My brother Finn sailed this beach alone for many years before it developed the plush facilities it has now and became more popular for windsurfing. Nowadays Benone is firmly on the map for all the Northern Ireland wave heads. Big shout out to Chris Cartin, Robert Mulholland, John Bedford, John Adrain, Andy Tease, Alex Dugan, Neil Young, William Revels, Myles Scullion and any other die-hard winter wavesailors I’ve forgot who are Benone regulars when it’s on.
Interestingly, last autumn, PWA World Cup windsurfer Max Droege spent his honeymoon in Ireland and had his best day wavesailing at Benone Strand, impressing everyone with his doubles, so it isn’t all hype about this spot! Apart from rips, which should be well respected as this is an Atlantic beach, there is no other hazards at Benone and the beach is lifeguarded in summer. Wind direction wise, Benone is roughly north facing, SW is quite offshore but sometimes ‘doable’, WSW better and anything from west to NW is cross to cross-on. Onshore directions are sailable too if the swell isn’t too big as the beach is so long and the rare winds with east in them are also ‘doable’, but don’t often have swell. The stretch of beach running west from Benone, to the left of the parking, can be off limits if military firing is taking place and is very soft sand, so be careful if driving on it. If you fancy some flat water, nearby Magilligan offers blasting inside a large estuary but watch out for strong currents. It also has a ferry service that runs across to Donegal but check it’s running before you travel.