So the time of year was upon us, where every paddling student in the country descends on one poor helpless town to run riot paddle hard and generally drink the place dry.
This year GMIT were hosting the event in Castlebar, Co Mayo.
The Friday saw the first event in a cold Crossmolina the coaches travelled pulling trailers laden with boats of all colours and sizes, as the Students arrived the polo comp kicked off with an exciting first round of games seeing a brave trinity narrowly miss out to a strong Limerick team, The 2 pre tournament favourites MUCK (Maynooth) and the GMIT had an opening round exchange with GMIT proving strongest taking the convincing win,
As the event continued so did the weather with drizzle and rain to contend with a wicked side wind flying across the pitch, One highlight was to see Carlow or ORK IT as its more affectionally known line up with a single man against a full team of 5. On his own Orky battled hard through tiredness and pain scoring 2 goals on his was to a loss knocking him out of the competition.
DCU took the wildcard place into the Semi-finals against an improving UCD having dispatched there local rivals they were pushed into a tense final against favourites GMIT
After a strong 1st half DCU were holding out at 0-0 and GMIT just couldn't find the net hitting all sides of the goal until finally into the 2nd half Kevin Pierce stepped up to finally score the first goal from then on it was one way traffic to leave GMIT convincing winners for the 2nd year running.
Friday Night the crowds headed to a busy Castlebar for celebration and socialising before the following days events.
Saturday started bright and early with a tough team white water race claiming many swims and a lot of pride after the white water the teams headed south to Tuam Co, Galway for the freestyle event.
The freestyle event took the format of team jam sessions with the top 8 moves of each paddler combined to create a team score, with many current and ex Irish team paddlers in attendance the field was stacked with talent, smooth cartwheels from Colin Wong and fast helix’s of Barry Loughnane saw some huge scores. The point of having a team event meant it was up to the whole team to perform for their combined total with ORK IT again a single paddler making it difficult to accumulate any real points.
A super strong University of Limerick team took the win with a great display working through the score sheet. In second was NUIG led by Barry and Andrew really working the score sheet and in third with an improving performance was DCU showing it could have been anyone's game.
A tired Sunday morning arrived with the long distance races to be held in Castlebar with a lack of rescue meant the race was cut from a healthy 8km to a short sprint over 2km
the K1 was first with a fast race led start to finish by Tom Brennan from Trinity followed closely in second place by Liam Banks of UCD next off was the high performance class again led by Canoeing Ireland athlete Neil Fleming taking a comfortable win with Colin Wong in second place. In the women's class Laura Griffin took the win with Aisling Griffin in second place.
There were a huge number of GP paddlers looking for the points for their colleges.
The prize giving was held back in the college with some delay while the final points were added the results were announced
1st University Limerick
With the decision made that the 2013 Intervarsity's will be held in Limerick once again.
Well Done to WeeMan Mark O’Connor for putting on an excellent event, thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Paddy Tec feeling worse for wear after a fast 2km race