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Phoenix Kayak Club are based on the River Lee, and run Beginners courses throughout the Summer, while also entertaining their Current membership every Thursday night.
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 Liffey Descent Participants Guide Sept 11th 2021

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Paul Heff
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Paul Heff

Number of posts : 905
Registration date : 2007-10-12

Liffey Descent Participants Guide Sept 11th 2021 Empty
PostSubject: Liffey Descent Participants Guide Sept 11th 2021   Liffey Descent Participants Guide Sept 11th 2021 Icon_minitimeWed 11 Aug 2021, 6:36 pm

2021 sees the return of the Liffey Descent after the 2020 cancellation.

It's never too early to be thinking about this event. Now is the time to choose your kayak and more importantly, who to paddle with!!
And of course, supporters are always welcome  cheers

Phoenix Liffey Descent paddlers, here is my guide to this great event and social weekend hopefully we'll be back to normal in 2022 with a full weekend of fun. If you have any other words of wisdom, please let me know Very Happy 

2021 Liffey Descent Online Entry Page
A few weeks before the race you will be emailed an info pack, read and note phone numbers and protocols.

Click here for Fergus McCarthy's excellent video of LD

Great video of weir shoots by Darragh Burke

Click here for Canoeing Ireland's official Liffey Descent video

Liffey Descent Guide:

Liffey Descent Weir Guide. Laminate and duct tape to your kayak.

Paul Heff's Liffey Descent race guide with features (Click the blue dots for info)

If link doesn't work on smartphones cut and paste this link into your browser,-6.477127&spn=0.111325,0.338173

Canoeing Ireland's official race course guide

Get information on all boat classes on the race entry page.

Race Headquarters; registration, pre & post-race camping, post-race party is all based at race finish, Garda Rowing Club (see my guide above for location GPS Co-ords - 53.346177,-6.321967). Collect race pack and t-shirt at Garda Rowing Club on Friday evening. You can also purchase Liffey Descent hoodies, jackets etc and last minute items such as forgotten spray decks etc.  Shocked  

Check Canoeing Ireland to confirm all details in advance. This year is different due to covid and instructions may change at short notice.

Before the Race - What to Expect:

Check Race Pack (bib, race number stickers, food ticket etc.) is correct per your name on the list! Try to collect on Friday as Saturday morning is hectic before the start.

Attach race numbers to left of your (dry!) boat b4. Your race pack will include a voucher for food at the finish, make sure it is in your car at the finish or place in a ziploc bag and stuff it in your pocket.

Race HQ car-park is not large and will be mad busy on the morn, give yourself plenty of time during the shuttle, it's 45 minutes each way.....

You may be waiting for a time before starting, bring pre-race food/drink with you, there's usually freebies sports drinks, bars etc. but no shop.

Portaloo queues are long, toilet paper/baby-wipes, anti-bacterial gel advised.

After race is called (approx 1 hour before) you will have a 1 km paddle upstream to startline. That'll warm you up, but have a good stretch beforehand as you'll be in the boat a long time. Note: there is no place to get off at starting zone.

Clothing: Unless freezing, short sleeve rash-vest, neoprene shorts/trousers is enough, you'll be amazed how hot you'll get. This obviously depends on whether you're racing or not, I carry a splash cag just in case.

Starter call's each class in turn K2, K1, Racing Kayaks, General Purpose (GP's), and then Canadian Canoes. GP class has 100's of people so give your self space and don't be afraid to charge to top at the start, it is a race after all. If blocked by someone slower at any stage (especially in the jungle) shout "RACER COMING THROUGH" and paddle through, nicely though, you may need them for rescue later  Shocked  

Celbridge Lake is a long plod, be careful not to enter mudflats on right, if everyone is taking long curving route by left bank there's a reason for it! Portage after lake takes 10 minutes mostly tarmac, then grass path to river. Tip: portage first, eat while waiting to get-on.

At finish give yourself a well deserved pat on the back. There is drinks, chocolate etc. for competitors. Showers in rowing club and food in marquee, queues build fast after the race and don't forget your voucher!!


Travelling Saturday morning is straight forward but aim to be there 3 hours before start if shuttling to finish. Yes, really!! There are 800+ paddlers and traffic movement is very slow with boats being dropped off.

Cork Northbound to Straffan boat drop-off. (Turn off at Junction-7 M7 Northbound (53.252043,-6.580598) and follow National Road to Straffan (53.304268,-6.617076)

Shuttle to finish and back takes at least 90 mins. The bus from car park leaves early, ( for times & bookings) - seats are limited so organise shuttles well in advance.

Directions from Straffan get-on (53.304268,-6.617076) to Garda Rowing Club Finish (53.346177,-6.321967)

Use above co-ordinates to return to Straffan, and maybe have your snack/breakfast whilst waiting for start.

Best of luck, it won't be long coming..  bounce  bounce  bounce

Paul Heff

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