Sunday, 30 September 2012

Deaglan O Drisceoil and Tom Brennan, winners of the Liffey Descent 2012

Two K2 boats with a very marked combination of experience and youth led the way home at the Liffey Descent today. Deaglan O Drisceoil (47) and Tom Brennan (20) won in a fine time of one hour 47 minutes and 54 seconds, while the father-and-son combination of Malcolm Banks (50) and Liam Banks (20) followed them just 16 seconds later. The K2 of Irish Peter Egan and British international paddler Jon Simmons were third, although they suffered two capsizes, one of them at Straffan weir, where there were a series of chaotic collisions that you can check at the videos linked at the end of this article. Great comeback from them.

Mickie Brennan of Thomastown Paddlers was an impressive winner in the K1 class, taking this title for the first time. Kevin Pierce of Wildwater Kayak Club was second, with Brennan’s clubmate Anthony Forristal third. But second position overall in K1 was for a well known paddler from this website: Gary Mawer, showing once again his worldclass paddling.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The traditional Liffey Descent, to be held tomorrow in Ireland

One of the races that has been in Elite Kayak's agenda for more than 10 years, waiting to be able to go and compete in the green Ireland, is the Liffey Descent, to be raced tomorrow at Dublin. Along its 18 miles (around 29 km.), weirs, rapids, lots of water and always lots of fun, too. Here you have 2011 edition's trailer, simply spectacular.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Renata Csay gets 12th gold medal and Spain remain as best Men team ever at World Marathon Championships

This is the article we have written in colaboration with, where you can read it and see all the results archive and pictures of the championships. Check it at this link


Renata Csay seems to have no limit after winning her 12th gold medal this morning at the Marathon World Championships with her team-mate Ramóna Farkasdi. On a sunny morning in Rome, again the start was very strong by the Hungarians, who clearly wanted to tighten the gap to avoid a pile-up of boats going into the portage at the same time. Only the South African crew, Alexa Cole and Eloise Van Gysen, seemed to be able to follow the terrific pace, but were finally caught again by the onslaught behind.

Italians Stefenia Cicali and Anna Alberti were not in the trailing group, but slowly started to come back. After two laps leaders Csay and Farkasdi decided to wait for the main group and fellow Hungarians Hagymási and Kiszli, perhaps due to team tactics.

The race was fought over the next few laps. At the fourth portage, when a bad decision by the two South Africans split the race, both kayaks tried to pull out of the portage on the same side crossing positions, alas no one was able to recommence paddling.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Renata Csay steps into legend at Rome. Campos and Alonso, new marathon world champions in C1 and K1

This is the article we have written in colabroation with, where you can read it and see all the results archive and pictures of the championships. Check it at this link.

Renata Csay (HUN) this morning at Rome
This morning Hungarian legend Renata Csay won her 11th world title in the K1 Senior Women's race, becoming the most decorated marathon paddler ever, just surpassing another legend, Spanish Manuel Busto, who has ten golds so far. In the other two races Spain has showed its potential in this discipline by taking another two gold medals; Manuel Antonio 'Tono' Campos is the new world champion in C1 Senior Men and Iván Alonso is the same in K1 Men.

Races started in fair weather with an exciting starting list, where marathon experts met some sprinters after finishing their Sprint season in London. Marathon paddlers draw on their valuable experience and today was not an exception.

K1 Women

In the women's race, we could see from the start that, with Renata Csay (HUN) around, other contestants were only limited to go for silver.

The 35 year old mother of two refused a tactical race from the very start and just paddled away doing the whole 6 laps on her own. With a firm pace, seconds started to pull away from the chasing group, composed of locals Stefania Cicali and Anna Alberti (ITA), London 2012 Olympian Henriette Engel Hansen (DEN), Berenike Faldum (BUL) and Krizstina Bedoecs (AUT). Already on the second lap, they split and only Cicali and Faldum remained chasing Csay, while Hansen, Bedoecs and Alberti stayed together in the third group. Not much followed after that, with Csay widening the gap to one and a half minutes, so the interest was in the fight for silver between Cicali and Faldum. The Italian tried twice at the portages to escape, but she was caught again in the water. On the third attempt and with one lap to go, Stefania Cicali managed to assure second place while Renata Csay, already touching gold, slowed her pace down a bit.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Graeme Solomon and Sean Rice, new South African K2 River champions thanks to their victory at the Breede Marathon

Solomon and Rice negotiating one of the rapids at the Breede
Graeme Solomon and Sean Rice are the new South African K2 River Champions after their win last week at the Breede River Marathon.

Solomon, one of the South African river classics, joined this year with surfski specialist Sean Rice to try for a win at this competition (75 km. in two days)that last year, paddling with Ant Stott, faded away after a bad choice taking a slower path during the race.

From the first stage, three couples showed their strength and made a leading group that set the pace for almost the whole course: Solomon/Rice, former World Champions Stott/Schoeman and Schloms/White. But Heinrich Schloms and Gavin White had some trouble on Day 2 when Schloms arrived to compulsory portage at Drew Bridge with a dead leg due to a ciatic nerve problem.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Spanish Marathon Championships (II): Iván Alonso claims a great K1 victory

The day before, Saturday, it was time for the K1s, where the local Iván Alonso was the main favorite, as he already won in spring the Spanish Cup and the World Cup at Copenhaguen. At the start line, fighting for their chance, were some other great paddlers like Jorge Alonso, José Julián Becerro, Rafael Carril, Xabier Ruíz de Aretxabaleta, David Rodríguez Dorado and even Julio Martínez, paddling again on a K1 since a long time ago.

From the first lap, all of this favorites were in the leading group, except surprisingly Julio Martínez and José Julián Becerro, suffering just a few metres behind, and José María Pariente, Spanish Champion just two years ago, who didn’t look like having his best day. The positive surprise was the appearance among the best ones of Julio Moreno, one of the outsiders of the race.

The very steep bank for the portage. Photo: Fotoyos
At half of the competition, more or less, it was pretty clear who would be the candidates for the two quota places for Rome, es there were four solid leaders (Xabier Ruiz de Aretxabaleta, Iván Alonso, Jorge Alonso y David Rodríguez Dorado) and three paddlers who went forth and back on each lap, suffering to much to be considered in good position for the medals (Rafael Carril, Julio Moreno y José Julián Becerro). This last one, Becerro, finally retired and only Carril managed to stay forward until the end.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Spanish Marathon Championships (I): Bouzán & Fiuza win and will be at Rome to defend their title

Spain has got its representatives at the Marathon World Championships to be held in 3 weeks at Rome (Italy), after a great National Championship which took place at Tuy (Galicia). Walter Bouzán and Álvaro F. Fiuza managed to add one new title to their impressive career by beating in the final sprint Emilio Merchán and Iván Alonso, who will be the second couple at the Worlds.

After a first lap at the course with a really crowded group on the lead, up to 10 K2s, Bouzán/Fiuza started with their usual tactics of pushing before every portage not to find a busy pontoon. They arrived in first position and even despite the large room at the pontoon, after the portage only 6 boats managed to stay at the front group.

The pace settled down again and that was the time for the rest of K2s to come back again to the main bunch. But lap after lap they were fewer crews the ones strong enough to do it. Among those pairs were the del Teso brothers, who finally paid the effort; León/Castañón, who never gave up and got their reward; and the new crew of Becerro/Ruíz de Aretxabaleta, who didn’t start very well, maybe due to the lack of training together, but made an extraordinary comeback to the leading group.