Sunday, January 29, 2012

Galway Fest

Last weekend Galway Fest kicked off with freestyle at Tuam hole. Levels were a little on the low side but it still make for a great event with almost fifty competitors taking to the water. Competition was fierce in all classes with the juniors posting scores that would have placed them well in senior mens. The heats were ran off in jam format so everyone had plenty of time to stick their tricks and make up their top eight which made up their overall score.

Sunday saw the whitewater event take place on the Boluisce River.There was a great turn out on the day with over seventy paddlers racing the course. The format for the day was a time trial with the six fastest racers going through to a boater x final. The course was a bit over a kilometer long with a grand stand finish running through Poll Gorm and under the footbridge.

First heat about to kick off

I made it into the top six for the boater x along with Colin wong, Moe Kelleher , Paddy McGover,  Eoin Keys &  Brian Cahill. The start had us sitting backwards at the back of our boats which through up the option of doing the race without a spray deck to save time at the start. I got away quick at the start opting to leave off my deck and had a long battle with Moe Kelleher before Colin Wong took him out of it. I managed to get the front of my deck on half way down the shortened final course which just about saved me.

Colin Wong charging to the finish

Racing past the last road bridge I held a narrow lead over Paddy McGovern and despite almost getting back looped in the fish counter above Poll Gorm managed to hold on by half a boat length to take first place.

Final of the boater x

The scoring for Galway Fest gave equal weighting freestyle and whitewater to make up the final results to decide who took home the prizes. The idea behind this was the get people competing in both events that would normally only do one and also make it a full weekend of paddling for everyone. It seemed pretty successful with plenty of new faces at both events

I ended up taking first place with wins in both freestyle & whitewater with Moe Kelleher in second followed by Paddy McGovern in third. In Senior Womens Niamh Cleary took top spot with a win in the whitewater and a second place finish in freestyle followed by Siobhan McGriskin and Laura Giffin. Junior Mens saw Billy Brett come out on top followed by Robbie O Shea and Shane Little. Full results with scores & times are here.

Hopefully we can bring this event back next year and keep it going year after year. A big thanks to everyone who helped out on the day, with all the help both days ran off very smoothly. Thanks to all our sponsors Wavesport , Dagger, AT Paddles, I Canoe & River Deep Mountain High for supporting the event. Also a big thanks to Canoeing Ireland who helped Insure the event.

Photos are thanks to Shane Cronin and Ultan 0'Byrne

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