The International Canoe Federation will unveil an exciting new race format at next month’s Wildwater World Championships in Augsburg, Germany, which will provide new opportunities for athletes at all levels to participate.

The test event will be open to only mass-produced plastic boats which are widely available for purchase on the open market. The kayaks must be no longer than 3.8 metres and be filled with airbags.

The race will be in addition to the full regular ICF Wildwater World Championship program.

The ICF Wildwater Committee believes the new format will be much more accessible for athletes of all levels, from elite to recreational, to take part. It’s expected the first official 3.8 metre races will be held at the ICF World Championships in 2025.

“We believe this new race type will lead to more athletes and more national federations taking part in our wildwater events,” ICF Wildwater Committee chair, Manuela Gawehn, said.

“It will bring plastic boats into our competitions, which is a much more affordable and accessible kayak, and will open doors for recreational paddlers to take part in our competitions. We are particularly excited about potential opportunities for expansion in Asia, Africa and the Americas.”

The event in Augsburg, at the venue where canoe slalom made its Olympic debut in 1972, will feature K1 races for both men and women. Each athlete will complete two runs on a set course, but will only count their fastest time.

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