ATTENTIONS in the canoe marathon season focused on local waters at the weekend, with the River Nore hosting an event from Bennettsbridge to Thomastown.
Low water levels led to some changes to the traditional course, with both the long and short courses starting in Bennettsbridge. Thomastown Paddlers had a small contingent competing in Saturday’s race, which proved to be exciting for all competitors.
The best result for the club came on the 22km course. Competing in the K2 division, Donnacha Brennan and Anthony Forristal recovered from a poor start to finish in second place.
The shorter 12km course was no less challenging, with the weir at Bennettsbridge proving an important part of the course. In Division Four Kieran Varley, Cáit Broderick and Dave McCormack all fell foul of this notoriously tricky obstacle, resulting in a number of capsizes. All three recovered well, with Kieran finishing fourth, Cáit fifth and Dave seventh. In the general purpose class on this course, Dermot Forristal and Alan Mahon represented Thomastown, finished in fourth and seventh places respectively, despite suffering a capsize each.
Next up for the club is an international event, with a local contingent travelling to Nottingham in England in a fortnight’s time. Four club members plan to travel to this sprint event, with some competing for the first time.
Closer to home, the junior race series will continue with events in Kilcullen and Lucan over the next number of weeks.
Beginners courses will also be starting shortly. Further information available from www.thomastownpaddlers.com.