THE annual Mourne White Water Race, a round of the Paddle 4 Sport League, took place last weekend.
The race witnessed a slight increase on previous year’s entries. Upwards of 60 paddlers, from all over Ireland and aged from 14-74, competed in a range of boat categories over the usual 6.5 mile Newtownstewart to Sion Mills weir course.
Conditions were favourable this year, with mild weather and plenty of rain falling prior to the race.
The competitors were released in three separate groups. The faster White Water Racers and C1s set off first.
These were followed by the General Purpose category, with the Open Boats released a few minutes later.
The biggest entry by far, was in the Canadian Canoe class, with an excellent 20 teams taking part.
There didn’t seem to be too many ‘swimmers’ at the dreaded ‘Fisheries’ section this year. Perhaps it was the reassuring sight of the numerous Foyle Paddlers CC safety crew in their conspicuous orange bibs.
Indeed, many of the paddlers were taking part in their first ever race. The fastest boat overall this year was a K1, paddled by John Ringwood from WWKC, who completed the course in an impressive 43.04, which was a full 7 minutes quicker than the winning time last year.
Foyle Paddlers Canoe Club, who organised the event, wish to thank everyone who competed or assisted in any way.
We would like to particularly thank Derry City and Strabane Council for helping fund this event. The club were delighted with the turnout and hope to make it even bigger and better in 2019 – perhaps expanding the format into a two day multi event.
A full list of results and lots of photographs and video coverage are available on the Foyle Paddlers Canoe Club website and Facebook page.
A big thank you to all competitors, club members, safety marshals and everyone who helped make this a great event.