A series of hosts have been approved for World Cups and World Championships across eight of the International Canoe Federation’s 10 disciplines. 

There were battles for the hosting rights for the 2028 Canoe Marathon World Championships and 2028 Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships after strong bids were presented at the ICF Board meeting in London, England. 

Banyoles, Spain, was awarded the 2028 Canoe Marathon World Championships after overcoming Pitesti-Bascov, Romania, and Ponte de Lima, Portugal. 

“It is a happy moment because we want the best places to organise international races in Spain,” said Javier Hernanz, President of the Royal Spanish Canoeing Federation. 

“Banyoles is one of the most appropriate places to hold this World Championships. It is fantastic for us to have this event.” 

Montemor-o-Velho in Portugal will host the 2028 Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships after the Portuguese delegation saw off competition from Slovakia, Poland and Romania to win the vote. 

“We are delighted with the attribution of this World Championships,” said Vitor Felix, President of the Portuguese Canoe Federation. 

“We presented two bids, one for the Canoe Marathon World Championships and the other for the Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships. 

“We are more than happy with this result. 

“Since 2009, we have organised international events, so this is proof of the confidence from the ICF in the Portuguese organisation.” 

ICF Board meeting London 2024

The ICF Board also agreed the destinations for the Canoe Slalom and Canoe Sprint World Cups in 2026. 

Among the five locations for the 2026 Canoe Slalom World Cups will be Vaires-sur-Marne, France – the venue for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

The other hosts will be Augsburg in Germany, La Seu in Spain, Prague in Czechia and Tacen in Slovenia. 

Krakow has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2028 Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 World Championships. 

One World Cup combining Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe for 2026 has been approved for Brandenburg, Germany.

The 2026 season will also see ICF Canoe Sprint World Cups take place in Bratislava, Slovakia, and and Szeged, Hungary,  following confirmation by the ICF Board. 

Montemor-o-Velho in Portugal has been awarded the 2025 Canoe Sprint Masters World Championships. 

A total of four ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships have been allocated, running from 2025 to 2028. 

Durban in South Africa will stage the 2025 edition, followed by Vila Joiosa in 2026, Tahiti in 2027 and Cherbourg, France in 2028. 

It was also approved that Reunion will stage a Canoe Ocean Racing World Cup from November 15 to 17 in 2024. 

The ICF Board has agreed to award two editions of the Stand Up Paddling World Championships, with Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in 2025 and Sicily, Italy, in 2026. 

Sarasota in the United States had been scheduled to hold the 2026 edition but will now play host in 2027 to accommodate Sicily. 

Other hosts approved included Ceske Budejovice, Czechia, for the 2025 Wildwater Canoeing World Championships and Solkan, Slovenia for the 2025 Wildwater Canoeing Junior and U23 World Championships. 

Paris crowd kayak cross 2023

Vejen in Denmark has secured the hosting rights for the 2028 Canoe Polo World Championships. 

Representatives from all the Continental Federations and Chairs of each of the ICF’s 10 Standing Committees and Commissions gathered in London for the Board meeting hosted by Paddle UK on April 5 and 6. 

Members received an update on preparations for the Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom events at the Paris 2024 Olympics as the countdown continues to the Games. 

A series of sport rule changes were approved, including the introduction of the Kayak Cross time-trail as an official medal event at ICF Level Three competitions. 

The time trial is used for individual athletes to qualify to the head-to-head elimination phase of the women’s and men’s Kayak Cross at ICF events. 

Changes will also be made in order to simplify the competition format for the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cups and World Championships from the 2025 season. 

In the World Cups, there will be one run in the heats with the 12 best-ranked athletes advancing to the final. 

In the World Championships, there will also be only one run in the heats with the 30 highest-ranked progressing to the semi-finals where they will compete for 12 final slots. 

Other items on the agenda included reports from ICF President Thomas Konietzko, Vice Presidents Cecilia Farias and Lluis Rabaneda and Treasurer and Acting Vice President Luciano Buonfiglio. 

Dr Farias reported that more than 500 coaches benefitted from the ICF’s development programmes in 2023, with over 20 national coaching seminars and two regional taking place. 

“We firmly believe that the better the coaches the better the athletes,” said Dr Farias. 

“We are not just delivering the courses but gender equality with applicants obliged to present the same quantity of male and female attendees.” 

ICF Secretary General Richard Pettit gave an overview of the progress made on the Fit for Future strategic roadmap. 

The Board agreed to evolve the strategy while maintain focus on the eight identified areas over the next four years under the name “Fit for Future Evolution”. 

ICF Board meeting London 2024

Another highlight of the Board meeting was the presentation from the ICF Finance Commission which has been formed to improve the governance oversight of the International Federation’s financial management. 

The group that includes experts in the field of finance held its inaugural meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland in February following the ICF Executive Committee meeting. 

“The Board can be very satisfied with the capability of the people on the commission,” said Maree Burnett, President of the Oceania Canoe Association who is Chair of the ICF Finance Commission. 

“Their professional experience and skillset is excellent and I believe they will add a lot of value to our financial management.” 

There were also presentations from each of the Continental Federations and Standing Committees. 

Jane Gibson was unanimously voted in as the Acting Chair of the ICF Medical Commission after being nominated by Paddle UK and will replace Great Britain’s Tim Brabants following his resignation due to work commitments. 

The membership of Sierra Leone has been declared invalid after its status as a National Federation was not approved by the National Olympic Committee by Sierra Leone.  

The Board meeting concluded with discussions on the planning of the 100th anniversary celebrations at the ICF Congress, due to be held on November 7 and 8 in Antalya, Türkiye. 

Mr Konietzko said: “I can only express my gratitude to a very constructive Board meeting in London. 

“We finished a lot of ongoing discussions so we are well prepared for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and are looking forward to having a great Congress in Antalya later this year.” 

Canoe Sprint
Canoe Marathon
Canoe Polo
Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross
Wildwater Canoeing
Canoe Ocean Racing
Stand Up Paddling
Dragon Boat
Canoe Freestyle