Sunday, 16 March 2014

Irish Whitewater League

''The Irish Whitewater league, has been set up and organised by kayakers for kayakers. We want to promote having the laugh along with kayaking good whitewater. This league is all about the banter, meeting new people and enjoying the river''

So far I've competed in three of the races held so far ....The Flesk Race, Ennistymon Race and Galway Fest

Flesk Race ....The Flesk race was held on the 30th of December 2013 .After a long drive down with non-stop rain coupled with the fact ive never ran the river before and didnt really know anyone going I was quite nervous heading down to this race .When I pulled up to the put in for the river it was tanking at a level that was way too high to run the race on after about an hour or so we were told that instead of running the race over the whole river that it would be a sprint race from the put in to about 200m down.After 3 or 4 practice laps of the short course I was feeling pritty confident of my line.My race run went well and got a time of 1:07 since I was the only u18 there that time in mens would have placed me 9th out of 14 but i still got first place points for the junior league table :)
Angle Drop High Water 
After the race I tagged along with a group to run the full section of the river at a high level of 1.6 it was one of the best runs ive ever done in Ireland.Big thanks to Andrew Regan ,David Higgins and David Glasswell for letting me tag along and showing me lines . Video here
Flesk Race Course 

Ennistymon Falls Race....This race was held on the 15th of February 2014. Originally this was ment to be the glens race but thanks to huge storms in Ireland the glens was and still is chocked with trees :( .So Ennistymon Falls was the back up plan .This was another short race with the falls and rapids only covering around 500m .This set of rapids is right in the middle of the village of Ennisymon and features a 18 ft waterfall leading into a set of rapids with loads of ledge drops and slides with plenty of different lines to make things interesting.After a few practice laps I was buzzing to race and ended up getting a time of 1:44 only this time I wasn't the only person in u18 males Sean Cahill was also raceing in this class and bet me with a time of 1:42.Video here.

Walking Back up for another lap 
Ennistymon Falls

Galway Fest ........Was held on the 1st of march in Spidal on the Boluisce from the foot bridge to poll gorm after breaking my paddle the week before on the glenmacnass I was paddleing with a borrowed paddle id never used before and also had sprained wrist from the swim that broke it so I wasn't very confident about how i was going to do in the race.With no practice lap due to the course being too long to walk back up .I ended up comeing 2nd out of 10 in the u18 mens with a time of 6:25 so i was pritty happy with that .....After this tagged along with another group to run the top drop all in all it was a super race with a great atmosphere with 130+ racers .
Last Few Strokes to the finish line 

Super Sexy Race Face 

Over all each event was awesome its great being able to paddle new rivers with new people and do abit of racing as well so thanks to Barry and Andrew for running the league aswell as each of the races!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Crana Kayak Weekend

So a few days ago I headed up to Crana kayak fest .For those who don't know Crana Kayak Fest is a multi discipline kayaking weekend held every year in buncrana with events from boatercross to rafting along with guaranteed water from a  dam release  makes it one of the biggest whitewater events of the year.

The river itself has everything from grade 4 to the sea within a kilometer or two and is enclosed by a park with paths running along the river with concrete steps and put in spots every 100 meters or so, in short it is one of the best rivers to hold an event of this type on .
The Claw

Day 1 :On the saturday I entered novice slalom partially because i don't have a real slalom kayak and also because im not very good at the whole gates thing ;) this event took up most of the morning.
 After this me and my friend Eoin headed up to do some laps of the middle grade 3 section along with a few laps of the grade 4 ''Claw'' Drop this was the first time Eoin had ever ran anything that big and he styled it :)
 That evening we went to the awards in the hotel and in true kayaking fashion it started two hours late .

Day 2 : Sunday for me held the most important event of the weekend the boatercross a style of race where 6-7 people are let down the river at once fastest 2 go to the next heat ,after about 10-15 runs of the claw the biggest drop on the race course I felt pritty confidant I was hitting some good lines and was looking forward to the race.Our heat of 7 got to the start line someone shouted  go, I was behind everybody elce at the start and leading into the first rapid but I keeped pushing and thanks to some advice from Brian Keogh I took the left lines on all the rapids where as everybody was going for right not only did this give me more room to paddle but also put me in a better possission for the claw I hit my line on the claw and paddled hard to the finish where I picked up 3th place since the small numbers in the under 18s there was only one heat and results from that heat were final

On a other noat I had the Brand new Burn 3 out on the water for the first time absolutely savage boat loveing the new design :)


Thanks to Total Experince for supplying me with the new Burn Mk3 for the event  check them out here as well as just kayak for organizing the event !!!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Summers over and the rain is back !

After a long summer with no rain and water levels at an all time low in Ireland we were finally blessed with some rain over the week. By the time we got to the Wicklow mountains on Saturday the Avonmore was all that was running .We hoped on and did the Lough Dan to Jacksons section with several laps of  Guinness rapid  as well as Trooperstown and the famous Jackson falls .All in all it was a great day ,super happy to be back on some whitewater .

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Bitches Tidal Race

The Bitches is a tidal race in south Wales and is formed by a volcanic reef protruding from the sea bed when the tide starts to rise water is held back behind the reef and eventually flows over and around it causing a set of rapids about 700 meters wide.

On the 21th of August I headed over with watermark experiences to this amazing  place for a weeks kayaking and media studies .

 This place provided one of the most different and odd kayaking experiences of my life between surfing the glassy front wave and the 2nd and 3rd waves that are formed behind it to the play hole and all while having to avoid huge whirlpools that managed to pull my whole burn under water made it an extremely dynamic place to kayak

Thanks to Deb Pinniger 
                Nico Chassing 
                Mark O'Shea-Pert 
                And Pyranha Kayaks 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013