SENAN Forrestal of Thomastown Paddlers proved the class of the field at the Junior Liffey Descent last Saturday.
Forrestal, winner of the junior race at the 59th Liffey Descent last September, negotiated the ten kilometre course from Leixlip to Strawberry Beds in a time of 51 mins 30secs.
The course included a portage around the dam at Leixlip reservoir just ten minutes after the start and then the massive weirs at Lucan and Wren’s Nest before the finish at the Canoe Ireland Training Centre.
Over a minute later for second place was pre-race favourite Matthew McCartney from Celbridge Paddlers in 52.54. McCartney had finished second behind European junior marathon champion Ronan Foley a year earlier.
A close third was Eoin O’Toole of Salmon Leap Canoe Club in 53.27. Winning the Under-15 boys class in 56.42 was Paul Donnellan with his Salmon Leap clubmate Ruairi Bray less than a minute behind.
Fastest girl was Eabha O Drisceoil of Salmon Leap CC, winner of the U15 age group for a second year. Despite a wobble at Lucan Weir, O Drisceoil recovered quickly and went on to clock a time of 60.41 – the fastest girls’ time of the day.
Not too far behind was Aine White of Celbridge Paddlers who was first of the Under-18 age group in a solid time of 1:03:30. Second was Roisin Hannon of Moy CC in Ballina who had moved up from the Under-15 class and finished in 1:08.06.