Tracht beach in Kinvara, Co Galway again played host to the final series on the Irish Slalom Tour last weekend. 2013 has been a fantastic year for breeding new slalom racers as new faces showed up and shook up the mix. Overall conditions were mixed over the six Series Events but when it was good it was really good!

From Cork to Kerry up to Newtownards and Donegal, and back to Dublin; there was nowhere better to finish than in the fishing village of Kinvara. The community of Kinvara invited the IWA in 2010 for the first year and they promised they would be back. The October Bank Holiday weekend was lining up to be a good one, and it delivered. Saturday was forecasting 18-20 knots with gusts up to 25 knots and Sunday a lot stronger with gales promised.

A few sailors arrived on Friday evening to give the course a run through and give a few local spectators a taste of the action to come. Saturday proved to be a challenging day for racing with shifty gusty winds, however a brave race crew managed to squeeze in six races between the shifting winds. Sunday proved too strong for official racing as the rescue boats could not leave harbour with winds gusting up to 100kph! As no boats were available unfortunately a course could not be set, however this did not deter the racers who put on a spectacle for the growing gang local onlookers, with racers adopting a honesty policy with regards gybing locations. 
Off the water proved to be  the greatest success, Kinvara really stepped upto the mark and put on a great pre arranged show, from Friday night jazz in Connolly's, to the ‘Real McCoys’ raising the roof in Tullys Bar to a four course prize giving dinner in the infamous pier head restaurant, where not only event prizes (thanks to Rusheen Bay) but also the overall prizes were distributed. Competitors were given a real taste of what Galway had to offer both on and off the water! A big congrats to Hannes who is Irish Slalom champion for 2013 and all the other 2013 category winners. Watch this space for a new and exciting 2014 calendar coming soon!

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