Number 6 of the 8 Paddle 4 Sport events for 2017 took place on Sunday the 29th of October. The event was hosted by the Causeway Coast Kayak Association and took place on the lower reaches of the River Roe. The weather was outstanding with sunshine, light winds and beautiful clear views of the Binevenagh Plateau overlooking the course. Water levels were low due to the limited rain over the previous week but with the incoming tide the river was at a fair level. A total of 36 paddlers took part in the various events including 5 juniors. Paddlers took part from CCKA, MUCK, UUC, FPCC, Dogleap, BKC, BCC, Share and also a small number of independent paddlers.
Noteworthy results include the youngest competitor, Eva Mahood (UUC) winning the U10 2km event and at the other end of the age divide Ray Rowe (Dogleap CC) coming home first in the 10.5km course, with a 2 minute lead on 2nd place, showing age is not necessarily a barrier to leaving others in your wake! Other veterans taking part include Davey Gibson (UCC) who came in equal 2nd overall in non-racer class and John Ruston (Ind) who competed the 10.5km course in a GP ahead of a number of paddlers in sea kayaks. The sea kayak class was lead home by Will Brown (BKC) and Joan Gribben (MUCK), the Open Boats by Gareth Mahood (UCC), the 4km kayak event by veteran paddler Roy McConnell (BCC) and Siobhan Edwards (FPCC), although a late entry by a mixed species double kayak, paddled by Peter McKenna (MUCK) representing humans and ‘A’ representing Canines, clocked the fastest time over the course. The closest finish of the day took place between the open canoe doubles over the 4km course, both boats with an experienced paddler and a novice. The winning margin of 4 seconds gave Elaine and Troy Klewchuck the 1st place medals.
The event also included the CCKA’s Blueway 10k challenge. This year the challenge was completed by eight novice paddlers, the youngest being Sarah McLean, U12 (UCC), who completed the 10.5km course paddling in the bow seat of a tandem open canoe.
The remaining two Paddle 4 Sport events for the year are the Share Slalom, taking place on the Ballyconnell Canal on the 19th of November, and the Foyle Paddlers Mourne River WW race, starting in Newtonstewart and finishing in Sion Mills, taking place on the 3rd of December. Get the dates in the diaries and get out on the water.