Kayak Intervarsities 2019
by Jack Wrixon
For any sports club, the Intervarsities are always something to remember. For UCC Canoe Club, this year was no exception. Hosted by UL, clubs from around the country came and participated in an effort to secure an award. The events over the weekend include a Whitewater competition, a Polo League, Long distance races with a multitude of categories, a freestyle competition and a Boater X contest.
Our weekend started off well with the Whitewater race taking place on the Boluisce river on Friday morning, where UCC finished 2nd overall and after this, a quick drive took the team to Kilcock where UCC Polo team competed in the afternoon. UCC beat Queen’s and Waterford IT On route to the quarter final but unfortunately lost to Maynooth University.
Saturday morning started off bright and early with the Freestyle competition on the UL Pontoon where UCC fought hard against many other competitors and came away with fifth place. Later that day, the Long Distance races took place, which are sectioned off into many categories, with some boasting numbers shy of 90 competitors per race. UCC had many members of the club placed within the top 15 competitors, with Dara O’Keefe taking 3rd in the Women’s Sea Kayak category, the duo of Judy Walsh and Sean Noonan claiming second in the Touring Doubles, Martin Keohane placing 2nd in the Men’s High Performance race and Emma Fitzgerald and James Hayes placing third in the Duo race. Long distance is one of the hardest disciplines to compete in, so the UCC club were ecstatic to know that, all the hard work and extra sessions paid off and pushed our overall point score into the top.
Boater X on the final day saw UCC travel into Limerick City to watch the brave souls take on the River Shannon, and once again Nic Reay and Dara O’Keefe left us spoiled for points by taking home 3rd and 9th in their respective categories. Fortune favoured UCC this year, as alongside all of these prizes we took home 3rd place overall with a score of 362.5 points, improving on our position from 6th in 2018 and 12th in 2016. Alongside the awards for competing, UCC were delighted to find out that one of our most esteemed members Sean Cahill won the Colm Johnson Award, an award named after one of UCC’s former alumni and a former member of the UCCCC. This award is given in memory of Johnson to those who showed similar traits to him, as he was heavily involved in every aspect of kayaking both on the water and off, and in general an enthusiastic and helpful person to those involved within the club and within greater kayaking community.