At the end of June we sent a 7 strong senior team away to the European Freestyle Championships in Lienz, Austria l. A location we had previously visited for the same event in 2010.
The team consisted of
Ronan o Brennan
John O Rourke
The team travelled out a few days early to make full use of the feature. Unfortunately the changing levels meant the feature was low, shallow in places and had a nasty pit on river left which was best to avoid.
The free practices stopped and the official slots started with a higher more suitable competition level. The feature was a river wide hole on the river Drau which was suitable for all kinds of links and combinations.
The team worked hard in training putting together good ride plans for the competition.
An unfortunate swim and slip on a rock had left Muireann with a gashed ankle and 6 stitches which was never going to help her squeeze into a small playboat none the less ladies were up first putting practice into competition leaving Muireann in 21st and Aisling in 15th. Next up was C1 with Orky putting down solid rides to place him in 7th place and into the Semi finals, last event of the day was men's squirt with Adrian in action putting together solid rides to place 7th and into the semi finals
The following day saw the Senior men's chance to hit the hole with ride plans and tactics out of the window in favour of big scoring moves and bonuses, the men paddled well in a tough competition finishing
Tom Dunphy 26th
Adrian Durrant 34th
Ronnie Brennan 35th
Colm Healy 40th
With a top senior field the cut was to 20 so all missed out.
The C1 semi final was up next with Orkys rides not going to plan leaving him down in 10th place.
Last up again was the squirt men with Adrian in the semi final, some good rides left him in 7th place overall.
The sun was out and spirits still high leading up to finals day with the pride and glory still to play for with the Teva Cardboard boat race where competitors build a boat out of card and tape to successfully navigate the hole!
Team Irelands appearance in this event two years previous was an entertaining one attempting to surf the hole on a giant cardboard ..........
This year we went for a more standard design of a Viking ship but decided to go for size over manoeuvrability and built by far the largest boat in the field.
Overall the trip to Lienz was a successful one with some solid performances with the best European paddlers and some great results.
Coming up for Irish freestyle we have a Clifden Beach party competition and another famous Sluice Rodeo.
With the Liffey in a state of flood brings both Sluice and Palmerstown into play as exciting freestyle spots whether its learning to spin and front surf or attempting dynamic moves with big air the Liffey has something for everyone so get out, enjoy, and stay safe!
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