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Liffey Descent 2017 Draws Strong International Entry

12th September 2017
Jenny Egan competing in the Liffey Descent last year. Jenny Egan competing in the Liffey Descent last year. Photo: Mick Feeney

#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.”

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