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Young Guns Foley and Thomsen Win at 60th Liffey Descent [UPDATE]

14th September 2019
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Ronan Foley, Nikolia Thomsen, Jenny Egan and Jon Simmons celebrate their wins Ronan Foley, Nikolia Thomsen, Jenny Egan and Jon Simmons celebrate their wins Photo: Liam Gorman

#Canoeing: Ronan Foley (19) and Nikolai Thomsen (18) of Denmark were the fastest home as the Liffey Descent celebrated its 60th birthday today. The 32-kilometre test, with 10 weirs and a portage on the journey from Straffan to the Garda Boat Club in Islandbridge, sometimes rewards experienced competitors, but this was an exception. Both young men were competing for the first time in a K2 (double kayak) on this course, but they took advantage of the fast conditons to win a battle with experienced hands Barry Watkins and Neil Fleming. Foley and Thomsen moved in the final 1,000 metres to win in one hour 46 minutes and 40 seconds. Watkins and Fleming came home in 1:46.49.

The entry of 472 boats was blessed with a beautiful day, and there were some excellent peformances. Jenny Egan continued her record of wins in the mixed K2; she and fiance Jon Simmons were fourth at Lucan weir and fifth overall in a new best time for this boat. Malcolm Banks in the men's over 49 K1, also placed high in the overall rankings, while Peter Egan won the men's K1 on his first attempt at the class.

Liffey Descent 2019, Detailed Results (selected)

K2 – Men’s: 1 Ronan Foley (Salmon Leap CC)/Nikolai Thomsen (Denmark) 1:46.40, 2 Neil Fleming (Celbridge Paddlers)/ Barry Watkins (Salmon Leap CC) 1:46.49, 3 Sebastien Fergauven/Sebastien Jocano (Argentina) 1:47.16. Men’s O39: 1 Simon van Lonkhuyzen/Gary Mawer (Salmon Leap CC) 1:55.59, 2 David Francis/Declan Halton (Salmon Leap CC) 1:59.28, 3 Lutz Erichsen/Peter M. Jensen (Denmark) 2:04.09. 

Mixed: 1 Jonathan Simmons/Jenny Egan (Salmon Leap CC) 1:51.52, 2 Deaglan O Drisceoil/Aisling Smith (Salmon Leap CC) 1:57.58, 3 Nicky Cresser/Alison Chmiel (Nottingham CC) 2:07.20.

K1 – Senior Men: 1 Peter Egan (Salmon Leap) 1:57.43, 2 Donnacha Brennan (Thomastown CC) 2:00.22, 3 Odhran McNally (Salmon Leap CC) 2:01.33. O39 men: 1 Dermot Hudson (Salmon Leap CC) 1:59.36, 2 Stewart O’Regan (Salmon Leap CC) 2:04.12, 3 John Parker (Worcester CC) 2:13.19. O49: 1 Malcolm Banks (Salmon Leap CC) 2:02.50, 2 James Butler (Nottingham CC) 2:06.38, 3 Neil Blackman ( Royal Leamington Spa) 2:08.39. Junior men: Senan Forristal (Thomastown Paddlers) 2:01.04, 2 Matthew McCartney (Celbridge Paddlers) 2:08.077, 3 Alex O’Brien (Celbridge Paddlers) 2:20.15. 

Senior women: 1 Margaret Farrell 2:56.23, 2 Sara Griffin 3:10.46, 3 Amy Walsh 3:21.38.Junior women: 1 Aoibhin Ni Broin (Galway CC) 2:39.23.

T2 – Sean Martin/Eddie Martin (Piragua Madrid/Richmond CC) 2:14.39, 2 Fergus Cooper/Morgan Cooper (Canoeing Ireland) 2:16.07, 3 Lar O’Brien/Michael O’Farrell (Kilcullen CC) 2:19.00.

Wildwater – Open: 1 Darragh Clarke (Wild Waater KC) 2:15.4, 2 Maggie Dilai (Nottingham KC) 2:17.49, 3 Alex Sheppy (Devizes CC) 2:26.26

K1 Class B – Men: 1 Colin Wong (Canoeing Ireland) 2:29.46, 2 Mark Redmond (Wild Water KC) 2:30.45, 3 Padraig Dunne Athy Rowing and CC) 2:37.25. O39: 1 Gerry Murphy (Canoeing Ireland) 2:32.12, 2 Edward Broekaart (Canoeing Ireland) 2:34.33, 3 Gary McClure (Belfast CC) 2:36.05 Junior men: 1 Cameron Bannatyne (Soar Valley) 2:18.33, 2 Ethan Dowling (Ribbontail Paddlers) 2:47.03, 3 Michael O’Herlihy (Wild Water KC) 2:48.18

K1 Class C: Men: 1 Craig Stratford (Virginia KC) 2:54.10, 2 Brian James (Cabra KC) 2:56.59, 3 Wojciech Szydlo (Silverbridge KC) 2:59.48. O39: 1 Terry Smith (Athy Rowing and CC) 2:37.10, 2 Andrew Redmond (Wild Water KC) 2:39.30 3 Dermot Forristal (Thomastown Paddlers) 2:39.44. Junior men: 1 Daniel Stratford (Virginia KC) 2:38.40, 2 Barry Stratford (Virginia KC) 2:41.29, 3 Alex Russell (Canoeing Ireland) 2:44.35. 

Women: 1 Ciara Gurhy (Wild Water KC) 2:47.45, 2 Helen Flanagan (Share Centre) 2:55.53, 3 Yvonne Crosse (Phoenix KC) 3:04.21. O39: 1 Fiona Kelly (Wildwater KC) 2:49.50, 2 Yvonne Kelly Castleknock Community Collge KC) 2:50.38, 3 Mary Fitzgerald (Athy Rowing and CC) 2:58.27. Junior women: 1 Emma Fay (Ribbontail Paddlers) 3:14.20, 2 Rachel Alexander (Virginian KC) 3:20.04. 

C1 – 1 Stephen Dunne (Mullingar CC) 3:11.16, 2 Andy Jeffers (Phoenix CC) 3:26.30, 3 Paul Magee (Canoeing Ireland) 4:05.55

C2 - 1 Ben Boland/Roger McClure (Kilkenny Aqua CC) 2:37.26, 2 Gearoid Jones/James Dillon (DIT CC) 2:47.54 3 Gerry Coonan/Gerry O’Brien (Wild Water KC) 3:00.42. C2 (mixed) – 1 Elaine Alexander/Richard Hobson (CANI/Lisburn City Paddlers) 2:57.58, 2 Colin Lively/Jacqui McVicar (Share Centre) 3:06.04, 3 Eamonn Dodd/Lynda Byron (Wild Water KC) 3:15.50.

C3 – 1 D Comerford/S O’Neill/S O’Neill (Thomastown Paddlers) 2:48.24, 2 Y Kalogerakis/ D Holden/B Comerford (Canoeing Ireland) 2:51.20, 3 K Durkan/S Durkan/M Fitzsimon (Celbridge Paddlers) 3:00.20.

Best Club (combined K1 and K2 times) : Salmon Leap Canoe Club, Leixlip

International Trophy: Ireland.

Published in Canoeing
Liam Gorman

About The Author

Liam Gorman

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Liam Gorman is a writer and reporter. He is the co-author of Little Lady, One Man, Big Ocean, published in the United States and Canada as Crossing the Swell. He is the rowing correspondent of the Irish Times.  

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