I think the decision to aim for the Olympic qualifiers was never really made but was always with me since my early days in a boat. I can't explain it, it's just the way it is; to compete at my best at the highest level. So, around September 2008 I made a decision to do something about it; to concentrate all my efforts into slalom training for the next while with the only aim being "to be able to look back and say I did my best"

This blog is the story of my journey

Summer 2010 roadtrip

I will be competing in three World Cup Races, Czech Republic, Spain and Germany. After five weeks is the Pre Worlds in Slovakia, with the Slovak open the following week.

Depending on my results at the World Cups I also hope to qualify for the World Championships in Slovenia.

Having never competed at this level before, it's going to be a steep learning curve, but thats what I'm here for.

27 April 2010

Irish Squad Selection and Irish Open

Saturday Race 1

With being unsure of how my injury would react the plan was to take it easy on the first run and build up the effort over the weekend.
Run 1
My first run was fairly solid, with 1 penalty and I managed to put in a reasonable time. No pain in the ribs but every muscle in my arms was burning as I have not been able to do any strength work for a long time.
Run 2
Feeling good and ready for action, and back into race mode I stepped up a gear and was delighted with my run. 1 penalty again but with a great time I surprised everyone, including myself by making the set percentage needed to make the team. Emotional and excited about the chance of finally making the team I headed home for a good night's rest for the 2 races on Sunday, needing 1 more to qualify.

Sunday Race 2

The course set on Sunday had some harder work on flat water, a C1 paddler's weakness, at the start and finish and a tough offside move which I didn't have the strenght to attack as I would have liked. With some slight pain I keep putting ice on the injury between runs which seemed help.
Run 1
I started a bit too hard on the flat and struggled with the offside move, but knew there was room for improvement. 1 penalty and a bit slow.
Run 2
With a better plan I was doing much better untill I made a mistake on the offside move and ended up in the eddy with no boat speed at all. 1 penalty again. Being 6 seconds outside the time needed I had 2 more chances.

Race 3

The same course was used with 1 change, so I changed my plan for the offside move going for the spin as a safer option.
Run 1
Giving everything I had I put in a great clean run but still 3 seconds too slow.
Run 2
Another clean run but getting tired I was slower the the first run.

Overall feeling really happy with my performance and confirming to myself that the training I have been doing is paying off, I just need to get back to weight training, if the injury stays away, and get back to white water gate work. If I can paddle this well while recovering from a stress fractured rib,I'm sure I can be racing with some top paddlers later this year............................

17 April 2010

New Boat

I tried my new Galasport 64 for the first time today, its a lively one.....

16 April 2010


I paddled last week on moving water (Stackallen Weir) for the first time since the injury and everything went well. Basic moves and surfing at first to see if there were any problems. It was great to feel the boat flowing again in the waves and not just pushing it along on flat water.

Without any incidents I was back to my usuall training spot, the S Bend, for some moving water gate work. I found this hard going on my arms as I have done no weight training since late January, the sudden change in weather was a shock too.

Next was some white water training without gates in Sluice. Again finding the bigger water hard work and feeling very rusty, I had a tough few days here. Some slight pain from the harder work but with today as a rest day I'm ready to start here again tomorrow with some gate work.

01 April 2010

Flat Water Training

Onto the water for the first time in a while last week, all on the flat, gradually building up the sessions untill I was able to start on flat water gates this week.

Great to be back in the boat.

Here's a video from a four minute on four minute off type sesion.


We used the new head cam from I-CANOE and Adrian edited the video.