30 January 2024

There was doubles delight in Perth, Australia as the SS-2 featured as a medal race for the first time at the International Canoe Federation Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in December. 

Last year’s edition proved to be an historic occasion as paddlers teamed up to battle it out for medals in the double surfski. 

Judit Verges Xifra and Walter Bouzan of Spain captured the first-ever SS-2 world crown after emerging victorious from a field featuring more than 60 crews. 

The SS-2 was staged as an exhibition race at the 2014 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships but was included as an official event in Perth. 

Colin Simpkins, Chair of the ICF Ocean Racing Committee, said he was excited about the future of the SS-2 following its successful debut as a medal event. 

“We have never previously had a World Championships in the doubles event because it was too difficult logistically to get this type of craft to the different venues,” said Mr Simpkins. 

“The single surfski has been the only class that we have raced at the World Championships so last year we did include the double surfski as well and it was an awesome event. 

“It is a superb way of making things more exciting and introducing people to the discipline by putting them in the back of a double. 

“For an event to qualify for the World Championships you have to have a minimum number of continents and National Federations taking part. 

“Even in Australia, only the senior class was a recognised World Championships as there were not enough entries for the juniors and under 23s. 

“What we have learnt is that we are going to need to bring forward our closing date for entry so you can give people the option to enter the double surfski event.” 

Mr Simpkins said he would also push for the SS2 to be held after the SS-1 to increase the chances of attracting the world’s top paddlers to the event at the World Championships unless the weather conditions disrupt plans. 

Canoe Ocean Racing is set for a busy season in 2024, starting with the European Championships from April 12 to 14 in Azores, Portugal where the SS-2 will feature on the programme. 

Madeira, Portugal is the venue for this year’s Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships from October 4 to 6.

Related links

Canoe Ocean Racing