Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: canoe

Irish Canoe Slalom's resurgence continues with two canoeists racing in the weekend final of the World Cup in Prague.

Liam Jegou and Jake Cochrane both qualified through to Sunday's top 10 final of the first World Cup race of the season. Finishing in 8th for Liam and 10th for Jake was a statement to their form for both the rest of the season, and for next year's Olympic qualification event.

The 5 race Canoe Slalom World Cup series got off to an incredible start for the Irish Team at the first race in Prague. The seven-strong team were fresh from the European Championships and ready to sink their teeth into the 2022 season. The C1 Men’s team were the outstanding example of this, getting two athletes into Sunday's final, a moment in history for Canoe Slalom in Ireland. For Jake Cochrane, it was his first appearance in the final of a World Cup, coming after a very tense wait in the semi-final. Going off early in the semi’s Jake put down a very composed run on a course that saw many of the World’s best stumble, this run stood up to the test as more paddlers suffered penalties and slotted in behind Cochrane. Liam Jegou similarly kept his cool to put down a solid run on the difficult course, sealing his place in the final with a 4th place in the heats.

Liam JegouLiam Jegou

The final itself was a much more challenging affair, with the 10 athletes having taken a lot of learnings from the semi-final and began taking on the course with a new level of speed. Neither Liam nor Jake could improve on their outstanding performances from the semi-final, finishing in 8th and 10th respectively in the final. While the final itself did not go the way of our two athletes, the moment in history of having two C1 athletes in a World Cup final is still something to be extremely excited about, both for the rest of the season and on the run in to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The third boat of the C1 Men’s team, Robert Hendrick, had a similarly good race, finishing in 18th place in the semi-final after a strong showing in the heats. In the C1 Women Michaela Corcoran also qualified through to her second-ever World Cup semi-final where she finished in 27th place. The K1’s had some more mixed results, with Alistair McCreery getting out of the blocks well to qualify through to the semi-final in 30th. With Noel Hendrick showing some great pace, with penalties, unfortunately, keeping him out of the semi-final. In the K1 Women’s, Madison Corcoran finished in 43rd.

The team now moves on to the next World Cup race in Krakow, Poland, where our athletes have had some extremely strong results in the past. 

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

€173,474 has been granted to the Irish Canoe Unionin the latest Sports Capital and Equipment Programme Capital Allocations for upgrades to its national training centre on the River Liffey at Strawberry Beds, Lucan in County Dublin.

Canoeing Ireland's Training Centre is a purpose-built centre which offers a range of paddling courses catering for the complete beginner and also for those who wish to progress their skills to intermediate and advanced levels. It offers a range of skills courses and paddling opportunities for both young people and adults.

Sailing and rowing also benefitted in the latest funding awards as Afloat reported previously.

Minister Martin announced an overall package of €150 million in new capital grants under the latest round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) on Friday, February 11th.

€144 million is allocated to almost 1,900 applications with €6 million kept in reserve for successful appeals lodged by unsuccessful applicants.

More here

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

Liam Jegou has qualified through to the semi-final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the C1 Men category.

This morning's heats provided some serious challenges for the field with Liam proving no exception to this.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Irish star incurred a 50-second penalty on his first run, leaving him at the bottom of the results with everything to do in the second run.

Liam put down a solid and composed run of 104.4 seconds including a 2-second penalty to see him safely through to tomorrow's semi-final.

With athletes having only one run in the semi-final it is wide open, with the medals being decided later tomorrow in the final.

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

Ireland canoeist Liam Jegou has had mixed results this season, but he flies to Tokyo on Monday buoyed by a good showing at the recent World Cup in Leipzig.

Sixth place in Germany sets him up nicely for the Olympic Games – particularly since the competition for the C1 paddler in Tokyo is set to be less testing than he is used to in World Cups and the World Championships.

“I feel pretty good. I had a few complicated races at the beginning of the season because I was training through them in order to peak for the Games this summer,” he says.

“So, the fact that last week in Leipzig I managed to put down a really good performance in the finals really boosted my confidence.

“It came at the right time, when I needed it. I’m feeling pretty confident in the way I’m paddling. I’m ready to show what I’ve got in Tokyo.”

Only 17 will compete in the C1 (Canadian canoe) in Tokyo, a very different scenario to the big numbers in World Championships and World Cups – 41 started at the World Cup in Markkleeberg, near Leipzig, with multiple entries from big powers like France and Slovakia. And some of the top men will not be going to Tokyo. The reigning Olympic champion, Denis Gargaud Chanut of France, won in Leipzig but did not make it through France trials.

“The Olympics is quite special in that regard in canoe slalom, because we only have the best of each nation there representing their country. At the World Championships you have three Slovaks, three French, three British. [The Olympic rules] narrow down the field [but] the guys that are there are the best in their nations.

"I’m feeling pretty confident in the way I’m paddling. I’m ready to show what I’ve got in Tokyo"

“So the Olympic champion is not going to the Olympics, but he was beaten by someone else [Martin Thomas] and that someone else is a very good paddler and he will be up there for a spot on the podium. The same with the Slovaks and all the [other] bigger nations.

“There are less people, but all the people that are there won very difficult selection [races] to qualify for the Games.”

One of the big challenges for most competitors will be heat in Tokyo in high summer. Jegou feels he is well prepared.

“It will be quite difficult. I have raced in the heat before; I raced in Rio, which was very warm. I was very lucky to be able to go to a training camp in February of this year on Réunion island. The temperature and the humidity was similar to what we are expecting in Tokyo.

Liam JegouLiam Jegou - a really good performance in the finals in Leipzig has really boosted his confidence

“I’m not too worried about it. I think we are very lucky [as competitors] in canoe slalom, [the heat] doesn’t affect us as much as some of the other athletes that aren’t in water.

“The measures we are taking are to stay out of the sun as much as we can, stay hydrated, [use] cooling vests and ice packs in the evening. I’m not too stressed about the heat.”

Jegou, who is 25, grew up in Clare, with a French father and Irish mother who moved back to France when he was a child of seven. However, he retained his sense of being Irish – and his accent. He is now based in Pau in France where he is coached by Nico Peschier. The arrangement owes a lot to another Irishman based abroad.

Mike Corcoran, who has lived in the United States for many years, was the last Irishman to race in the Olympics in the C1: he finished 12th in Barcelona in 1992 and 10th in Atlanta in 1996.

He sponsors Jegou, and stays in contact.

“Without him it would be much more difficult to qualify for the Games and to have gotten the results I have gotten,” Jegou explains.

“I know him well. I’m on the phone to him regularly. It’s great to have Mike on board with the team and to hear of his experience of the Games. It’s been brilliant and it’s a huge opportunity for me.”

“Mike talks a lot about enjoying the race, just doing your best and not focusing on the others. That really works for me – not worrying about who’s doing what, just making sure I’m doing my best run.”

Corcoran advises him not to take it too seriously.

“Be serious in training, but when you’re racing you’re there for the fun. Even though it takes a huge amount of time – and, I wouldn’t say, sacrifice – a huge investment, not to forget that when you’re racing you’re doing it because you love it and because it’s fun.”

As a lot of Irish fans may find in the next few weeks, slalom canoeing is a good watch. One of the selling points is that tiny margins – a touch on a gate (they hang down over the course), or a misjudgment of the flow of the charging water can be the difference between a medal or nothing at all.

"Jegou welcomes the help of a sports psychologist"

Being psychologically strong – willing to embrace risk knowing it may end in failure – is crucial to success, and Jegou welcomes the help of a sports psychologist.

“It’s a huge part of the sport. You can be as [good] physically, technically, as you want [but] if on the day you’re stressed out, you’re too tense and you push too far on your knee or you are too close to a gate it is over.

“So, it’s a huge aspect, a huge part of the sport. And any mistake in canoe slalom is very expensive. So, it’s a huge part of my training.”

He is very thankful for the backing of Canoeing Ireland, Sport Ireland the Olympic Federation and his frame of mind going to Tokyo is good.

The lift of making the final in Leipzig was even greater because he finished just under two seconds short of a bronze medal – he had three touches on gates, each cost two seconds. Two touches and he would have been on the podium.

This was all the sweeter as his most dispiriting result had come in the previous event – he missed out on even making the semi-final at the World Cup in Prague.

“So in Markkleeberg, having spent a pretty bad week after the World Cup in Prague, with a lot of self doubt, I was really proud to turn it around and put down three really good runs: to qualify for the semis, and then in the semis a solid run to qualify for the finals, and then in the finals I paddled the way I wanted to paddle. I took a lot of risks, I cut some lines, picked up a few unfortunate touches and [was] a touch away from a medal.

“So, a really big confidence boost for myself. I proved to myself that I have what it took and I can do it.

“It came at the right time!”

On Monday he departs for Tokyo. Three more good runs and the podium could be in his sights.

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

The Irish Canoe Sprint Team got back on the start-line for the opening race of the 2021 World Cup in Szeged, Hungary.

The event also played host to the return to competition for Paracanoe, and to the European Sprint Qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Competing for Ireland were Jenny Egan (200m & 5000m), Ronan Foley (1000m & 5000m), and Patrick O’Leary (Paracanoe 200m VL3 & KL3).

The event opened with the Olympic Qualification racing, with the only Irish athlete contesting the spots on offer being Jenny Egan in the K1 Women 200m. Racing was very tight with the Olympics on the line, but Jenny displayed some very strong racing to progress through the rounds to make the final of the 200m where the top 2 nations would obtain an Olympic quota spot. After a great start putting her right in contention for the spot, Jenny slipped down the order to finish 8th in the final, with Olympic spots begin claimed by Great Britain and Italy.

In the World Cup which followed immediately on from the Olympic Qualification event Ireland saw some more finals appearances with some fantastic racing, and received a few upsets. Patrick O’Leary, Ireland’s Tokyo bound Paralympian, got his year off to a great start, qualifying through to the 200m final in both the KL3 and the VL3. With both being events Patrick will be contesting in Tokyo this summer, they were great markers to his form for the 2021 season. The VL3 saw his best performance, with a strong finish seeing Patrick come home in 6th. With the KL3 having a no less impressive performance to finish in 9th in the final.

In the longer 1000m and 5000m events Ireland had promising performances from Ronan Foley, mixing it with the best in the world at still a young age. Ronan finished the event in 22nd for the 1000m and 17th in the 5000m, and will look forward to taking this experience to the U23 competitions later this year. Jenny Egan who was also competing in the 5000m suffered a setback during the race, and ended up not completing the event.

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

The Irish canoeing C1 men's team today took a silver medal in the team race, behind the Slovenian team, the newly crowned European Champions.

The three-man team of Liam Jegou, Jake Cochrane and Robert Hendrick put together a very solid run to take Ireland's first team medal in a long time, doing so on what was a very difficult course. Having been the second team off in the race the three Irish athletes had a nervous wait, watching teams including World, European and Olympic Champions fall victim to the difficulty of the course in Prague, and only being beaten to the gold by a strong Slovenian team featuring the newly crowned individual European Champion, Benjamin Savsek.

The three-man team of Liam Jegou, Jake Cochrane and Robert Hendrick put together a very solid run to take Irelands first team medal in a long time, doing so on what was a very difficult courseThe three-man team of Liam Jegou, Jake Cochrane and Robert Hendrick put together a very solid run to take Irelands first team medal in a long time, doing so on what was a very difficult course

This result came off the back of further strong performances from Jake Cochrane and Liam Jegou, Ireland's Olympian for the 2021 Tokyo Games, who finished 12th and 15th respectively in the individual C1M race earlier in the day. The third boat in the team Robert Hendrick had a disappointing race but was no doubt buoyed up by the team's medal success.

Elsewhere in the competition, the Irish K1M had great performances, with Noel Hendrick finishing 21st in the semi-final, and Eoin Teague finishing in 36.th

This silver medal performance comes during what is a resurgence in the sport of canoe slalom in Ireland, with medals again being won and athletes qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games after a brief drought.

Published in Canoeing
Tagged under

A lone kayaker who died on Sligo’s Lough Gill last year may have become separated from his Canadian canoe in bad weather, an investigation has found.

A Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into the incident on January 29th, 2019, has found that wellington boots worn by the kayaker would have weighed him down on immersion.

The incident is believed to have occurred sometime between 18.27 hours on January 26th and the next evening, January 27th, before darkness fell.

The man had set out from a pier in Trawane Bay opposite Inishfree on the southwestern corner of Lough Gill and planned to camp overnight near Slish woods.

His body was found by Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter about 0.75 km from his campsite on the morning of January 29th, after the alarm was raised by his partner.

His canoe was found later on the shore by his partner approximately 0.4 km east of the campsite which he had established.

Weather conditions were not suitable for a small craft, and the personal flotation device (PFD) worn was designed to aid a person to stay afloat and swim to safety.

“The PFD would not keep him afloat as an inflatable life jacket would have done,” the report states.

The report says the canoe and the casualty “were found in two different locations indicating that the casualty entered the water and became separated from the canoe due to some incident”.

“There were no grab lines attached to the canoe to assist recovery,” it says.

The kayaker had a mobile phone but did not carry any other means of signalling for help, such as flares or a marine VHF handheld transceiver, the report states.

The report notes the man’s partner advised that he had bought the canoe within the past 12 months, and was inexperienced in using this type of craft or any craft on the water.

“He was, however, a competent swimmer having gained several certificates for achievements in swimming,” the report states.

An autopsy recorded cause of death as freshwater drowning.

The MCIB report recommends that a marine notice should be issued, highlighting the requirements set out in Chapter 7 of the Code of Practice for Recreational Craft for canoeing/kayaking.

It says particular attention should be paid to the code’s section 7.1 on training, 7.2 on carrying a mobile phone or marine VHF radio in a suitable watertight cover, and that the hull is fitted with grab loops/towing lines, and that the person is a competent swimmer.

It also recommends that canoeists/kayakers should “ensure that they wear clothing and footwear that will not affect their chance of survival in the water”.

Published in MCIB
Tagged under

Canoe Slalom racer Liam Jegou has become the first Team Ireland athlete to be selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer. Originally from Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, the France-based Jegou has already stamped his mark on the international stage, winning silver in the 2014 Junior World Championships and bronze in the 2019 U23 World Championships. The 24-year-old will compete in the C1 category at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre in Tokyo from the 26-27 July 2020.

 Jegou is the second Irish athlete ever to compete in the C1 Canoe Slalom at the Olympic Games, with the only other athlete being Mike Corcoran, who last competed in Atlanta 1996, the year in which Jegou was born.

 Jegou said he was intent on seizing his opportunity in Tokyo. “Being an Olympian has always been one of my biggest dreams. I started training when I was 11 or 12, the past month has been unbelievable knowing that I am going to compete for Team Ireland in the Olympics.

 “In my sport the Olympics is everything, it’s what everyone works for in their sport. It’s such a select thing; there’s only one athlete per nation that gets to go and when you to go you just want to give it your all. Most people only get to go to the Games once or twice in their lives, and I’m certainly not going to let the opportunity pass me.”

 Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said: “It’s very exciting, this is our first athlete to be approved as part of Team Ireland for the 2020 Olympics – it’s great for the sport and great for Liam.

 “There is a tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to support sports and our athletes to qualify and perform at the Games. It’s a real team effort with our National Federations, the Sport Ireland Institute and a range of other support groups working together with the athletes as our priority. Liam has his own story and we are so pleased to be supporting the next chapter in his journey as he prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

 Canoeing Ireland Performance Director Jon Mackey described the significance of this for his sport: It’s big for any sport to qualify for an Olympic Games. For canoeing, it’s great for the exposure of the sport, we are relatively small, and it’s great to tap into the proud tradition of Irish canoeing at the Olympic Games.”

 Jegou was nominated for the 2020 slot after finishing on top in the three-race selection criteria, which included the World Championships in Spain, the event in which Ireland qualified the coveted Olympic berth courtesy of Robert Hendrick.

 The difference between C1 and K1 in Canoeing is that the C1 category involves the athletes using a single-bladed paddle to propel the boat forward while kneeling in the canoe. The K1 athlete is seated and uses a double bladed paddle. C1 Canoe Slalom has been on the Olympic programme since 1992 as a men’s event, and 2020 is the first year that a C1 women’s event is included, in the IOC move towards a gender-balanced games. 

 Ireland has a rich history in K1 Canoe Slalom, with Ian Wiley and Eoin Rheinisch competing in the event for three Olympic Games each between 1992 and 2012. Eadaoin Ní Challarain was the first Irish female canoe slalom racer, competing in the K1 in 2000 and 2004, and in London 2012 Hannah Craig raced in this event also.

 This is the first official Team Ireland Tokyo team announcement. Many sports have ongoing selections and competitions with team announcements expected to come more frequently as we approach the summer, with the final announcement scheduled for the beginning of July. 

Published in Canoeing

The Canoeing Ireland Awards Gala on Saturday night, which marked achievements in the sport in 2019, had plenty to celebrate. Liam Jegou, who will represent Ireland in canoe slalom at the Tokyo Olympics and Robert Hendrick, who qualified the boat, were both honoured.

 Paralympian Patrick O’Leary, who also qualfied for Tokyo, was presented with his award by Miriam Malone, the chief executive of Paralympics Ireland. Malone and Karen Coventry of Special Olympics Ireland were keynote speakers at the event in the Spa Hotel.

 The roll of honour on the night was long: Jenny Egan was chosen as best senior female paddler of the year in both canoe marathon and canoe sprint; Peter Egan was the chosen senior male in marathon canoeing. The senior Freestyle winners were Aoife Hanrahan and David McClure; Aisling Griffin and Michael Barry took the honours in the Paddle Surf category; Ciara Gurhy and Oisin McKay took the Canoe Polo honours. In the Wild Water category Odhran McNally (kayak) and Darragh Clarke (canoe) were honoured.

 Oisin Feery, who starred for Ireland at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, won the Special Achievement award; the Event of the Year was Meelick Riverfest; the Team of the Year, the Ireland under-21 women’s Canoe Polo team. The Community Impact prize went to McMahon Cup.

 The Volunteer of the Year award went to a man behind many of the medals won by Ireland in Canoe Marathon and Canoe Sprint, the indefatigable Tom Egan.   

Published in Canoeing

“Stop for a quick apple and orange drink. Paddle on in flat water. Stop for cake and try throwing a lifebelt onto a beach...”

“ Arrive Courtown at about 11.15 to champagne and a congratulations cake reception! A lifetime trip was over....”

Timmy Flavin’s understated diary entry on June 16th, 1991 was recorded after a 942-mile paddle around the coast of Ireland with his fellow kayaker Donal Dowd.

Enduring stinging armpits, swelling fists, cracked lips, missing Raybans, endless storms and unplanned capsizes, the pair set out from Courtown pier, Co Wexford on May 11th, 1991.

After paddling through phosphorescent waters to the Saltee islands, they spent their first night with an orphaned chick in a nestbox provided by the Irish Wildbird Conservancy – as Birdwatch Ireland was then.

The pair paddled an average of just over 31 miles a day until they reached Courtown again four weeks later. The log kept by Flavin - in his best broad Cork accent- has now been published as an illustrated book by his wife Bríd Farrell as a tribute to her late husband’s epic adventure.

Flavin records both indispensable details for the kayaker contemplating a similar circumnavigation, and memories of people that he and Dowd met along the route. As Dowd says, “the ever-changing sea provided us with both tranquillity and white-knuckle fear..”

There are the peaks and troughs of an Atlantic swell, and there is also much humour. Leaving Ballywalter for Annalong, Co Down, on the final leg down the Irish Sea, Flavin reached for his Raybans, couldn’t find them, “and nearly collapsed with shock...” Somehow he survived squinting in the bright sunlight. By the time they pair reach Howth, north Dublin, their fragile hands could grip a paddle but could barely hold a litre of milk or orange juice.

The log includes an equipment list with useful comments on what was and wasn’t required. A silk scarf was “invaluable and essential, while a helmet “ was never used, not carried from Malin onwards”.

“Loose leaves” from a diary were “posted home regularly”, Flavin wrote, and “postage-paid cards were used”, but there was no reading material packed – “no book, no space”. There is also advice on food in the “menu” section, where the nightcap was “white coffee, sugar, Ovaltine, biscuits..”

Timmy Flavin died four years ago of cancer, and the book includes moving tributes to him penned by Donal Dowd, Tony Noctor and by Michael O’Sullivan, a colleague in the ESB where Flavin worked.

“A gentle quiver of a breeze must have passed over the MagGillycuddy’s Reeks and across the Atlantic waters to the Sceiligs, Blaskets, Bull Rock and down the channel of the Blackwater on the 28th May 2015, when Timmy Flavin took his last breath on earth,” O’Sullivan writes, charting the career of a “giant of a man”, proficient at both kayaking and orienteering and a volunteer instructor at Cappanalea outdoor pursuits centre in Co Kerry.

It was at Cappanalea that his future wife, Bríd, met him. All profits from her late husband’s log are being shared between the Kerry University Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit, and the RNLI Valentia lifeboat station, in Co Kerry.

At the Water’s Edge: Two Boats – Around Ireland by Kayak by Timmy Flavin is priced €15 and copies are available directly from Bríd Farrell at email address: [email protected]

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under
Page 1 of 6

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating