Slalom swans and wobbly Golas

By Matt

Getting ready for the Varsities next weekend, UCD’s whitewater team – myself, Karen and Nuala – headed out to the Wild Water Kayak Club clubhouse on the Liffey this morning for a bit of sprint training.

Waggers from DCU had offered to give us a bit of coaching in flat-water racing, so we brought some Golas and some Dancers and hit the river. The Liffey was honking at around 4 megs. Palmerstown weir was looking nice and big, but had a massive tree jammed on the left-hand side of it. We thought we’d stick to the flat for today anyway!

When we got there, a local swan was out doing a bit of slalom training, showing us all how it’s done…

Slalom swan showing off

We hopped on when Waggers arrived and headed upstream. Funny, but when the Liffey’s honking, it ain’t that much fun paddling upstream! We went up as far as the Strawberry Hall pub, doing short sprint bursts on the way up, and working on forward paddling technique. It was great training, for both the whitewater race and the long distance.

We finished up after about an hour and a half at the clubhouse. Arms, shoulders, knees and toes were aching, but it was a great little session. To finish up, we decided to give the fibreglass Gola Sprint a go… To see who could get the furthest without falling over. It’s harder than it sounds! Karen went first, and was doing well – until she tried to slow down and fell over.

Before...

...After

Then I gave it a go, and it went worse…

Before...

...During...

...After. That water was f***ing freezing!!

And then Nuala gave it a go, and she did really well. Until she fell over too.

Nuala, minus one Gola Sprint

So that was that! we got changed and headed off. I got a hot shower to fight off the hypothermia, and all was good.

Big thanks to Waggers for coming out and giving us his time and some great coaching. And thanks very much to Wild Water Club for letting us use the facilities in the clubhouse.

Only 5 days to go till Varsities now! We’ll hopefully get out again on the Dodder during the week to get some final training in before the weekend.

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2 Responses to Slalom swans and wobbly Golas

  1. Carla says:

    styling it in the gola! 😉

  2. Maryanne Doyle says:

    Nice one guys!
    I love Nuala’s photo, it looks like she sunk the boat but kept paddling anyway 🙂

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