Course Guide

Race Course Guide

Straffan Bridge (Difficult), Race  Start     

Location: 53.30447; -6.61566  M4 West bound  Exit Junction 3 to Straffan Village on R 406

20 mins paddle to next weir

Paddling Advice:  The normal shoot is down a strong tongue of water about 10 metres from the left hand bank just to the right of the fish boxes particularly for long boats. Such boats often have a tendency to get washed into the wall on the left hand river bank, to avoid this either rudder hard right or try stay to the right hand side of boat shooting the weir just ahead of you.  

Another possible shoot is tight to the very right hand side of the weir ideal for K1s and down river racers. More robust boats can shoot down anywhere across the face of the weir. Great care must be taken to avoid shoots leading onto boats already stuck in the stopper below the weir.

From Straffan to next weir is through winding and fast moving water known locally as the jungle.

The Jungle

Paddling Advice: It is advisable to travel in single file and not attempt overtaking in very narrow sections, boats should hold back and allow leading boats plenty of space to manovering through narrow and tight turns. Locating a place to re-enter a capsized boat is difficult and swimming should be avoided at all costs, helped by a cautious approach through this section.

Limited rescue is available during this section of the race. Competitors are obliged to help paddlers in difficulty. Failure to comply will result in harsh penalties.

Portage Opportunity 
Location: 53.31826; -6.56588

Templemills Weir (Moderate) 
Location: 53.32778; -6.54971       

Paddling Advice: Access through Weir Gate The normal shoot is down a narrow fish shoot (about 1 metre wide) that is about 10 metres from the left hand bank. Missing the shoot by going too far left is better than missing it by shooting it to the right as it is very rocky immediately to the right of the fish shoot.

To the very far right of the weir there is a less severe drop which can be shoot in long boats by dropping over about 45 degress sideways to the weir (boat pointing from the right hand bank towards the centre with the boat tail as near to the right hand end of the weir) Again avoid the centre of the weir with its rocky bottom ( known as the graveyard)

5 mins paddle to next weir

Vannessa Weir  (Easy)           
Location: 53.33369; -6.54367       

Paddling Advice: To shoot the weir paddle past the fish boxes (below the weir) and as soon as you have passed both fish boxes turn the canoe and head straight over the weir. This an easy shoot with very little chance of damage to the boat and with a very small stopper so you are unlikely to be held.

10 mins to bridge

Celbridge Road Bridge           
Location: 53.33785; -6.53894

10 mins to Rapids

Castletown Rapids (Easy)       
Location: 53.34597; -6.51875       

Paddling Advice: Access via Barnhall Rugby Club access road  (Roundabout) 53.34866; -6.51283 Normal route down through rapids is about 3 out from the left hand bank ( just to the right of a big rock outcrop), but it is possible to shoot anywhere down the rapid without damage.

5  mins to start of lake

Leixlip Lake & Salmon Leap Canoe Club 
Location: 53.34876; -6.51073  

Collection point for bibs (Friday 9th Sept  4 pm – 10 pm) Boat inspection Friday 9th Sept  4 pm – 10 pm) in addition to normal boat inspection  on Saturday morning.

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).

Portage (Start)       
Location: 53.36013; -6.48996       

End of paddle across lake 5 min run to get in point (750 metres)

Portage (End), Leixlip Road Bridge       
Location: 53.36262; -6.48657        

Paddling Advice: Wear some form of foot protection portage is predominantly a good tarmac road, note steep possibly mucky descent back to river bed, brace your self using paddles etc. Safety Note – Paddle very hard when getting back on the river after the portage to centre of river to avoid right hand bridge arch and risk of pinning. You must paddle aggressively to avoid the arch.

Road Directons: Take N4 West until junction 5, follow signs for Leixlip via R 148 park in Salmon Leap Pub Car park on LHS, walk to road bridge or start of portage (allow 10 mins)

10  - 15 mins paddle to Sluice

Sluice Weir (Easy or Difficult – depends on which route)
Location: 53.35754; -6.46533

Access and parking for Sluice at Carpark located at 53.3555; -6.46052

Paddling Advice: Shoot actual sluice on 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. Or shoot over weir on far right of river (right against bank) ,a deep plunge pool is about 3 metres from right hand bank.

Safety: Keep legs raised if you swim shooting actual sluice

10 mins to Lucan weir

Lucan Weir (Difficult)
Location: 53.35926; -6.4485

Viewpoint: From the river bank or Lucan road bridge

Paddling Advice: The first part of Lucan weir that appears on your right as you paddle down river is called the chicken shoot it is about 30 metres long before you encounter the fish boxes – after this there is the high drop about 50 metres long – a more steep 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.

5 mins to Anna Liffey weir

Anna Liffey (Easy)     
Location: 53.36774; -6.43468  

Paddling Advice: Shoot weir straight down fish shoot – approach slowly and easily found Not easily viewed as a spectator

15 mins paddling to Wrens weir  

Wrens Nest Weir (Moderate – Difficult depending on route)     
Location: 53.36187; -6.40619  (TBC)          

Paddling Advice: Wrens is a V weirand is normally shot down the V. 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.

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.

Short boats and tough boats can shoot straight over the left hand portion of the weir (the chicken shoot)

Viewpoint: Park in Wrens Nest Pub Carpark on LHS. Strawberry Hall Pub & Carpark, 53.36092; -6.38739 Easy access to river, good parking

15 mins to Palmerstown Weir

Palmerstown Weir (Difficult)                
Location: 53.35834; -6.36027

Paddling Advice: Palmerstown is a V weir and is shot straight down the V, important to get on the tongue of water (about 3 foot wide) and stay on it. Large waves at bottom are the most difficult part of the shoot

A less popular shoot is to shoot over the left hand side of the weir (about half way), harder on the boat but a possible shoot.

Glenaulin Weir (washed out) (Easy)
Not possible to view

Chapelizod Weir (Moderate)         
Location: 53.34942; -6.34714

Paddling Advice: Shoot down the fish pass (like Anna Liffey weir but more steep) or equally popular shoot is to shoot almost straight over the weir about 3 metres further down along the weir from the fish pass

Partially Accessible to view from bottom of weir by getting to river bank through Glenaulin Estate

Chapelizod Road Bridge                
Location: 53.34745; -6.34563

10 mins to finish line Finish

Trinity Boat House (Race Finish)               
Location: 53.34584; -6.31516

Accessed by either entrance to National War Memorial Park Entrance, 53.34579; -6.30868  or  53.34394; -6.30847 on the South Circular Road R111 accessed either the N4 (East bound – dual carriage way) or Conyingham Road (R109)

Post Race Party Venue Church Bar
Location: Junction of Jervis Street and Mary Street, 53.34854; -6.26698. Street parking available Free after 7pm Multistory Carpark available Cost TBD Location TBD

Camp site location – Corkagh Park Campsite 
Location: 53.30406; -6.41477


Note ...

To facilitate competitors I have copied the "Race Course Guide" from Canoeing Ireland.