The Irish Canoeist

The article below was taken from the first issue of “The Irish Canoeist” Vol. 1 No. 1 November – December 1962.

The Irish Canoeist was published bi-monthly by Neil S Bracken under the guidance of the Irish Canoe Union.


by Neil Bracken

The major race of the season, the Coca-Cola L.D. race was held this year on the 23rd September on the River Liffey. The course was from Sallins in Co. Kildare to the Garda Boat Club at Islandbridge in Dublin, a distance of 17 miles approximately. A large crowd which included a cameraman from T.E. (Telifis Eireann) saw 15 starters get off to a good start. Mr. E. Lawerence acted as time-keeper and Basil Martin as Safety Officer. The handicap ranged from 30 minutes to scratch and all were off at 11.30 a.m. The race was 9 weirs and this with the fact that we had no rain for two weeks previous and the river was very low made the going very stiff. As the day went on the number of competitors grew smaller as the gruelling took its toll. There is a report that two girls were seen walking down the street in Celbridge soaking wet, at the 7 mile mark we had Ernest leading with Derek, Rodger and Tom following. This position was maintained until the dam at Leixlip when Derek took the lead but lost it again to Ernest at the portage. Derek again took the lead just one mile beyond Lucan and held it as far as Palmerstown when he was caught by Rodger and this was the final result.

1st Place. Rodger Green, Glassfiber Moonraker

2nd Place. Derek Martin, Klepper T67

3rd Place. Ernest Lawerence, Sport Dipper.

Some 20 minutes later Rory and Tom arrived. Bit by bit the remainder of the field arrived. One double from Kilcullen was up to the gunwales in water others with stringers floating around the inside and one competitor from Belfast loaded with apples that he collected on the way.

The race had a large following of spectators who could be seen by competitors at every weir and portage.

It was considered by all to be a very good race and once more let me offer our sincere thanks to Mr. Jimmy Browne and Messers Coco-Cola Ltd., The trophy was presented to Rodger by Mrs Lawerence and as it is the third time he has won this trophy, it now becomes his property.

Congratulations to all those who entered in the race for putting up such a very fine effort.

I have endeavoured to re-type this article exactly as it was originally printed in 1962.