The first Flesk RiverJam took place on 30th of December 2006. And kayakers from around the world were eager to take on the challenge. Hopefully the first of many RiverJam events, the day ran smoothly with all competitors giving it loads and enjoying their time.
The first race was amongst the countries juniors. Showing some exceptional skills they had a super final of 5 competitors giving it all in a race to the end. The crowd enjoyed fine racing but would have to wait for further races for the carnage they desired as these guys were all looking to be first across that line. Dave O Sullivan took first place followed closely by Tomas O'Donoghue and Conor Bredin.
During the course of this race, teams had to perform two tasks in order to receive time bonuses. The first task was making an eddy with the second, moving from this eddy for a pop out in a small hole. It was highly enjoyable to watch this race and eventually Leeds university came out on top followed closely by DCU.
Next up was the Sports events. Mens sports and Ladies Sports. Here we saw some great races with some of the carnage the crowd were hankering for thrown in. It also showed that even on a tough stretch of water such as this, that once race mentality kicks in, competitors seem to just forget about obstacles and go for that finish Line.
Mens sport was won by Anthony O'Sullivan followed by Brian Fennel and Eoin Hurst.
Womens sport was won by Edel Quinn followed by Mary Butler.
Next up was womens expert with some impressive races and an even more impressive final. The day was moving on and water levels still showed no sign of dropping making for some interesting runs and a great final which was won by Michelle from Leeds University, second Jackie Ferguson, and third was Edel Quinn who was bumped into womens expert after winning the womens sports class.
A big thanks must be given to all those who helped on the day. Timekeepers and admin helpers, all those who offered any help with setup, and most importantly those who provided rescue, the event could not have run without ye.
A big thanks also to Mark Barry of Munster Dive and Canoe, for letting me organize much of the event from the shop, Pat MacAlliney of River Deep Mountain High for providing the sound system, and to all the sponsors of the event:
Munster Dive and Canoe - www.mdac.ie
SquareRock - www.squarerock.co.uk
System X - www.systemxkayak.co.uk
Irish Canoe Outfitters - www.irishcanoeoutfitters.com
IrishWhitewater - www.irishwhitewater.com
See ya'll next time around,
Mickey and Rosco.
Irish Canoe Outfitters Riverjam Video (5.5mb)
Hopefully this will encourage more people around the country to organise whitewater races, who knows, in years to come we might have an Irish whitewater league.