Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Crana BoaterX

I went up to the Crana Boatercross at the weekend, unfortunately I missed day one due to having to be at home but I made it up for the Boatercross.

Having done very well in it last year I was very disappointed to get knocked out in round 2! I am still incredibly weak from being sick after the liffey descent. No speed and power and paddling a Kayak is hard work! I've paddled nothing but C1 since march apart from 2 playboat sessions so it was mad hard trying to drive a creekboat.

Also found a load of sluice rodeo photos courtesy of Niamh Cleary!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Sluice rodeo

Thus ends my last freestyle competition in Ireland for a considerable time. It will be at least a year before I am in the country for another one.
The sluice rodeo is quite a fun event, run very differently to normal competitions, it has an open heat of 4-6 paddlers and 15 minutes in which to attempt your moves rather than 2X45 second runs. This sees a lot of bigger moves thrown as paddlers are not afraid to go big and risk flushing. It is also a lot more friendly and much more fun to compete in. However it is an absolute nightmare to judge!

In the comp itself I didn't do particularly well, only managing roundhouses, the odd loop and dodgy cartwheels! I wasn't expecting to place much higher than I did though as in a flushy feature like the sluice it is very hard to initiate or land moves when you can't backpaddle!

In between heats we had the Old Skool rodeo and the boatercross events which are always fun to watch. I decided not to compete in either but had good fun watching them, then onto the party in the rough stuff factory. This was great craic and I would very happily go to a party there again!

Now I only have one more competition to go before I leave, the Crana weekend. Hopefully I will get some surfing in beforehand but we will see how we get on.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Another update

Finally found another image of me on the liffey! This is post boat breaking so I am very full of water and extremely tired. Finished repairing the boat yesterday so while ugly it is stiffer than it was when i got it!
There has not been much paddling done since the Liffey. I competed in the Cork rodeo a few weeks ago, managing to win the C1 heat, I also competed in K1 for the 1st time in well over 2 years and managed to win my heat!
Apart from that the only paddling I have managed is a couple of indifferent squirt sessions. Oh well, surf competition, sluice rodeo and the crana boatercross to look forward to before i go to australia! Cant wait.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Liffey Descent 2010

Last weekend was the 51st Liffey Descent. This is the first year I have ever been in the country for it so decided to head down for the laugh. I managed to get my hands on a C1 WWR, which I decided to take down. I love paddling this boat and it's great fun but I regretted it a little on some of the flatwater sections. While it is really fast on moving water I struggle to make it go on the flat.

The liffey race itself proved pretty eventful, I started well back from the pack as I am still not entirely happy in the boat and had no intention of going in on the start line. I then had a decent enough race making reasonable time ( I could see the proper C1 paddlers still), until someone capsized me in the jungle trying to overtake me. This was an absolute disaster! The jungle has no way to get back into the boat and I had also managed to get wrapped around a tree stopping me rolling. It took me around 15 minutes to get back into the boat and racing again. The race again proved uneventful up until lucan wier where I managed to break the boat very badly. I was unable even with an entire roll of duck tape to stop the leak and ended up paddling with a half full boat of water for the rest of the race which was an interesting experience. This slowed my time down even more. Very annoying as I hit every other weir on the race apart from wrens really well and to then break the boat on one of only 2 I screwed up wasn't particularly nice. I also managed to swim on Wrens nest after taking a real silly line.

This left me finishing the race in a very slow 3:19 however can't wait to patch the boat up and get back on the water! I love paddling it and at least now know what to expect.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Toome session

With a complete lack of water everywhere I decided to make the trek to toome. This is a low water feature that works when nothing else does, in other words it's perfect. The feature itself is shallow, resulting in more than the odd scratched boat and broken paddle!

On Wednesday I headed up on the bus, I've never seen the feature so busy with 11 other people in the eddy. It had been months since I had been there but was still throwing roundhouses, very occasional blunts and cartwheels. The feature is very hard to intiate and stick in a C1 as it is so fast and it is very hard to get enough speed to stay surfing.

On Thursday I headed up again with Vix from LCP. This was a real fun and productive session for me, still no real spectacular moves but I am starting to get the hand of initating moves here, just not landing them yet!

Monday, 30 August 2010

C1 training

Due to absolutely no whitewater and no surf I have resorted to flatwater paddling. With the liffey descent looming I borrowed a C1 WWR from the wild water racing committee.
It's the first time I had paddled one so it has proved very interesting so far. It is quite a difficult boat to paddle, the combination of offside lean and J-stroking has proved difficult to get used to!
However I am starting to get the hang of it, I will still be terrible at it by the time the descent comes round but at least ill be able to get down the river.
I have been paddling on the broadlough in wicklow which is a tidal estuary of sorts. In the last few days you couldn't move for fish! Hundreds of mullet coming up the river and then trout once you got into the freshwater part of the lough. Wierd feeling having fish bumping off your boat.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Paddling road trip

Eddie, Colin and myself headed off last Friday for a road trip. The aim was to head to Clifden and surf till the Sunday when Clifden hole started working. On the way we decided to stop and have a look at Ballisadare falls. This is a 7metre drop but at this time of year it isn't a brilliant plan to run it as the salmon fishermen at the bottom (paying 100euro a day to fish there) get a bit annoyed if you drop in on the pool.

We decided to head to Easkey instead as there was no real rush to head all the way to Clifden. This turned out to be a very good move with 3ft surf in Easkey. This has to be one of my favourite breaks to surf in Ireland and I was very glad to get a session in here again.
Having finished with Easkey we headed onto Clifden on the Saturday, arriving just as the feature started working. I always find Clifden a big challenge as it is difficult to get into even more so when you have only 1 paddle blade and youre unstable! However I did manage to get some stuff done in it.
A lot of the local Galway paddlers turned up along with a few dubs and then us. There was quite a lot of Current and Ex team paddlers so was nice to see so much talent on the water and pulling big moves. We spent a very wet night camping on the beach with Tom and Paul. Great craic was had all round though, without the van we would have been pretty much screwed. Tom and Paul's tent had blown away during the day so the other 3 of us decided not to bother and sleep in the van.

The next morning we went back to Clifden again for another session before heading home via Easkey again. I unfortunately had to go back to Dublin after this so was forced to go by bus from Sligo across rather than going back to Belfast with the lads.
Really can't wait to get another road trip done though, hopefully I will manage to get another one done in the next few weeks.