The fifth annual South East Dive Rally took place the 14th, 15th and 16th of July. The rally was based in Slade Harbour at the Hook Sub Aqua Clubs clubhouse. It was another fantastic success with this year’s event attracted the largest numbers yet! Over 200 scuba divers, snorkelers and their families from all over Ireland came to take a dip in the beautiful waters of the South East.
The rally got underway Friday afternoon for some early birds with dives to some of the Hooks most scenic dive sites. Highlights included sea fans, eels, spider crab and even some dolphins! Divers returned delighted with what they had seen. That evening the Hook Sub Aqua clubs boats set out to the dive site Big Rock. This is a breath taking dive with poor cod, ling and lobsters. It was a late night for many, as some divers arrived to the campsite after dark. They were greeted with a tasty BBQ.
Saturday morning divers gathered around the club house for the official opening. Local Wexford County Councillor Willie Fitzharris said a few words and welcomed everyone to the rally. He encouraged them to dive safe and enjoy the hospitality the Hook had to offer. Regional Dive Offier for the South East, Noel Furlong, gave his diving brief to a packed club house outlining good diving practice and water safety. Scuba diving clubs such as Kilkenny, Waterford, Athlone, Lough Derg, Blackwater and Viking to name but a few brought divers to sites such the wreck of the Girl Arlene, Pollock rock and Western rock. Conditions were a little choppy but this did not deter the divers. By late afternoon scores of hungry divers were returning to the club house. They returned to a tasty BBQ supplies by Hook Sub Aqua Club members. Divers tucked into gourmet burgers, chicken tenders and fresh salads. Once fed and watered, it was back to the business of diving. The visibility was excellent, allowing divers to get the most from their spectacular dives.
That evening, the party really got started in Templers Inn, with the hotly contested South East Dive Rally Table Quiz. Competition was fierce but it was Omega Dive Club from Dublin who scooped the top prize for a second year in a row. Later on the music got going and so did the banter. The dancing continued long into the night and when the divers were dropped back to their tents, the party kept going in the club house.
Sunday proved to be the best of the three days with flat calm seas and a sunny blue sky. The Hook Club brought their boats to the now famous Churchtown, with its incredible blowhole swim through and Tower Hole, just under the light house. Crowds had gathered along the water’s edge to wave the divers off as they disappeared under the water. Other dive clubs headed back to sites such as the Girl Arlene, Big Rock and Western Rock. By the late afternoon the camp site was beginning to empty. But there were still plenty of diving going on with many people pushing their stay to Monday for a trip to the Saltee Islands.
Hook Sub Aqua Club we would like to thanks all those involved in the rally and who helped to make the weekend such a great success and especially our sponsors: Wexford County Council, Sam McCauley Chemists, Marine Specialists, Templers Inn, Dillons Londis, Lambay Diving, Martins Jewellers, John Somers Construction, Fitzharris Construction