Sunday 13th January saw over fifty competitors taking part in the annual Mourne Race. The event attracted kayakers and canoeists from all over N, Ireland and the Republic.
Competing in a variety of craft, each of the competitors lined up in anticipation at Newtownstewart Canoe Steps for the mass start and seven miles of flat water, punctuated with frequent bouncy sections and the dreaded fisheries rapids – finishing at Sion Mills Weir.
Foyle Paddlers, the race organisers were well represented in both entries and finishing places. Some of the younger club members, competing in their first competitive event excelled in the tricky and energy sapping conditions.
In the U16 Female GP, young Megan Gamble, who is still only 11 won her event in a great time of time of 1.32. Her older brother Jamie Gamble was 2nd in the U 16 Male GP in 1.21. Eamon Bradley was the winner of the U 18 Male GP in a time of 1 27. While in the Senior Ladies GP, Lisa Hicks also competing in her first event, finished 3rd in a time of 1.33. Meanwhile, in the Senior Men’s Open Boat (Canadian Canoe), Paul Strawbridge finished 1st in a time of 1.19.
Other Foyle Paddlers members who performed admirably in their first competitive outing, included Dan Bryce 7th in the Senior Male GP 1.23 and Jackie Hicks, 11th in a time of 1.32.
The Three Rivers club from Strabane were represented by Stephen Mc Grath and Niall Doran in the Senior Male GP section, who finished in 6th and 9th position with times of 1.19 and 1.24 respectively in the GP section.
Club chairperson Enda Cummins, would like to congratulate all competitors and thank the safety crew comprising of FPCC and Three Rivers club members who were kept busy at the Fisheries due to the mass start. Foyle Paddlers would really like to thank John Keating, Life Adventures for coming down to the Mourne Race and kindly sponsoring some prizes, as well as show casing their extensive range of Pyranna kayaks. As always, photographs are available on face-book and on the club website http://www.foylepaddlersisfun.net/
FPCC PR Officer