Sean Mc on Skynet

French Alps

Waaaaay back in June 2009 we went on a jaunt to the Southern French Alps. We spent almost a month there just paddling paddling and more paddling, and some eating and drinking. Right now it's too long ago for me to trying coming up with stuff to write about all the rivers we ran and the people we paddled with so instead I'm just going to let you browse through some photo's.

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posted by SeanMc @ 9:27 PM, ,

Irish Canoepolo Open 2009

After some technical issues the photo's from this years Open are at last online.... click here for them

This was my first time at this venue and I can't wait to go back, especially if the weather is as good again. It was just like polo should be, warm weather and cold beer.

The Div1 final was a repeat of the Club champs held in Athy earlier in the summer but this time Wildwater Kayak Club managed to beat Kilcock canoepolo club in what was for the most part a very disciplined final.

That's the last outdoor competition of the year in these parts so it's back to the warmer swimming pools for the winter.

posted by SeanMc @ 4:33 PM, ,

Clashganny Canoeslalom 2009

As far as I know this is a new venue for slalom in Ireland and in my opinion it has great potential. Unfortunately on the day of the race another 150mm of water would've been nice but still it was a great day out with lots of sunshine.

I felt that my own paddling improved from the last race but I was still losing lots of time at the gates, reasonably quick between the gates at least. My boat handling was much improved on the last race, helped by having played the club champs in polo in the meantime.

The full results are at

The Mens K1 Patrick Hynes took the honours this time beating Peter Prussak the winner in Newbridge a few weeks prior.

Clare Vance again took the honours in the Womens K1.

In the Juniors it was Tom Burke who won out show how his training for the recent Junior Wildwater Racing world has paid off.

Local girl Brianna Mallon was the winner in the Junior Girls K1.

Although there was a good turnout with competitors from Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford and Dublin it was disappointing that none of our C1 competitors made the trip
, maybe next year.

Big thanks goes to Patrick McCorkmack who organised the whole event and thanks too to all his helpers who did start line, gate judging, end line and whatever needed to be done.
Photo's are at Clashganny Photo's

posted by SeanMc @ 8:25 PM, ,

Canoepolo Club Champs 2009

After having successfully hosted a 1-day competition earlier in the year Athy canoe club were given the honour of hosting this years Club Championships. It's an ideal venue as the pitches are set up on the Grand Canal which is just the right width, and more importantly there's a coffee shop lest than 40m from the endline of pitch 1. What more could you ask for?

There were no surprises in division 1 with WWKC and KCPC contesting the final again.
The full list of results and games scores are on but here's the short version

1st Demons (Kilcock)
3rd Swink (Norh Kildare KC)
4th Devils (Kilcock)
5th Kamikaze (WWKC)

1st Bad Company (Norh Kildare KC)
2nd Grade 5 (WWKC,Athy)
3rd Hawkes (Norh Kildare KC)
4th CUIG (Mixture)
5th Okey Dokey (WWKC)

1st Aquacats (Kilkenny)
2nd IBLIS (Kilcock)
3rd Polomints(WWKC)
4th Aquaphobes (WWKC)
5th Aquabots (WWKC)

There's a selection of photo's from the weekend at Athy Club Champs 09 Photos

posted by SeanMc @ 9:08 PM, ,

Newbridge Canoe Slalom 2009

This was the first race on the new 6-race calender and went off very successfully. There were upwards of 20 racers, which isn't bad considering slalom is almost dead in this country. Paddlers came from Cork, Galway, Monaghan and even a few Czech paddlers who've been living in Ireland, plus plenty of locals.

For me it was my first slalom race in about 3 years, and it showed. I wasn't too good in the first place but I was still worse than I used to be, the complete lack of practice showed. I think it really showed in my ability to turn the boat, that comes as no surprise given that for the last 3-4 years I've been concentrating on wildwater racing instead. I'm looking forward to the next race all the same though.

All the results are at and there's some pictures on this site's gallery, click the link above or

posted by SeanMc @ 3:52 PM, ,

Blackwater 10k Race

This race was held on the 17th May 09.

To finish a hectic weekend of driving and activity the last thing on the agenda was to run a 10km race. I'd never run a race of any sort before so I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for but "how bad could it be?"

Training had been far from ideal, one guy asked me had I "been doing much miles", my reply was , "oh yeah, I ran 2.5km on Tuesday" I think the shock of that was what caused him to stumble. Prior to that I'd probably gone for a 5km run about 3 weeks ago.

The race started and I faced my biggest problem, how far is 10km? When I run I leave my house and go for a run, I've no idea how far I run, nor do I know what my pace is in terms of mins/km. The upside of this is that ignorance is bliss, the downside was that I started off too slow. I caught up with another runner at 2-3km and got chatting, his goal was about 55mins, I figured that was ok so ran with him. At 5km though I began thinking that he was a bit slow so took off. I would've liked to run under 50minutes but at this stage I knew I had held back for too long and now had too much to make up in the second 5km. Not knowing how long 10km is, I still held back a little bit and when I got to 7km I was still feeling energetic so I upped the pace a little more and still had fuel for a sprint finish (just 'cos it feels good).

How did I do? My final time was 51minutes 28seconds. I'm happy with that but know I can do better. I ran the first 5km in 27:30 and the secnd 5km in 23:58
Now I've got to set a goal for next time.....

About the course, it was through the Rossmore forest park just outside Monaghan town with most of it on forest trail with lots of twists and turns so there was no fear of monotony. As a course I absolutely loved it, running through the forest is so much nicer than running on the roads. Maybe I should try cross country, hmmm.....

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posted by SeanMc @ 5:22 PM, ,

Athy 1-day Canoepolo Competition

This is a new venue for Irish canoepolo and the only thing people are saying is "when will the next comp be"

The pitches were setup on a stretch on the canal that flows through the town so it was nice and central. For the day Jimmy had set up 2 pitches but the venue has the potential for many more. The canal at this point seems to be perfect for polo, the right width and enough structures nearby to facilitate hanging goals if you don't have floating ones. Best of all... there's a coffee shop less than 20m from the endline of one pitch.

It was a 1-day competition but none the less plenty of teams showed up, including the Irish mens and ladies teams and Muppets from div1. If it's good enough for teams of that calibre it's good enough for a full competition.

It was a great day and a super effort by organiser and local Jimmy Byrne.

Follow this link for a few photo's of the day

posted by SeanMc @ 9:29 PM, ,

Fermanagh Harriers Point-to-Point 2009

As usual the Fermanagh Harriers held their annual point-to-point races at Necarne just outside Enniskillen. It's been a long time since I'd been to horse races of any sort and had never been to this point-to-point meet. Unfortunately conditions weren't ideal, it had rained heavily for a few days prior to the meet and the weather on the day was likely to tempt people to stay indoors instead. In the end though everything went off without a hitch and it turned out to be a historic day for point-to-point racing as jockey Derek O'Connor rode his 100th winner, the first ever point-to-point jockey to do some, you can read a bit about it here . In another noteworthy achievement local trainer David Christie has his 100th winner since moving to his yard at Derryglin.

Of course I was only there to see what photo's I could take so follow this link to see what I took

posted by SeanMc @ 1:43 PM, ,

Interesting Web Traffic

The stats from the traffic coming to this site over the last few days is making me wonder what's so interesting about my life that so many agencies are checking me out.

Maybe the CIA or the FBI are next!

posted by SeanMc @ 7:52 PM, ,

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