Our test team and staff are the finest. Many World, Olympic and National Champions in all disciplines choose to use our products. We are also proud to be official partners with Plas Y Brenin Mountain Training Centre and Glenmore Lodge Mountain Centre.

Claire O'Hara

Discipline -  Whitewater. Freestyle, Squirt Boating, River Running, Coaching

Class - K1 

Hometown - Leeds, UK

Living now - Sydney, Australia

What's your story?

I first got into paddling on an adventure holiday as a kid and I absolutely loved it. My first real experience was a lake trip followed by a weeklong canoeing holiday on the River Wye with my sister and my mum. I remember enjoying it so much and seeing the instructors in kayaks having so much fun and just wishing I was able to be in a boat of my own and exploring by myself. It didn’t take long for my dream to come true as not long after in 1996 I joined Leeds Canoe Club where I got my first taste of white water and what started as a fun adventure very quickly became an addiction and a lifestyle. It was a long winter that year trying to learn my roll in the pool and then trying to master it out on the rivers. I think my swim record that winter was 12 swims on one single run of the main section of the river Lune. But it was a winter that shaped my life and character forever. I had an amazing group of friends and coaches at the club who helped teach, encourage and motivate me. Before long I had the roll dialled and soon found myself out on the water every opportunity I got. Whether it was white water, surf, flatwater, pool sessions, polo, canoe, kayak it didn’t matter. I just loved being out on the water in a boat and paddling with awesome friends. A couple of years later I found myself on my first international paddling trip, a week of white water in Austria. This was followed by 6 weeks in Nepal and then from there my adventures really took off. In 2004 was given the opportunity to join the Peak UK team and started my journey as a professional kayaker, I have now been paddling as my main sport for over 22 years and have been to places and had opportunities I would not even have dreamt of. I have been fortunate to be able to make it my career and it has truly changed my life. What started on a canoe in a lake in Wales has taken me around the world and I cannot thank the sport, my sponsors and my friends within the paddling community enough. Paddling is truly amazing, it’s a sport but its also much more than that it’s a lifestyle, a community, a way of life.

Claire is the most successful female freestyle paddler of all time, having won a combined 10 World Championship gold medals in the white water disciplines of freestyle kayak and squirt boat. Claire also holds the World Records in both disciplines for the highest rides scores in ICF competitions and is a 2x Guinness World Record holder and performed a showcase at the London 2012 Olympics. In December 2018 Claire gave birth to her gorgeous daughter 'Sky' and less than a month later she was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the Queens New Year's Honours List for her ‘services to canoeing’. Now, residing in Sydney Australia, Claire still represents Great Britain at major events around the world.

Quick facts:

Favourite food: Roast Dinner with Yorkshire Puddings followed by some Cadburys Dairy Milk Buttons (Chocolate)

Favourite drink: Ice Cold Water or a ice cold class of Lemon Lime and Bitters

Favourite music: Anything with a great beat

Ultimate paddling destination: Ottawa Canada, New Zealand, Norway or Nepal

Motto: Live life to the full

Advice to newcomers: Go out there and enjoy every minute, its not always easy and it doesn’t always make sense but it’s worth it. Also always paddle with people you trust.

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