Freestyle Commitee Set Future Goals

The newly formed ICF Freestyle Committee met for four days in Barcelona in February to discuss everything that is freestyle kayaking and the future direction over the next few years.

The freestyle committee is now made up of Lluis Rabaneda I Caselles (ESP) Chair, Terry Best (GBR) Member, Jez Jezz (AUS) Member, Magnus Karlsson (SWE) Member, Ned Poffenberger (USA) Advisor

First of all, we are very excited to be able to have met with representatives from San Juan Argentina who will be hosting the World Championships in November this year. A great feature and vibrant atmosphere will be a part of this event, the first world freestyle championships in South America. There is much to coordinate with events of this nature and a lot of the nuts and bolts were sorted out ready for the big event.

Event organisers and even a high official from Sort city in Spain came to join discussions in Barcelona. Sort really is getting behind whitewater as the city is based around the banks of the La Noguera Pallaresa, a fantastic set of rapids right in the heart of the township. Discussions from both the committee and the event organisers is helping to solidify things early prior to 2018 World Cup and 2019 World Championship.

A number of fantastic bids have come in for the upcoming 2021 Freestyle World Championships. These bids were represented very well and very professionally. It is exciting to see that there are many different great freestyle locations and organisers around the world that are keen to host such an event, a testament to the sport and the community behind it. Discussions are under way to see who will host this major event. As soon it is confirmed announcements will be made.

Rule changes that have been suggested by the athletes themselves were discussed and the new committee is committed to listening to what the athletes themselves have to say about the direction of the sport. Having Emily Jackson-Troutman, Mathieu Dumoulin and Jez Jezz who are representatives from USA, Europe and Oceania assist athletes to have a voice is extremely important to the committee and we look forward to working in the future with these representatives.

Gender equity has also been a focus on this meeting, a fantastic announcement will follow soon which will assist freestyle in being one of the leading sports in ensuring that competition is fair for all involved.

The way in which judges attend world championships was also discussed and an announcement on this will be forthcoming. We have always had very experienced judges at world championships and ways to assist judges to continue to be an important and supported part of these competitions was a focus.

Finally we invite the canoe and kayak community to come with us on this journey and be a part of our upcoming worlds competitions. The 2017 ICF Freestyle World Championships in San Juan Argentina, the 2018 ICF Freestyle World Cups in Sort Spain and Millau France and the 2019 ICF Freestyle World Championships in Sort Spain where freestyle kayaking will be showcased at it's absolute best.

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