Adventure Sport

Big names at canoe WChamps

2011-06-17 14:19
Canoe white-water (Gameplan)
Platling - Some 225 of the best freestyle canoe paddlers in the world are descending on the small Bavarian town of Plattling to shred the waters of the Isar River during the International Canoe Federation Canoe Freestyle World Championships, from 20 – 26 June.

Paddlers representing 28 countries will take part in this year’s edition of the event that’s held every odd-numbered year. A testament to the sport’s growing global development, four countries - Slovenia, India, Brazil and Argentina - are making their first foray onto the international competition stage here next week.

“Like any sport, World Championships brings out the very best in competitors, even more so for freestyle kayaking since we aren’t yet an Olympic event,” said ICF Freestyle Chairman Lluis Rabeneda. "Even casual spectators who might not know much about the sport will appreciate the complexity of the athletic moves and amazing amplitude the athletes can achieve.”

Among the newest of the ICF’s disciplines, freestyle kayaking is a sport where paddlers perform spins, flips and turns in a standing wave or hole on a river.

During the competition, paddlers competing one at a time have 45 seconds to perform moves similar to those performed by snowboarders, skaters and surfers.

The panel of three judges plus the chief judge can only award each move on the scorecard once. Some moves can be performed in both right and left directions. Each move has a strict technical definition established by the ICF. The judges’ job is to determine if the move performed has met the definition.

Points are either awarded in full or not at all. Bonus points may be awarded for moves that are executed particularly high above the water (air or huge bonuses) or combos, where the boater performs two or more moves in succession without a resetting between moves.

The international nature of the competition lends itself well to a festival atmosphere. To that end, the organizers of this year’s
event, working closely with local government officials and businesses in the region, have created a spectator-friendly venue
and put together an exciting program that includes live music, the local Volksfest cultural event, and other crowd-pleasing
competitions like King of the Wave, Biggest Trick, a Lake Jump Bike Show and stand up paddle downriver race.


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