Galwayfest 2024! News: event

Posted On 28th Mar 2024
Posted By Kayak
Author Chloe Kellett
Location Galway, Ireland

Galwayfest 8th-10th March

This was my first Galwayfest and my first proper competition so I was so excited but slightly nervous! 

I had paddled a lot of new rivers recently so was feeling confident in that perspective but I had never done mass start and hadn’t tried freestyle until the week before so had a a lot to learn there. On Friday we drove up to Tuam and watched a couple of runs before heading to get ready and signed on. I hopped on the water and did an entry move when getting into the feature which I was delighted with. It was nice to have people cheering you on and helping you at the sides lines in between runs it made a big difference. I was happy enough with how it went but was in complete shock when I realised I had gotten third in women’s intermediate, I was not expecting it at all! 

Saturday with Whitewater where we did a time trail on the River Corrib and the start was a seal launch before paddling down, going round a buoy and touching a flag at the end. In the afternoon we did the Whitewater Team Trial which was pretty much the same course but you had to paddle down further towards a slipway and we finished when our last team member got out of their boat and touched the chair on the slipway. I loved both of these races, it was a very different sort of kayaking to what I’ve done before. 

On Sunday we did Mass Start in the morning where all of Women’s Intermediate started at the same time and raced down the Corrib. We all had to put our paddles in the mud and face the wall before hand paddling backwards to grab our paddles. Everybody had to roll before paddling down the course and completing the time trial course again. After that we did Boater X where we were all put into heats of five or six and all tried to be the first one down Jury’s drop before aiming for the buoy on the far side of the river. When I came out of Jury’s drop I ended up capsizing and by the time I had rolled back up I was too far down the river to try and make the buoy. It was disappointing but I still finished the rest of the course which I was happy with.  

The awards were held in one University of Galway’s lecture halls and it was such a lovely couple of hours it was very wholesome and was nice to see everyone get well deserved prizes. I was delighted with my first GalwayFest and I can’t wait to go again next year and hopefully improve on what I did this year. 

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