphasis on quality and durability.

Meanwhile, Farrel O'Shea continues to compete regularly in world speed events. In November 2012, he broke the British record again, this time in Namibia, with a speed of 48.82 knots. Three years later, he broke the 50-knot barrier, setting another British record with a speed of 51.20 knots.
Farrel O'Shea's life
was a constant celebration of gliding, innovation and passion for watersports. His legacy will live on through his achievements and the many windsurfers he inspired. After suffering a cardiac arrest on the beach at La Palme in the south of France on his way to take part in the Prince of Speed - World Record Attempt 2024, his death is a heartbreaking loss for all those who followed his extraordinary career and for the windsurfing community, which has just lost a great man renowned for his passion and his sense of sharing...

 

Source : Prince of Speed
Photo : Peter Davis - Alex Williams - Lüderitz Speed Challenge

tags: Farrel O'Shea

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