Shaw’s Bridge Slalom Race 9th May 2010

Sunday 9th May 2010 marked the first slalom race of the year organised by CSNI. This was also the first time that CSNI had organised a CANI league event.

All hands were mustered to try and make this the biggest and best event so far. The aim was not only to provide a good competition for slalom paddlers but also to increase participation among novices and juniors and to encourage everyone to have a go at the discipline.

We also wanted to ensure that everyone had a fun day and that no-one felt intimidated by entering a competition. To this end we had 15 categories in total and lots of people of all ages winning medals for their clubs.

Having finally set a date we convinced the Roads Service that the competition was worthy of setting aside a section of the car park at Shaw’s Bridge, especially after the congestion at previous events.

With over fifty competitors, as well as families, supporters and spectators, the reserved car park was soon filled with overspill into the adjacent car park.

Water levels were a bit low for the hard nuts in CSNI, however it provided the ideal environment for those having a go for the first time.

Eleven clubs from as far away as Dublin were represented, and no doubt efforts by CANI to increase participation and encourage co-operation between clubs, had encouraged many people to support the event.

Medals were widely distributed among the clubs. CSNI bagged the most, of course, with 9. LCP got 3 medals, however, they were narrowly beaten in the medals table by MUCK as the hungry Mid-Ulster men were spurred on from gate 12 by the wafting smell of flame grilled burgers and fried onions from the adjacent BBQ.

Just Kayak also got 4, BCC got 3 and one each went to Piggin Paddlers, Blazing Saddles and  MTA.

Mens junior, Shane Harkin recorded the fastest time of the day with an impressive123, beating veterans Nick Kelly and Colm Ryan who both recorded 128.

Bragging rights have been established and we anticipate some serious training sessions in preparation for the next slalom race, when certain clubs will be intent on revenge!

CSNI would like to thank everyone who supported the race both by participating and helping out on the day, and making it a really enjoyable competition.

We would particularly like to thank TK Surf School (Portrush), Cotswolds Outdoors, Norspace (Toilet Hire) and Lisburn District Scouts for contributing prizes and equipment.

Thanks also to all the people who volunteered to provide safety cover on the water, marshalls, timekeepers and especially the burger flippers.

Ian Morrow (CSNI)
(Full results are on the CANI website)

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