Fierce storms and flash flooding which has wreaked havoc through much of Slovenia has also devastated the Tacen Whitewater Centre in Ljubljana.

Shocked club members, athletes and officials could only watch on in horror over the weekend as savage floodwaters ripped through the historic venue, tearing buildings apart and sweeping valuable equipment away. The final damage bill is expected to reach millions of Euros.

Videos posted online captured the ferocity of the deluge. Heartbreaking pictures showed parts of the course completely washed away.

Reigning Olympic C1 gold medalist Benjamin Savsek said he was struggling to put into words what he saw at his home course.

“It breaks my heart to see what the floods have done and the damage they have left behind,” Savsek said. 

“By this I do not mean only the Tacen track, but I have in mind above all the people who suffered damage. In one word, I can say that the whole thing is disastrous.”

Nina Jelenc from the Slovenian Canoe Federation said the full extent of the damage won’t be known until the floodwaters have receded.

“The upper part of the course us pretty demolished,” she said.

“The house is gone, as are some of the containers. The complete national team clothing has gone, as are all the gates. The entire gates system and poles, and the new kayak cross course gates are all somewhere on the way to Belgrade.

“Also gone is technical equipment, server, tables, chairs. It is really a hard hit for the Slovenian canoeing family.”

Jelenc said the floods have wreaked havoc through much of Slovenia, presenting an enormous clean-up and repair bill for the Government.

“For the moment we still do not know the exact amount of damage, but it is huge already,” she said.

“The Government will have many priorities, since two thirds of Slovenia has been impacted by the floods, including roads, railway infrastructure, bridges and houses.”

ICF President Thomas Konietzko was shocked by the extent of the damage to the whitewater centre, and has scheduled an urgent meeting with the Slovenian Canoe Federation to discuss possible next steps.

He said the thoughts of the entire international canoeing family are with the Slovenian community during these difficult times.

Tacen floods 2023

Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross