The weekend started with an early morning start leaving Dublin port on a long and slow moving path for Worcester, UK
Once we arrived we set up the tents on a quiet corner of the Worcester Race Course. This was followed by a quick paddle to learn the course and to practise the portage. As the night closed in we headed for a hearty dinner and early night before the Saturday races.
Saturday was upon us bright and early with clear skies and warm sun showering the tents. As competitors and coaches arrived and the course filled up their was a buzz off excitement around the place.
The venue was Worcester Canoe Club a large clib house located on the banks of the magnificent River Seven. The course ran from just downstream of the club heading upstream in a lap based course with different distances for each group. The portage was a tight beach in and beach out set up with tough hill to get up from the river. The track was grass and tarmac with lots of spectator space. The finish line was then back outside the club house for all to see.
With Wave upon wave of starts heading up the course all under strict instructions from the started giving the commands, The constant show of coloured boats and determined faces leading off into the distance, With different classes and distances set for each group some were off to achieve just a single lap, whilst others the tough 7 lap course encompassing 6 portages.
As a team Salmon Leap were one of the biggest clubs in attendance and with the addition of Neil Fleming the Irish were among the most successful,
with Neil Sweeping the honours both senior men's K1 and with the help of trusty partner Peter Egan taking the Senior men's K2 title as well.
Also in the Senior men we saw some excellent performances from Dermot Hudson (6th) and Pedro Lopez (9th)
In the under 18 junior men saw Sean McCarthy continue his excellent season with a 10th Place finished closely by Iomhar Macgiolla Phadraig with a noble performance paddling the last lap and a half without his rudder. Following them up was Dan Grimes (16th) Donal Devenney (18th) Kevin Croc (19th) and Brian Mcguinness (20th) once again the curse of the Zedtech continued one lost rudder earlier and Bearach then taking a spill early on leaving him out of contention. This was followed by Brady dropping out halfway through to record his first DNF of the season.
Through to the under 16 and Jack O Hagan who has been in flying form all season coming back from a bad injury to just go faster and faster with every session took a well deserved 15th in a very competitive class. Down the field Jack Seery took an unlucky spill off the start line got himself back into contention with an excellent performance pushing himself up into 24th Place just in front of Michael Croc in 26th. Unfortunately Fiachra ran out of steam clocking up his first DNF.
Down to the U12 category with Kate McCarthy steaming off the start line with an excellent start pushing her right up into contention and coming in a very good third place this was followed on the Sunday by an excellent K2 performance with Kieran Kilbane taking a well deserved 5th place these are 2 of Salmon Leaps youngest athletes and definitely have strong bright careers ahead of them.
In the U14s Brian, Mark and Osin have been making a splash all season training daily with huge improvements and strong performances this was their first international race with a tough field Mark came home in 29th just in front of Brian who took a spill just metres from the line and Osin in 35th Place a great achievement in their first attempt.
Into the veteran classes with some very strong performance Tadgh de Barra took a strong 2nd place staying with the lead group from the start in the over 34’s this was followed by Liam McCarthy continuing his fine form in the over 49’s with a 5th place.
Then the one man who like a wine just gets better with age, Deaglan O’ Drisceoil (Digger) taking the win on the over 44’s category by over 2 minutes in his distinct bright orange Nelo he is sure to reek havoc in the coming season giving many of the seniors a run for there money
The Sunday was followed with K2 racing again with some very strong performances and some just blowing up after 2 hard races. Needless to say the bus journey home was a quiet affair!
Well done to all and here's some videos of the weekend
Labels: I-Canoe, k1, olympus, playak