Junior Liffey Descent 2018

Sponsored by Junior Paddlefest


Junior Liffey Descent Entries are open!

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The Junior Liffey Descent will be held on Saturday, 19th May 2018 starting at Salmon Leap Canoe Club racing to the Canoeing Ireland Training Centre.

Bib collection will be at Salmon Leap Canoe Club from 10:30am to 11:30am.

Race briefing will be at Salmon Leap Canoe Club at 11:30pm.

The race will start at 12pm from Salmon Leap Canoe Club, Leixlip Lake(Here).

The race will finish at the Canoeing Ireland Training Centre, Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod (Here).


Please read the below information before the race.

  • The link for the start line; Salmon Leap Canoe Club.
  • The link for the finish line; Canoeing Ireland Training Centre.
  • Registration will be open from 10am to 11.30am at Salmon Leap Canoe Club.
  • Please check in at the registration desk to get your bib number.
  • Car parking is limited at start and finish, we advise you to car pool where possible.
  • Please click herefor the link to the descriptions of the weirs on the course.

For more information, please go to https://www.canoe.ie/junior-liffey-descent/.

 How to Enter

Please ensure you read these notes prior to completing the entry form:

  • You must be a registered member of Canoeing Ireland to enter the Junior Liffey Descent.
  • Entries will be done through the Canoeing Ireland Membership Database.
  • Please ensure your membership details on the database are correct including your date of birth before completing the entry form.

Closing Date

  • Entries will close at Midday on Wednesday, 16th May
  • No amendments or late entries will be accepted after Wednesday, 16th May.
  • There will be no entries accepted on the day


  • Entry fee @ €15.00 p/competitor.
  • Non return of race bibs at the finish will incur a €50 penalty.

These are the proposed race classes for the 2018 race, any senior categories not achieving a quorum will be amalgamated with the closest category.
Class Definitions

K1 Class A:

  • Kayaks measuring 450 – 520 cms
  • Including kayaks such as but not exclusive to Wild Water & Sea Kayaks

K1 Class B –

  • Kayaks measuring 420 – 449 cms
  • Including kayaks such as but not exclusive to Gola Sprint, Deceptor, Wave Hopper, Fastwave, Sea kayak

K1 Class C

  • All kayaks measuring 420 cms and below
  • Including kayaks such as but not exclusive to Gola, Sprite & All other GP Kayaks

Double Kayaks


  • All racing K2


  • All Touring Double kayaks less than 550cms


Age Definitions:

  • U15 is defined as any person under the age of 15 on 1st January of the year of the race.
  • U18 is defined as any person under the age of 18 on 1st January of the year of the race.
  • U23 is defined as any person under the age of 23 on 1st January of the year of the race.

Class amalgamations:

In the event of the minimum number of entrants not being met to populate a competitive class, amalgamations will generally occur as follows:

  • Junior Categories – Classes will amalgamate up a level until minimum number of entrants are met. e.g. Should K1 Class C Junior fall below the minimum entry threshold it shall be amalgamated with K1 Class B Junior .If minimum entry threshold is still not met they shall be amalgamated with Class A. Men & Women shall always remain separate

In the event of any unforeseen circumstances relating to amalgamations, alternative arrangements may be made at the discretion of the race coordinator.

If you are in any doubt as to what class you should be entered in contact the Canoeing Ireland office on info@canoe.ie for advice before submitting your entry.

Junior Liffey Descent briefing, safety, race rules, and route

Please ensure you read these notes prior to commencing the race:


  • A race briefing will take place at 11:30AM.
  • Race notice and rules will be on display at the start (i.e. Salmon Leap Canoe Club) on the day of the race.
  • Canoeing Ireland rules will apply.
  • The Junior Liffey Descent is restricted to participants over the age of 12 and under the age of 23 as on the 1st January 2017.
  • It is the responsibility of clubs to ensure that all participants have adequate experience for the race and that their equipment is in proper condition.


  • All competitors must wear approved buoyancy aids.
  • All craft must have securely fitted and adequate buoyancy. There should be foot bars or adequate padding fitted, where necessary.
  • All competitors under the age of 18 years in all classes (including k1, k2, general purpose, open singles, down river racers, touring doubles and Canadian doubles) must wear approved helmets. Competitors in other classes are strongly recommended to wear helmets.
  • Adequate footwear should be worn, as the terrain at the portage is very uneven.
  • It is also important to consider, because of the possibility of changeable weather conditions, that adequate thermal gear / wet suit is worn.
  • If any participant’s equipment is considered inadequate or insecure by scrutineers, approval to participate in the Junior Liffey Descent will be withheld.
  • Spot checks will be carried out along the race route to ensure that participants are wearing helmets and buoyancy aids.
  • The Junior Liffey Descent will finish approximately three hours after the start. Competitors taking longer than this should leave the water.
  • All previous race numbers must be removed from your boats.

Race route

Salmon Leap Canoe Club, Leixlip Lake (start): Long 53.34.876; Lat -06.51.073

  • Paddling advice: Paddle 10 mins to cross lake. In high water conditions it is possible to paddle the shorter route across the right hand side of the lake but in low water conditions it is necessary to follow the original river course around the left hand side of the lake, mud banks to the right of the island visible from the bridge indicates which route to take (left route across the lake if the mud banks are showing).
  • Notes: Collection point for bibs and boat inspection from 11am to 12pm

 Portage (start): Long 53.36.013; Lat -06.48.996

  • Road directions: Take N4 West until junction 5. Follow signs for Leixlip via R148. Park in Salmon Leap Pub car park on LHS. Walk to road bridge or start of portage (allow 10mins)
  • Paddling advice: End of paddle across lake. 5 min run to get in point (750m)
  • Notes: Wear some form of foot protection. Portage is predominantly a good tarmac road, but reentry is a steep, possibly mucky descent back to river bed. Brace yourself using paddles, etc

Portage (end) – Leixlip road bridge: Long 53.36.262; Lat -06.48.657

  • Paddling advice: Paddle very hard when getting back on the river after the portage to the centre of river to avoid right hand bridge arch and risk of pinning. You must paddle aggressively to avoid the arch

Sluice weir: Long 53.35.754; Lat -06.46.533

  • Parking: Access and parking for Sluice at car park at Long 53.35.55 and Lat -06.46.052
  • Paddling advice: 10 – 15 min paddle from portage. The Sluice is on the far left hand side of river taking eddy line down (this is slightly right of centre) and expect to be pushed very close to left hand sluice wall (this is normal, remain calm and prepare to brace. Shoot over weir on far right of river (right against bank), a plunge pool is about 3m from right hand bank.Viability of shooting here in “K” boats will depend on water levels on the day.
  • Safety: Keep legs raised if you swim shooting actual sluice

Lucan weir: Long 53.35.926; Lat -.06.44.85

  • Vantage point: River bank at chicken shoot or Lucan road bridge
  • Paddling advice: 10 – 15 min paddle from Sluice weir. Difficulty of shoot varies. The first part of Lucan weir that appears on your right as you paddle down river is called the chicken shoot. It is about 30m long before you encounter the fish boxes. After this there is the high drop about 50m long – a steeper portion of the weir. Due to work in recent years the water level below the weir (especially the chicken shoot is quite low. It is best to shoot the chicken shoot from about the halfway point to the fish boxes. Racing boats (long ones) should shoot completely side ways to avoid damage to boats

Anna Liffey / Shackelton’s weir: Long 53.36.774; Lat -06.40.619

  • Vantage point: Not easily viewed as a spectator
  • Paddling advice: 5 min paddle from Lucan weir. Easy to shoot. Shoot weir straight down fish shoot – approach slowly and easily found.


Wren’s nest weir: Long 53.36.187; Lat -06.40.619

  • Vantage point: Park in Wren’s Nest Pub car park on LHS or Strawberry Hall Pub and car park at Long 53.36.092; Lat -06.38739. Easy access to river, good parking
  • Paddling advice: 15 min paddle from Anna Liffey / Shackelton’s weir. Moderate to difficult shoot depending on where weir is shot. Wren’s is a V weir and is normally shot down the V.
  1. One method is to shoot from right hand side of the tongue of water paddling hard over the tongue away from the danger of swimming in the large right hand stopper.
  2. Another method is to deliberately steer immediately to the left of the tongue bracing for support on the tongue of water to your right (Do not paddle too fast on this line for fear of paddling through the tongue of water and into the stopper.
  • A third shoot is to aim to balance right on the tongue of water, a good strategy in low water but in high water you run the risk of dropping into the big right hand stopper.
  1. Short boats and tough boats can shoot straight over the left hand portion of the weir (the chicken shoot)

Canoeing Ireland training centre (finish): Long; Lat

  • Road directions: From Lucan, go over Lucan Bridge and turn right. Proceed along this road until you pass the Strawberry Hall pub and then under the Westlink Bridge. About 500m the Centre is on your right
  • Parking: In the Canoeing Ireland training centre car park or Strawberry Hall Pub and car park at Long 53.36.092; Lat -06.38739