Over the next five days 20 nations will compete in the 2009 ICF Junior Wildwater World Championships in Buochs Switzerland.
The action begins today with the non-stop training run which is used to seed competitors ahead of tomorrow’s 6km classic race on the river Engelberger Aa.
Last night the team leaders were treated to a mountain welcome atop the famous Stanserhorn enjoying spectacular views of the Engelberger valley and surrounding mountain peaks.
The Engelberger Aa flows into lake Vierwaldstaetersee, the lake of four Cantons more commonly known to outsiders as Lake Lucerne. In a smart move the organize rs extended the original finish line downstream close to the lakeside town of Buochs making the finish accessible to the townspeople and spectators.
In a show of Swiss efficiency, the army constructed a bridge across the finishing straight and organisers erected a large screen scoreboard and athletes village in the finish zone.
Competitors and officials are housed together in a Swiss military centre within easy reach of the start and finish creating a lively close-knit atmosphere amongst the participants.
Technical organizer, Heinz Wyss, a veteran of the 1973 senior world championships held nearby in Muotathal, said,
“This has been a long term project for the local community and this world championship will be a stepping stone towards the construction of a permanent canoeing centre in Buochs.”
The parade of nations and opening ceremony will take place tonight with the individual and team Classic event following on Wednesday and Thursday. The team and individual sprint events follow on Friday and Saturday
– but the sailors praise the new boats