As you may know the 2011 Liffey Descent has been postponed.
I ask the question "why?". Is it really because of a severe lack of water or are there other reasons. In the past there have been many occasions when there was a severe shortage of water but the race managed to run successfully. The website of Canoeing Ireland tells us "... this has left the ICU with a difficult decision – to run the event on 10th September as originally planned but without a flood or to postpone it until early October when there will be a greater possibility of the traditional Liffey Descent flood. ...". Is this really the case and if so how can the WWKC Lower Liffey Marathon Race be run on the original Liffey Descent date. "The WWKC Lower Liffey Marathon Race will take place on Saturday the 10th Sept."
If the postponment is due to a lack of water can someone please tell me where the water is going to come from just one month later? Unless it starts raining now (mid August) and continues to rain until October the level of the lakes at Blessington will not increase by any significant amount. Will we then be faced with cancellation?
I feel that irreparable damage has been done. Over the years many hundreds, if not thousands, of paddlers have travelled from abroad to compete in the Liffey Descent. Many of these arranged their holidays to co-inside with the event, staying in Ireland for two weeks and more around the race date. Many of these involve families travelling with one or more competitiors. In most cases these bookings will have been made very early in the year. How easy is it for any such intending travellers to change their holiday and travel arrangements at such short notice?
The ICU statement is carefully worded to "cover all". Phrases such as "having taken into consideration as many factors as possible including, but not limited to ..." are designed to cover "all angles" but I wonder if those travelling competitors and their families were ever considered. I contend that it would have been better to run a "dry race" rather than lose the trust/confidence of those I refer to above. The Liffey Descent has an international reputation which should be protected. Postponing the race does not help.