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Hi Eric,

The first jackson fun1 arrived at my local club at christmas time and if i am totally honest my opinion was ‘it’s too small’. The 10 year old that was paddling it i thought struggled with how responsive the boat was and on the first river run struggled to keep up with the other children (7 and 8 foot boats).Fast forward to jake and corins 1st rodeo, i met 10 year old Ryan Dempsey and his father Tom. Ryan had a jackson fun1 and i thought Ryan is gonna be in for a long day today.I knew Ryan was on his own so i called him over, gave him a few words of encouragement and told my son Jake (13 year old) to look after him.

The competition started with all competitors getting a couple of warm up runs. As Ryan paddled for his first run in the hole i shouted encouragement to him and watched in amazement as his 1st move in the hole was a LOOP!!! (im holding back from using the F word) I had to ask for confirmation and even my wife said ‘is that a loop?’ If the warm-up runs had of been scored Ryan would have made the final.Needless to say my opinion has totally changed and i am sure there are loads of 10 year olds doing the same in Fun 1’s.

Anyway, the Irish junior squad were there and i was keen to see how Corin and Jake would compete at this level.As the competition progressed i watched the 2 boys and ryan team up to discuss their runs and pointing at the different parts of the feature. They all seemed to enjoy it and their confidence and runs improved as the competition progressed.The results were called with top 5 making it through to the final. I think Ryan was about 12th place, Jake was 6th, but Corin made it in to the top 5.The final came and went and to cut a long story short the Inny Rodeo trophy is now on my mantle piece.

Talking that night about the days event the boys told me how much they enjoyed their 1st Rodeo, how friendly everyone had been, how much we would like to see Ryan and his dad Tom up in the North coast in a surf kayak and Ryans loop in his Fun1.