Freestyle Kayaking in Ireland has had two new pages added to its history books with both the first medals ever being won in the discipline, and Ireland’s first ever European Champion being crowned.

At the recent Championships, held on the 2024 Olympic course in Vaires-sur-Marne, near Paris, David McClure became Irelands first ever European Champion in Freestyle in the K1 Men division. Sealing his victory with an emphatic win over Joaquim Fontane I Maso, the current World Champion. David, who currently coaches Ireland’s next generation of Freestyle athletes, had an ideal set up for Saturday’s final, winning the semi-final, and having finished second in the qualification round.

In a demonstration of the depth of the Irish Team who were competing in Paris, the Championships also saw Irelands first ever medal being won in the Women’s competition. Aoife Hanrahan, also currently study a full time degree in Pharmacy, won a bronze medal in the K1 event, just behind Poland’s Zofia Tula. Aoife had brilliant momentum throughout the entire competition, having qualified in second place from the semi-final.

Aoife Hanrahan in the Final

This championship saw one of the biggest Teams Ireland has had at a major international, with 18 athletes competing across the various categories. The future is clearly bright with the brilliant performances seen in the Junior divisions at the Euros, and from the entire team.

Irish Freestyle Team

Full Event Results