Paddle4Play: October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011

Wavesport Sluice Rodeo @ Stack Event 15th October 2011

sluice tshirt front 2011After a long season the scores were in with all to play for in the last event of the Irishfreestyle League brought us back to Dublin well almost…… With no rain and the rearranged Liffey Descent unfortunately the ESB could not give us a flood on the river meaning no event at Sluice, so the back up plan was made….. Stackallan on the River Boyne, Co Meath. A small shallow wav/hole feature which was beginner friendly and good eddy access. The thought wasn't particularly appealing but on arrival we were greeted by a magical level seeing a sweet little feature where all moves were possible. 330965_273864009319893_239740622732232_878314_984398590_o
As the competitors arrived the marquees were up and the registration began, For 2011 the UK league was linked with the Irish League sharing Cardiff earlier in the season and this the last event, as a treat we had both World Champion and soon to be British Champion Claire O’ Hara, Soon to be British Champions Sam Anderson, Paul King and Kim Aldred plus Jack Mitchell who just came for the Guinness but ended up paddling with their bands of awesome supporters most notably the best supporter Laura King! 327222_273879765984984_239740622732232_878415_1388700397_o
The event kicked off with 18 Junior men in heats full of entertainment big air loops and space Godzilla's leading the way. 331902_273882769318017_239740622732232_878445_600115283_oThe standard was high with the ever improving junior men followed by the Junior girls with the same age old battle of Niamh against Caoimhe this time with the addition of UK team member Kim Aldred who showed the advantage of constant UK features to take the win, In the Sport Class Lee Doherty the ringer had a match set with Conor Mathews who recently reappeared on the scene with some cool liked ends and sweet spins Conor edged out Lee for the win. Both of these lads will be promoted to the Expert class for 2012 with some solid performances.334573_273870419319252_239740622732232_878350_1154482979_o For the Girls Sport Kate Mc Shearer Was left as the lone girl out for a paddle taking the win in style with some wicked waving and sophisticated spins.323480_273883472651280_239740622732232_878450_952861075_o
The expert women showed the class of World champion Claire O’ Hara alongside Muireann and Aisling again proving why she's the best with some super smooth mc nasty's and air loops.324162_273875675985393_239740622732232_878388_188840193_o
C1 this year had Orky showing off his Carbon for the first time on the east coast and it made the difference with the light swing weight hitting the air on both loops and Mcnastys into 1st place followed closely by UK Champ Paul King with his cool flurries of ends into splits really showing his class.335007_273882289318065_239740622732232_878441_1362778234_o
The expert men with all to play for saw UK Champ Sam Anderson take the win with his well practiced Felix's followed into 2nd by Adrian Durrant  and 3rd Eoin Keyes287007_273883249317969_239740622732232_878449_1936032243_o
The real competition was yet to start with the Masters grudge match Bernard Walsh and Garvan Smith tied for first in the league saw Bish Bash and Bosh take to the water in a fun affair of paddle spins air guitars and crown pleasers as Walshy surfed in for yet another ender he plugged, tucked and pulled through his first loop in competition. The crowds went wild did we really see a 53 year old ‘Cant teach an old dog new tricks’ learn and land a loop! 322553_273878329318461_239740622732232_878404_1938976802_othis sent Garvan onto the back foot fighting back with cartwheels both ways and even a cheeky split to seal the deal. 289580_273878042651823_239740622732232_878402_1437290838_oAs the Scores were counted the crowds waited with Mairead 3rd, Richie Reade 2nd287692_273877332651894_239740622732232_878398_477925841_o and the suspense was killing them JOINT first Garvan and Bernard the two of them were inseparable.

This was the final event of the year meaning it was also the final selection event of the year,
Event Results are here
league results are here
A huge thank you goes out to all of the sponsors for the day,
Wavesport Ireland have been a constant support of Irish Freestyle based on the banks of the Liffey the whole event really couldn't of happened without them,
You will all be glad to know Wavesport have already signed up as Title Sponsors again for 2012 with new ways to make the event bigger and better a huge thanks to Shane Cronin the man behind the scenes of Wavesport Ireland.
Outdoor Community provided you all with hot soup and sambos from their riverside marquee as well as media and photography
Canoeing Ireland for all their support from the office staff through access, insurances, and trying to book water.
South Dublin and Fingal Co Councils for their support with using the St Catherine's park access and safety management.
H20 Audio For there great prizes for the sports Category winners
Keen Europe for there wicked prizes for the Masters Category
I-Canoe for their support and demo boats as well as competition prizes for the event
Arc Cafe Bar for Party Venue
Paddle4play for event organisation
Event Photos thanks to Vinny @ Outdoor

Heres A quick Edit from Conor Macken from the day,

Sluice tshirt 2011 copy

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Keen First test

KeenLogoAfter a good chat with the groovy guys and girls over at Keen Europe I was lucky enough to receive some shiny new shoes both a set of Keen River Hoods as well as a cool set of A86’s. The first test they got was thrown straight into a week creeking in Austria at the Sickline World Championships event.

P9290551The first time I put the River hoods on they felt comfortable, with a neo upper meant some flex which with larger sized feet this is much need especially when fitting into medium sized creek boats, the soles provide a good sturdy support with lots of traction on wet rocks perfect for those spider man moments bounding from rock to rock like a hero. The adjustments both on the front and Velcro back meant a secure fit with no chance of losing the shoes even if you were to take an unexpected swim.P9300591

The drainage in the bottom allowed water to clear easily and the cuffed upper stopped small stones from entering and wearing away at either your feet or dry suit socks.PA010707

The A86’s are by far the coolest trainers around designed for running I use them as an everyday shoe with great grip and soft light mesh means they are weightless (great for flying in hand luggage) the colours and style really show off the brand with a sturdy fit with wide sole and toe bumper these would be a solid set of trainers for all uses!326301_543003627024_280300028_1595264_1919490079_o

Id like to thank keen for their support whilst writing this I've just received a new set of the Gorge boots which look like the job! cant wait to get them out on the river soon


Playtime IS back!

Thanks to Keen Europe for their support.


.Adrian D, Ireland

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Adidas Sickline 2011

With the Autumn closing in it was at lest time for the Sickline White Water World Championships, The event was due to take place in the Oetzal Region of Austria.P9280503
For 2011 we had a group of 8 Irish paddlers heading out all descending on Dublin Airport on the same flight, some good will and helpful Eir Lingus staff ensured out 8 creekers and kit all made it onto the same flight, Once we arrived in Munich a group of us had taken the option of booking 2 large vans which equipment could easily be thrown into and we could sleep in, after a couple of hours driving into the night we had arrived at the venue, a quaint Austrian town full of character and scenery. The Oetz Valley some 820m above sea level P9300599
After a first night in the vans we took to the water in some big bouncy warm up type runs with the majority of us having not seen big volume water for a long time we needed some acclimatising running the lower Oetz the Upper Oetz leaving a cheeky spin on the race course Wellerbrucken for last thing that day.P9290551
The paddling was great cool glacial rivers with bright blue skies and sun beaming down made sure kit dried quickly.P9280446P9280443
The evenings were spent cruising around the town trying the local beers by the bottle, half litre, litre, 2 litre or even 3 litre glass just so we had tried them all.
With more consecutive days paddling warming up to the event we were feeling good about the lines.PA010651P9290570
As the event drew near other paddlers descended from all over the world for video nights and ceremony's the atmosphere was buzzing, P9300575
As the competition day arrived everyone knew it would be close, one roll, one rock or one bad line would really mess up your weekend, We headed up for our compulsory practise run bright and early not sure weather this was our best idea putting on thinking of our warm sleeping bags, as we left the top eddy and felt the cool water hitting our faces we knew we were in the game, dropping over a sweet boof into the turbulent water below lining ourselves up for the champions killer a sloping drop with a compulsory late right boof stroke miss the stoke and melt the drop before getting spat out eyes to the sky, as always with practice runs we missed the boof  ending up in the cold glacial water stinging our faces but knowing we have one chance to get it right as we cruise through the rest of the course looking for clean fast lines trying to memorise the scenery. once to the bottom we make the long walk back up to the get in ready for competition runs.P9290571
As the timed runs kick off we see a mix some sweet clean lines and others melting and swimming the champions killer really is a chancer. P9280547
This time as we leave the eddy we know what we have to do adrenaline pumping through us pushing us on Bang we hit the boof looking onwards at the killer no time for thinking just from feeling knowing what we need to do, lining up at the top looking into the pit pulling through off the fast green tongue and driving up with the knees presenting the hull of our boats to the stopper as we use the speed racing towards the slot and onwards down the fast lines, As a group we had mixed fortunes during the day with 2 sets of broken blades a couple of rolls and a bit of rock bashing, PaddyTec forced his way into the next round leaving him in 70th overall with Barry and Neil 84th / 85th next up was Colm in 99th Adrian 107th Dave 112th and Ronnie down in 124th P9290565
With the whole crew out of the event we took to the town in true Irish style to find the biggest drinks we could (3 litres of Austrian Beer) P9300641
We spent the rest of the week paddling and biking through out the valley with loads of great runs with good levels we managed to take Macca for a spin on the Vent, seeing his nervousness turn to smiles and enjoyment after a great run, We managed a cheeky run down the middle Oetz a classic section with lots going on, Dave managed to break his boat on the get in and then Colm went for an early bath seeing the only swim of the week (He drank his bootie juice!) PA020846and Neil found a nice hole to test the Raptors play boating skills.PA010654PA020859
As we waved goodbye to an excellent event and epic party we can reflect on our performance and take positives forward to next year as we will definitely be back.PA020784
We spent the last days of the trip in Munich checking out the Galaxy water park with over 1400m of slides before taking to the Oktoberfest in Munich central for a spectacular night of heritage, culture, beer and dancing. A truly spectacular way to round off a great week away!

Heres the Edits from Colm Healy