They came to experience an adrenaline rush like no other.
Hundreds of people flocked to Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, to witness some of the best international big wave surfers tackle the swells caused by the recent stormy weather, some of which were up to 10 metres.
A number of safety teams were in place to observe the surfing but, apart from a few wipe-outs, it went off without a hitch.
Nic Von Rupp, from Portugal, was taking no chances. Wearing three lifejackets, he said he “hoped to come out in one piece”.
The thrill seekers were aiming to get into the barrel of the 30ft - 40ft range waves, with one surfer describing the water breaking on his back feeling like "a ton of bricks."
Most of the spectators were surfers who came from abroad but they had no intention of surfing the dramatic waves, leaving it instead to the professionals who train throughout the year to make sure they're prepared for the extreme conditions.