After a long season the scores were in with all to play for in the last event of the Irishfreestyle League in 2011. Despite perfect planning, nature threw a spanner in the works with hardly any rain this summer, meaning the ESB were unable to schedule a release from Leixlip to provide sufficient waves at The Sluice in Lucan.
So, with literally hours to come up with a backup plan, the organisers got together and decided to move the event to Stackallen weir on the River Boyne, Co. Meath. This weir provides a small, shallow, yet consistent wave with perfect eddy access and which is ideal for beginners. It proved to be a great decision in the end with water levels perfect for the event.
This year the UK league was linked with the Irish League and we were all treated to fantastic displays from World Champion and soon to be British Champion Claire O’ Hara as well as soon to be British Champions Sam Anderson, Paul King and Kim Aldred. We were also graced by the presence of Jack Mitchell who just came for the Guinness but couldn’t resist a paddle in the end!
The event kicked off with 18 Junior men in heats full of entertainment, with big air loops and space Godzilla’s leading the way. The standards were high with the ever improving junior men followed by the Junior girls with the same age old battle of Niamh against Caoimhe this time with the addition of UK team member Kim Aldred who showed the advantage of constant UK features to take the win.
In the Sport Class Lee Doherty was up against Conor Mathews who showed off some cool licked ends and sweet spins. Conor just edged out Lee for the win. On such great performances, both of these lads will be promoted to the Expert class for 2012.
For the Girls Sport Kate Mc Shearer was left as the lone girl out for a paddle taking the win in style with some wicked waving and sophisticated spins.
The expert women showed the class of World champion Claire O’Hara alongside Muireann and Aisling again proving why she’s the best with some super smooth McNasty’s and air loops.
C1 this year had Orky showing off his Carbon for the first time on the east coast and it made the difference with the light swing weight hitting the air on both loops and McNastys into 1st place followed closely by UK Champ Paul King with his Cool Flurries of Ends into Splits really showing his class.
The expert men saw UK Champ Sam Anderson take the win with his well practiced Felix’s followed in 2nd and 3rd place by Adrian Durrant and Eoin Keyes respectively.
The real competition was yet to start with the Masters grudge match Bernard Walsh and Garvan Smith tied for first in the league. They took to the water in a fun affair of paddle spins air guitars and other crowd pleasers, with plenty of kisses blown for the judges too. As Walshy surfed in for yet another ender he plugged, tucked and pulled through his first loop in competition. The crowds went wild! Its not every day you see 53 year old land a loop! This sent Garvan onto the back foot fighting back with cartwheels both ways and even a cheeky split to seal the deal. As the Scores were counted the crowds waited with Mairead 3rd, Richie Reade 2nd and a JOINT first for Garvan and Bernard.Event Results League Results
A huge thank you goes out to all of the sponsors for the day,
Wavesport Ireland have been a constant support of Irish Freestyle based on the banks of the Liffey the whole event really couldn’t of happened without them,
You will all be glad to know Wavesport have already signed up as Title Sponsors again for 2012 with new ways to make the event bigger and better a huge thanks to Shane Cronin the man behind the scenes of Wavesport Ireland.
Outdoor Community provided you all with hot soup and sambos from their riverside marquee as well as media and photography
Canoeing Ireland for all their support from the office staff through access, insurances, and trying to book water.
South Dublin and Fingal Co Councils for their support with using the St Catherine’s park access and safety management.
H20 Audio For there great prizes for the sports Category winners
Keen Europe for there wicked prizes for the Masters Category
I-Canoe for their support and demo boats as well as competition prizes for the event
Arc Cafe Bar for Party Venue
Paddle4play for event organisation