Glen 'Micro' Hall, Avoca

Here is Ireland’s best ever surfer, Glen ‘Micro’ Hall about to thread a tube minutes away from his birthplace and lifelong stomping ground of Umina on the NSW central coast. “But wait. That doesn’t make sense,” you will say.

Due to difficulty collecting a major sponsor, Micro switched his allegiances to the emerald isle. He did so on account of his grandfather’s passport. Though not everyone back home took a liking to his shift, leading to this rebuttal in response to a pasting he was copping on the surfersvillage forum.

"Firstly let me say thank you for taking such an interest in me as I haven't had this much attention for a long time within the surf media. Secondly the comment posted by Glen Hall under the article titled 'Glenn Hall ousts 40 clubbies to win Jim Beam Cup' is not from myself and was put there by someone else and does not reflect my personal opinion or goals and objectives in anyway or the opinion carried by any of my sponsors within regards to my situation.

They are un- respectful and hurtful to the Irish Surfing community as a whole and also to the wider European surfing community, which have been nothing but welcoming and accommodating me which I am forever grateful for. It is true I surf under the Irish monica but I use to compete under Australia. My Grandfather was Irish so I qualified for heritage and was granted an Irish Passport, from which last year I made the move to Europe to compete under. At that time I was sponsorless and it was my first year back from injury. I competed under the Irish flag and was proud of it to be a representative for Irish surfing on the WQS level and European ASP and I lived in Europe for the majority of last year.

I have been back in Australia as I married my long time girlfriend in Hawaii over Christmas and since have been training in Australia for the upcoming WQS season and working towards achieving my ultimate goal of qualifying for the WCT under the Irish monica. I won't lie my motives to move to Europe and to surf as an Irishman was in part financial due to the difficulty in finding a major sponsor from my original home shores but by no means has my sponsorship detracted any money from Irish Surfing and I hope to be able to set an example and be a positive influence on surfing in Ireland for the future.

I can assure you that financially I will be struggling along with the majority of the other surfers on the WQS this year in trying to make ends meet whilst trying to realize my ultimate goal of being a WCT campaigner. I would like to thank Gotcha Europe and Ian at Tubes Surf shop for the support they have given me and welcome in helping me establishing in Europe and furthering my surfing carrier in the hope of reaching my goals and dreams.

Finally I would like to thank the Irish surfing community who have made me feel so welcome. I am proud of my Irish heritage and proud to be able to surf and represent Ireland at the level I am at within surfing. I hope to have a long standing relationship with this community and I am looking towards the future and hope I can bring a positive effect in helping Irish surfing reach further excellence in the years forward."