Edward conquers the Liffey Descent for a second time

Edward conquers the Liffey Descent for a second time

Donegal resident, Edward Broekaart, completed a unique double the weekend before last when he won the prestigious marathon canoe race, the Liffey Descent.

Dutch native Edward, who lives in Bruckless, a member of the Donegal Canoe Club, won the GP Veteran Class in the prestigious event for the second time in three years.

His winning time for the 28.2 kilometre race was 2 hours 30 minutes and 58 seconds.

“Yeah, it was brilliant to win it again. I won it for the first time two years ago,” said Edward.

“It is a big international race and is very tough and a demanding challenge. There are two weirs on the course and a lot choppy waters and in the middle of the race you also have a 600 metre run which adds to the challenge.

“It is one of the biggest marathon races in Europe so to win it for the second time is good.”

Edward was born and grew up in Holland, in a small town in the south of the country called Breda.

But he moved to Ireland and Donegal 25 years ago and is now married and settled in Donegal with his wife Berdike and they have three children, all born in Donegal.

Son Bren is studying engineering in NUIG while daughters Nikki and Lizzie are attending St Catherine’s Vocational School in Killybegs.

“Myself and my wife, Berdike, are Dutch born but all our children were born in Donegal and are very much so Irish and are from Donegal.

“I moved here to Donegal with the rest of my family when I was 24 and 25 years later I’m still here and Donegal and Bruckless is our home.

“Kayaking was my sport growing up in Holland and I competed competitively for years in Holland before I came to live in Ireland.

“When I came to live in Ireland I stopped the sport for a number of years, but I returned to the sport about eleven years ago.

“And I have been at it ever since.

“I have the sea literally at my front door here in Bruckless so I can paddle a lot in the sea.

“When I returned to the sport I joined the Donegal Canoe Club; it is based in Letterkenny.”

As well as paddling in the sea he also does a lot of white water paddling on rivers and lakes around Donegal.

“I paddle two to three times a week normally but say coming to a big race like last weekend’s race I would have up that to four or five times in the weeks leading up to the race.

“That would have included both sea and whitewater paddling.

“The sea paddling alone would not be good enough for such a tough challenge as the Liffey Descent.”

Edward is anxious to highlight that he was not the only successful Donegal Canoe Club member that competed in this year's Liffey Descent event.

June Nelson and Roger Norris were bronze medal winners and Eadaoin Healy and William Austin claimed silver in Canadian mixed doubles class.

Other members of the club that competed at the famed event were Andrew and Denis Gallagher, Michael Roulston, Padraic Fingleton, Roisin Kerr, Frank Roche as well as Davey Leonard.

Edward is a tiler by trade and runs his own tiling business called Edward Broekaart Tiling, from his home in Bruckless.