WILD WATER RACING NEWS 1998

After the highs of the European Champs. In Bourg St. Maurice, attention has returned to the domestic season and plans for next year. Following the very successful youth training days held earlier this year, another took place on 18th of October, including participants from Wilson's Hospital, Dollymount Sea Scouts, WWKC and Waterford. The format followed the previous sessions, involving a short lecture, flatwater technique session and rough water practice, with video on hand. It was good to see a mixture of girls and boys and we would encourage all the paddler who participated to take place in as many of the WW races as possible. Remember that you don't need a WW boat to participate in the races. Anybody interested in another such session should contact Martin McCarthy ((01) 285 7968).

The international highlights for 1998 include the Senior WW Worlds at Garmisch (Germany) in May, with the Junior Worlds in Lofer (Austria) in July. The selection races for these representative competitions are Avonmore and Aughrim (best one result from these two) and Grandtully (Scotland). Note that the Grandtully race is open to all and is a good weekend, with plenty of paddling on reasonably challenging water. Full details of the selection policy are available from John Ringwood ((01) 455 2872).

Summary calendar (early 1998):

11th January

Avonmore (Rathdrum)

Eamonn Mullen (0402) 38469

1st February**

Aughrim (Aughrim Town)

Christian McManus (01) 280 2119

15th February

Inny (Newcastle Ho., Ballymahon)

David Donnelly (0902) 31542

7/8th March

Grandtully (Aberfeldy, Scotland)

Contact WW Committee

21/22nd March

Liffey Series (Templemills-Chapo.)

WW Committee

** Note change of date from provisional calendar

3 COURSE PADDLING (or the Domestic Season !)

This year has seen a determined effort by the WW racers up North to show us the true meaning of race organisation. Despite the somewhat mediocre water levels, the fare and facilities have more than compensated ! The recent Mourne and Owenkillew races have set a new standard in portable changing facilities (the Composite Dynamics truck), shuttling services (the CD truck again !) and refreshments. Following the race run at the Owenkillew, paddlers were plied with soup at the riverbank, with a choice of brown or white buttered rolls (brown, thanks !). Following this and use of the excellent changing facilities, paddlers were treated to a seasonal (??) barbeque of titanic proportions, with every person having their fill for free (SLCC take note !!). Third course was some light ale (again dispensed from the multi-purpose CD truck) which (non-driving) paddlers enjoyed in the scenic environs of Gortin Forest Park. Many thanks to Pete Spence, Foyle Paddlers and Belfast Canoe Club for their kind hospitality.

Prior to our gastronomic sojourns up North, the excellently run Boyne WW Race took place. Although the water levels were not as high as might have been expected with the recent heavy rain, a good enough level to offer a few paddlers some 'quality stopper time' was present, with the Big A and diagonal weirs providing most of the entertainment. Many thanks to Brendan and Sheila for their time and effort in organisation.