This was our second race of the year and we have started to nail down the organisation of it all. Due to lovely weather and low water we didn’t have as many participants as in February, but almost 40 competitors turned out along with over 20 volunteers from local clubs to help run the event and provide safety cover. There were some returners trying to beat their time and some new faces also. A big thank you to all involved. There was a relaxed atmosphere, with our slalom paddling partners from Dublin even finding time to light the BBQ at lunchtime. Here is what some of the Junior Development Squad had to say about the day.
I was invited to join the Slalom development squad after the last race in February, since then I have been getting coached by Matt and Andrew and my skills have improved greatly. I get great feedback from the coaches and I tried to use this in my race on Sunday. I came second in the race today and this was a huge improvement since my last race.
I also got the opportunity to race a C2 boat along with my friend. It was our first time in the boat and it was great fun. We both got gold medals!!
Overall this was an enjoyable day and I would like to thank the squad for organising this event and everyone else who helped out.
We arrived early to help set up and I helped by picking up the dog poo! (Editor – “Oh dear, the things that are involved in organising a race!”). My friend and I watched the older ones to learn how to run the course. Finally my group was called and I was first. I tried my best and my time was good – I was really pleased with myself. We had lunch and then got a second run. I got a better time than my first race. I came 2nd and got a silver medal which I was really happy with.
I would like to thank Matt & Andrew for helping me realise what I can do. A big thank you to Liz & the safety crew and everyone who helped. Thanks to mum & dad for taking me. Thanks for a great day. 🙂
Sofia says: Sunday was great fun! I loved entering the competition and was really pleased that I got a medal. Next time I would like to have a go in a slalom boat and try a double with Zoe. I like the way I know so many people and can’t wait until the next competition in September.
Emil Says: Even though I capsized I still managed to have a lot of fun! Maybe in September I might try a slalom boat and see if that will make a difference. It was a great day, and because it was so hot we were able to really enjoy being wet and warm just for a change.
Dad and I went early to help with preparations. When we arrived it was the beginning of another beautiful day, a great start! The course was set by Matt, avoiding all the rocks sticking out from the VERY low water. Even a selection of homemade tray bakes were on offer.
After much anticipation the races began. First the seniors, which proved to be an entertaining race, followed by the Juniors. After lunch came the rest of the races, which included C2 and Team Runs. There were screams from the girls in C2 down the complete run and Ali still claims he did not scream at all during his run! (Yea, right!) I must say my Team Run was faster than my solo and by the end of Kevin’s and my run, “Big Red” was full to the brim with water. The award ceremony followed in the now scorching sun. The Twins of course did better than one another!
All in all a great day and everyone did really well and hopefully got a tan too!
Race Day, a chance to put all our coaching days to the test and as usual we were closely following everyone’s timings, but not quite as closely as we were each others, a second apart – we’re just a bit competitive- a twin thing “we” guess but all in good spirits!
What we hadn’t banked on was a chance to have a go in a C2- what a laugh! We had prepped the safety crew as we were sure we would swim, but thankfully we managed to get to the end dry, providing a bit of entertainment along the way to those watching with our friendly disagreements getting round the gates. A great day, with all the squad doing well. Looking forward to the next one!
Sean & Conleth McLarnon
We hope to continue the success of these races, making full use of the course and giving everyone a chance to try out slalom. There will be another race in October so watch out for details. It’s great fun, will improve your skills and adds interest to running the ‘usual drops’ at Shaw’s. See you there soon!