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A week on since Galway Fest the waters of the Boluisce and Clare rivers have quietened once more after the massive influx of paddlers from Ireland , England , Italy & Spain. Water levels have been so good since the turn of the year and it was no different for Galway Fest 2014. Prime levels for racing on the Boluisce were met with perfect levels for going big in Tuam to set up the weekend for some tight competition. This year saw some international attendances with Bren Orton from England making his first trip to Ireland to take on Galway Fest.



Saturday morning saw a huge gathering of paddlers at the bottom of the Boluisce to kick off the third event in the Jackson Kayak Irish Whitewater Race League. After the race briefing the mass shuttle commenced to a Swift caravan storage and on to the bridge launch start. Over one hundred races took to the water again this year with the best water levels to date.



Early drama was had with Bren Orton completing the course without a paddle after an unfortunate incident with a tree just before the finish. Some tired hand rolls followed leading to the first swim of the day along with one of the fastest times!


As the day rolled on more and more fast times came in with Luca Dapra from Italy placing second in his first appearance at Galway Fest. I managed to put together the fastest run of the day in my Jackson Karma having clean lines through most of the course. The karma is proving to be the boat of choice for all round creaking & racing!


Saturday night followed a good days racing with what has become an event in itself. A quiet start in the Victoria Hotel finished with Galway Fest’s own private bar in Karma. Saturday night at Galway Fest is one night on the kayaking calender not to be missed.




A slow start on Sunday morning brought everyone east of Galway city to the Clare river and Tuam hole. After some heavy rain early in the day the clouds cleared and the sun make an appearance for what was the perfect day at Tuam. All eyes were on Bren Orton for the freestyle having taking 8th place at the World Championships last year and he did not disappoint with some slick combo’s and big air. Another Englishman in George Hayward Hill was no less impressive going huge on his mcnasty’s and other tricks to take second place in the freestyle.

There was some great competition in the women’s class with a welcomed surge in numbers for both freestyle and whitewater. Niamh Cleary took top honors on both days to secure the Galway Fest title once again. In the men’s class things got very tight with a tie break coming into play for the overall winner. Bren and I tied on points after both event with the tiebreaker of fastest time in the whitewater coming into play to separate first and second giving me the win by the smallest of margins.


A big thank you to all our sponsors of Galway Fest for getting behind the event again this year. I-Canoe, & Great Out Doors provided some brilliant prizes for all involved. Hopefully we can bring back Galway Fest bigger and better then every next year!


Here are all the results for Galway Fest 2014 with the updated Jackson Kayak Irish Whitewater Race League Results here.