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On a day when low water caused carnage, British pair Nicky Chesser and Tom Lusty were the winners of the K2 class at the 59th Liffey Descent canoe marathon today.

Irish pair Jenny Egan and John Simmons were first in the mixed K2 race while their Salmon leap club mate Barry Watkins took his first win in men's K1.
"I won the K2 a few years ago with Gary Mawer and I wanted to do the double - a win in both K2 and K1 - before I turned 30. My 30th birthday is next April so the pressure was on," said Watkins after his win."

Like all the paddlers in the race, he found the lack of water a challenge, but he decided to race it as a time trial. "I thought it would be won in 2 hours 20 mins and I finished in 2:10 so I'm pleased." He hit a low between Wren's Nest and the Palmerstown weir but recovered. "Someone shouted that I had a five minute lead so I pushed on. "

Finishing second was Tom Brennan who has been going for a fourth consecutive win.

In the mixed K2, Jenny Egan was winning for a second year. Last year, she won with her brother Peter; this year her partner was Jon Simmons, to whom she became engaged earlier this week.
" Because of the lack of water it was a very different race to the usual - we were 30 minutes slower than last year and it was a long, hard slog. We knew were the first mixed boat all along the course and we finished fifth boat over the line which isn't bad".

Race winners Chesser and Lusty were delighted just to finish the race and take a first win.

"We were fourth going into the first weir at Straffan and got our line right and found ourselves in the lead. After that we kept pushing -and no-one caught up with us," the pair said after their win.

Cresser is a Liffey veteran but for Lusty, who is the fastest 1000m man in Britain, it was a first.

"We lost time on the portages, but were strong on the flat water," said Chesser.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Overseas crews took some of the big prizes in the Liffey Descent today. The fastest crew home was the K2 (racing kayak) of Luis Perez and Miguel Llorens, who finished fourth at the recent World Marathon Championships. They covered the 30 kilometres from Straffan to Islandbridge in a fine time of 1 hour and 46 minutes exactly.

Keith Moule and Nicky Cressler of Britain took second place, while Sean Rice from South Africa and Tom Sharpe of Britain were third.

Jenny Egan and Peter Egan won the mixed K2. They had a good run and recorded a creditable time of 1 hour 55 minutes – but it would have been better had they not got stuck in the bank after the lake. “We nearly broke the boat,” said Peter.

Tom Brennan retained his title in the men’s K1. “That’s three in-a-row,” the Celbridge man said. He said he had concentrated on being fast in the second half, while others had put their energy into the first. Ronan Foley was the best by far in the junior K1.

Liffey Descent 2017, Selected Results:

Men – K2: 1 L Perez, M Llorens 1 hour 46 mins, 2 K Moule, N Cresser 1:46.49, 3 S Rice, T Sharpe 1:48.39. Masters: G Mawer, S Van Lonkhuyzen 1:50.57. Veteran K2/T2: D Francis, M Banks 1:53.42.

K1: T Brennan 1:54.43. Jun: R Foley 1:57.11. Masters: D Hudson 1:58.24.

Wildwater, K1: F Cooper 2:15.20. Jun: C Cummins 2:14.13.

Mixed K2/T2: J Egan, P Egan 1:55.04.

Women

K1: J Swarbreck 2:14.14.

.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Fans of the Liffey Descent can now follow it from anywhere in the world. The 30-kilometre canoeing race tomorrow (September 23rd) features live tracking all the way from the start at Straffan (12 o’clock) to Islandbridge, where boats will arrive from about 1.45. Twelve of the top crews have been fitted with GPS units and their progress through the twists and turns of the course will be mapped.

 The service is being provided by Primal Tracking from Portadown. You can find a link on the Liffey Descent Facebook page.

 Competitors in the race take on 10 weirs, and paddlers must scramble out and carry their boat down the bank at Leixlip. Spectators can view the race from the bridges and the banks.

 

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: An international contingent will take on the Liffey Descent this Saturday, September 23rd. A Spanish crew who are determined to beat all comers in the canoe race will contend with a world champion from South Africa in a field of over 500 competitors. The Irish resistance will include a first time pairing in the race of world championship medallist Jenny Egan with her brother Peter – a winner last year.

 Top competitors will be fitted with GPS trackers so the public can follow their progress down the course. 

 The race from Straffan in Kildare to Islandbridge in Dublin is one of the most spectacular events of the Irish sporting calendar. Kayaks and canoes will hurtle down the 30-kilometre stretch. They will find their way over 10 weirs, and paddlers must scramble out and carry their boat down the bank at Leixlip. Spectators can view the speed and the spills from the bridges and the banks. The start is at 12 o’clock. 

 The line-up for the K2, the racing kayak which is set to be the fastest boat of the day, should make for an exciting race.

 Ireland international Barry Watkins teams up with Jon Simmons, who has been coaching developing paddlers in Ireland system. They take on the accomplished Spanish pairing of Luis Amado and Miguel Llorens, who took fourth in the World Marathon Championships in South Africa earlier this month. From South Africa comes Sean Rice, a world champion in surfski racing, who teams up with Briton Tom Sharpe. 

 Last year Peter Egan was in the front of the K2 which won – this time the paddler behind him will be his sister, Jenny, in a mixed K2. “We’ve always wanted to do it, but the circumstances were never right before,” Jenny said.

 The Egans come directly from the World Championships, where Jenny took a bronze medal. But they will be tested on Saturday. From Germany comes Andreas Heilinger and Inez Bauerle; from the Netherlands, Pascal Lucker and Eef Haaze.

 Ireland international Tom Brennan will hope to retain his title in the K1 (individual racing kayak). He fell in at Straffan last year and then got back on track to win. Ronan Foley, who was the fifth best junior at the World Championships in South Africa, could test him. 

 They will be competing for silver trophies, back as rewards in this race after a time when they were not presented. 

 

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: It’s 30 kilometres of high-adrenaline challenge; two hours of torture for arm muscles. Yes, it is time for the Liffey Descent, when hundreds of competitors will career down the river from Kildare into Dublin.

 The race on Saturday, September 23rd, runs from Straffan to Garda Boat Club in Islandbridge. Canoeists in everything from wildwater boats to the speedy racing kayaks (K1 and K2) will carefully negotiate or plunge over 10 weirs. Above the dam in Leixlip they must pull their boat out of the water and carry it for 500 metres. The top competitors will take just two minutes before plunging their craft into the water again.  

 Capsizes are inevitable, and spectators have a ringside view of the unexpected swims at the start, at 12 o’clock at the bridge at the K Club, and down the course at weirs at Lucan and Palmerstown.

 Jenny Egan, the bronze medallist at the World Marathon Championships in South Africa last weekend, will be a star attraction. “I’m really looking forward to it,” said the Ireland international. She won the women’s K1 in the Liffey Descent last year.

 Competitors from Spain, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, South Africa and Britain will line up with paddlers from all over Ireland in an event which has been running for more than five decades. 

 “We will have GPS trackers on selected lead competitors and internationals so the public can view their profiles and follow every step of their journey live online,” says Shane Cronin, the new Liffey Descent coordinator. 

 “We have world-class competitors involved and there could be very fast times. I think this could be one of the best races in recent times.”

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Peter Egan and and Mads Brendt Pedersen won the Liffey Descent today. The K2 paddlers beat Nicky Cresser and Jonathan Boyton in a sprint finish at Islandbridge. The recently-crowned K1 and K2 World Champion, Hank McGregor finished fifth in partnership with Lee Furby. The race featured a spectacular start, with craft after craft crashing after coming over Straffan weir. The K1 of Tom Brennan was one which suffered, but Brennan got back on track and was the fastest in this class. Jenny Egan had a clean run down the course and won the women's K1.

Liffey Descent 2016 (Selected Results; CORRECTED)

Men

K2 - Senior: 1 M Brandt Pedersen, P Egan 1 hour 48 minutes 08 seconds, 2 J Boyton, N Cresser 1:48.14, 3 Z Chmiel, B Oakley 1:50.37, 4 M Fitzsimons, M Brennan 1:51.39, 5 H McGregor, L Furby 1:51.11, 6 A A Heilenga, P Luckar 1:52.13. Masters: 1 D Francis, L Erichsen 1:57.35, 2 J Christie, N Blackman 1:57.57, 3 J Morrissey, S Dark 1:59.42.

K1 - Senior: 1 T Brennan 1:58.21, 2D Corrijn 1:59.22, 23 S McCarthy 1:59.26, 4 J Simmons 2:02.18, 5 J Laenen 2:03.27, 6 E Berezvay 2:03.56. Masters: 1 D Hudson 1:59.55, 2 J Butler 2:03.29, 3 M Banks 2:04.13. Junior: R Foley 2:02.49.

Wild Water - Senior K1: 1 R Millar 2:05.25, 2 C Ryan 2:16.30, 3 T de Barra 2:17.43. Junior: C Cummins 2:08.02.

General Purpose - Senior: 1 J Ringwood 2:26.17. Masters: M Redmond 2:31.41. Junior: A Kennedy 2:32.32.

Women

K2 - Senior: 1 M Van Niekerk, A Smith 2:04.31.

K1 - Senior: 1 J Egan 2:03.44, 2 B Beavitt 2:10.52.

Wild Water - Senior K1: 1 S Eichenberger 2:18.01.

General Purpose - Seniors: L O’Connor 2:53.09. Masters: E Kelly 2:47.45. Junior: C Gurhy 2:52.19.

 

Published in Canoeing

#LiffeyDescent - The Irish Mirror has posted footage of a daring rescue of two kayakers stranded after their tandem canoe crashed into a bridge support during the recent Liffey Descent.

The incident occurred at Leixlip bridge on the Dublin/Kildare border during the annual canoe and kayak race on Saturday 26 September.

In the video, British kayakers Sam Weller and Steven Bush can clearly be seen fighting against the fast current after their boat crashes into the bridge and splits in two.

But volunteers from Dublin Scouts immediately raced into action from the bridge overhead, abseiling down to the water to ensure the men's safety.

Bush confirmed that their brush with danger "hasn't put us off kayaking and we can't wait to come back next year and hopefully complete the race."

Neil Fleming and Robin Koenders's K2 was the fastest vessel home at this year's Liffey Descent, the 56th running of the canoe and kayak race, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Kayaking

#CanoeingLiffeyDescent: Neil Fleming and Robin Koenders were the fastest crew home at the 56th Liffey Descent today. In a race run in warm sunshine and light winds from Straffan to Islandbridge, the K2 of Fleming and Dutchman Koenders gained a considerable lead by Lucan over nearest challengers Gary Mawer and Barry Watkins. The winning time of one hour 48 minutes 32 seconds was outside the record for the course.

 The fastest K1 paddler was Tom Brennan, winning this class for the first time, and coming home well under two hours.

 Jenny Egan and her boyfriend Jon Simmons won the mixed K2. They set a new record time of one hour 53 minutes and 26 seconds.

Liffey Descent 2015 (Selected Results)

K2: 1 R Koenders, N Fleming 1 hour 48 minutes 32 seconds, 2 B Watkins, G Mawer 1:51.00, 3 L Van Riet, E Van Riet (Sth Africa) 1:51.42. Junior: C Crate, J O’Hagan 2:05.04. Master: D Halton, J Morrissey 2:02.51.

K1: 1 T Brennan 1:56.22, 2 J Boyton 1:59.38, 3 M Brennan 1:59.44. Junior: E Forristal 2:05.35.

K2 Mixed: J Simmons, J Egan 1:53.26.

Wildwater - Junior: C Clarke 2:19.16

General Purpose – Junior: 2:35.34. Masters: J Mescal 2:31.30. Veteran: E Moran 2:43.36.

Published in Liffey Descent

#CANOEING: Gary Mawer (44) and Barry Watkins (25) in a K2 racing kayak were fastest home in the Liffey Descent race today. The new partnership covered the journey from Straffan to Islandbridge in a time of one hour 48 minutes and 39 seconds - beating  the Spanish duo of Luis Amado-Perez Blanco and Miguel Llorens Lopez. Mawer, who was winning his 15th senior Liffey Descent, and Watkins, who was taking his first, did not have a single capsize. The K1 winner, Spaniard Kiko Vega (36), was making his debut in the event but also managed to negotiate the course without a capsize. Seán McCarthy led into the Palmerstown weir but took a swim there.

Liffey Descent (Selected Results)

Men

K2 – Senior: 1 G Mawer, B Watkins 1:48.39, 2 L Amado-Perez Blanco, Miguel Llorens Lopez 1:48.49, 3 T Daniels, A Daniels 1:50.02. Junior: 1 C Cummins, M Slattery 2:05.54. Masters: 1 D Halton, L McCarthy 2:04.11, 2 C Pilliner, J Hyde 2:21.32, 3 T Dillon, B O’Brien 2:23.42. Veterans: G Woodhead, C Horn 2:15.25.

K1 – Senior: 1 F Vega 1:57.17, 2 S McCarthy 1:58.48, 3 D Francis 2:00.37. Junior: 1 J O’Hagan 2:04.19, 2 F Maya Mart 2:15.59, 3 B O’Neill 2:17.09. Masters: 1 S Baker 2:01.00 2 M Banks 2:01.04, 3 J Butler 2:04.39.

Wildwater – Senior: 1 J Christie 2:07.46, 2 P Forristal 2:15.25, 3 S Hadland 2:25.12. Junior: 1 C Quinn 2:12.46, 2 C Clarke 2:23.58, 3 E Moorhouse 2:36.57.

General Purpose – Senior: 1 M Redmond 2:29.02, 2 K Cahill 2:29.54, 3 E Keyes 2:33.02. Juniors: 1 O Farrell 2:28.52, J Ledwith 2:34.10, S Cahill 2:39. 25. Masters: 1 E Broekaart 2:30.38, 2 J Mollohan 2:32.13, 3 R McKernan 2:34.08.

Canadian Triple: 1 F O’Donovan, D Comerford, C Broderick 2:46.25, 2 Y Kalogerakis, A Cobban, D Mernin 2:46.25, 3 N Slevin, M Lynch, J Byrne 2:49.35.

Canadian Double: D Bradburn, B McNulty 2:36.11, 2 K Durkan, M Fitzsimons 2:46.30, 3 J Wilkinson, H Wilkinson 2:53.00.

Touring Canadian Single: 1 A Redmond 3:18.41, 2 T Shortt 3:43.53, 3 P Magee 3:54.52.

Touring Kayak Double: 1 M Keating, D Keating 2:11.50, 2 G Collins, B Gallagher 2:14.04, 3 D McDonnell, N O’Connell 2:15.07.

Women

K1: A Smith 2:17.13.

General Purpose – Senior: 1 L Griffin 2:41.35, 2 E Kelly 2:49.03, 3 E Mulroe 3:00.18. Junior: C Gurhy 2:51.20.

Mixed

K2: 1 J Boyton, J Egan 1:58.44, 2 A Bunzel, J Smyth 2:06.15, 3 P Shelley, A Galloway 2:10.26.

Published in Canoeing

#LiffeyDescent: Peter Egan and Jon Simmons won a long battle with Déaglán Ó Drisceoil and Tom Brennan to come home fastest in the Liffey Descent today. The two crews were the only to come in under two hours in a race made difficult by shallow water. There were dramatic capsizes and crashes at the start, and crews struggled with damage to their rudders. Because of the dry weather, the ESB could release not much more than half their usual flood.

The fastest K1 home was piloted by Dermot Hudson. Tomas Jerek of the Czech Republic pushed him hard, but capsized and had to recover.

Jenny Egan and another Czech paddler, Martin Kolanda, won the mixed K2, while Gary Mawer won the Masters K1.

Published in Canoeing
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