After 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.
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!
The event kicked off with 18 Junior men in heats full of entertainment big air loops and space Godzilla's leading the way. The 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 Keyes
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! this sent Garvan onto the back foot fighting back with cartwheels both ways and even a cheeky split to seal the deal. As the Scores were counted the crowds waited with Mairead 3rd, Richie Reade 2nd 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 Community.ie
Heres A quick Edit from Conor Macken from the day,
Labels: canoe, h20 audio, I-Canoe, jackson, kayak, nrs, olympus, paddle4play, playak, rock star, Sluice