The Newry and Mourne Slalom event held on Sunday 8th of February was the first of the Paddle 4 Sport league events for the year, the January race having been postponed due to dangerous weather conditions. In addition to its place within the Paddle 4 Sport calendar the event was also the 3rd official slalom ranking event on the Irish Slalom Calendar for 2015.
The event took place at Shaw’s Bridge and was well attended with paddlers attending from 14 clubs, coming from both ROI and NI. A total of 87 paddlers took part; 52 of these were juniors aged U10 to U18 and 35 seniors ranging in age from Open through to Veteran. In keeping with the mission of the League the Newry and Mourne club provided the opportunity for a wide range of boat classes as well as accommodating the broad age range. Competitors were entered in Div 1, 2 or 3 depending on their level of race competence, with a number of competitors racing in multiple classes.
The day was a busy one with the organisers having to maintain a steady flow of paddlers on the course to ensure that all had the opportunity to make their two timed runs. The location is an excellent one allowing for a good vantage for spectators and for passers by alike. The paddlers served up some entertaining viewing with both some excellent high speed runs and a smattering of entertaining swims. A great credit to the starter, judges and time keeps that they were able to maintain a well ordered and continual flow of competitors throughout the day.
Congratulations to all of those who competed and also to the members of the Newry and Mourne club, led by Peter Spence, and also to Dave and Ciaran Farrell, for their hard work in putting on the event.
Keep those boats on the water – The MUCK flat water race on the 15th of March is not far off!