With the G8 scheduled for Enniskillen on the 16th of June the same date as Erne paddlers marathon race the decision to relocate to the Share Centre was taken by the organising committee and the change of venue led took a great days racing.
The race started with a beach start were all the competitors had to run to their boats and launch on Smiths Strand and then paddled out on the lake and turned up the Colebrook to a marker at the 5km mark and paddle back to Smiths Strand.
The race which was a ranking race for the Irish marathon championship was also the N Ireland schools and senior championship. First to take to the water was the competitors in the NI schools champs with St Michaels A level student and last years champion Darragh Murphy out to defend his title.
The race did not go according to planned for Darragh with a capsize on the beach start and letting all other competitors get away. After bailing out his boat he set about reeling in all in front of him by the halfway mark he had caught all but the leading three but was making progress.
A strong and controlled paddle saw him pass the leading three in the last km to win by 22 seconds with Belfast’s Luke Fitzhenry and craig Wilson taking 2nd and 3rd.
There was more sucess for Erne paddlers Olivia Cosgrove taking 3rd place in the women’s 10 km K1 race, Helenn Flanagan 2nd in 10 km seakayak race and Gerry Murphy winning the 10 km k1 NI senior championship.
With over 70 paddlers taking part in this race it has been one of the most successful races of this years championship series. Such was the quality of the course and organisation of the event that the organising team of Sonja Cassidy, Trevor Foster, Paul Harrington and Chloe Hamiliton have been approached by the Irish Canoe Marathon committe to host next years Irish championships.
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