International Canoe Federation President Thomas Konietzko is predicting this month’s inaugural Virtual World Cup will kickstart an exciting new era in paddle competition.

The one-day event set down for December 17 looks set to attract paddlers from the Olympic level down to the recreational athletes. The opportunity to take on Olympic gold medalist, Sandor Totka, over 2000 metres is sure to prove a major incentive for a lot of paddlers.

“At the ICF we pride ourselves on our ability to be innovative, which has been on display through all our paddling disciplines,” Mr Konietzko said.

“A Virtual World Cup is the exciting next step for us. The latest technology in this field is incredible, and we can’t wait to show the world how exciting an event like this can be. We will live stream the entire competition, with a studio host and expert commentators to make sure people watching online are kept up to date with all the action.

“We know a lot of athletes really miss the chance to test themselves during the winter months. A Virtual World Cup is a chance to see how they are progressing with their training ahead of the next season. And how exciting is it for the next level of paddlers, and recreational canoeists, to test themselves against athletes who are preparing for an Olympic qualification program?”

The virtual world cup will offer opportunities for individual races in three categories – junior, senior and masters 40+ - for both men and women. There will also be races for men’s and women’s paracanoe. Each race will have a cut-off of 15 minutes.

You can register here

The ICF has partnered with world-leading ergo manufacturer KayakPro to ensure the competition offers the best possible athlete experience. Competitors will need access to a KayakPro machine, and the cutting edge Genesis Port Bluetooth Smart Console. Athletes who don’t have the console may qualify for an ICF donation.

Competitors will also need to be able to film their performance, to be part of the ICF livestream program.

Entry to the event costs just EU 5. Registration closes December 7, and a trial competition run will be held for interested participants on December 15.

You can find the latest event bulletin here. The event webpage is here.