Low water makes for high drama as dreams realised and boats broken in Liffey Descent
ESB could only release just over half the usual flood because of the dry summer
Martin Kolanda and Jenny Egan compete in the Liffey Descent on Saturday
The crowds watching at the start in Straffan and at Lucan weir witnessed a dramatic Liffey Descent canoeing race on Saturday.
The hundreds of competitors had to deal with very low water as the ESB could only release just over half the usual flood because of the dry summer.
There were constant problems as rudders rose out of the water, and spectacular capsizes and crashes at the start.
The finish at Islandbridge was also close for the top two crews. The double racing kayak (K2) of Peter Egan and Jon Simmons saw off the challenge of Tom Brennan and Déaglán Ó Drisceoil by just five seconds. These were the only two crews home in less than two hours.
Dermot Hudson won the men’s K1. It was a welcome first win in the grade for the 37 year old.
“I’ve been trying for 20 years,” he said. His closest rival, Tomas Jezek of the Czech Republic, had to deal with a capsize.
An even worse fate befell the K2 of English brothers Tom and Andy Daniels, who saw their boat break in two after they came over the weir at Lucan.
It was their second year to break their boat in the event.