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International Canoe Federation Canoe Freestyle World Championships
Some 225 of the best freestyle canoe paddlers in the world are descending on thesmall Bavarian town of Plattling to shred the waters of the Isar River during the International Canoe Federation Canoe
Freestyle World Championships, from 20 – 26 June.
Paddlers representing 28 countries will take part in this year’s edition of the event that’s held every odd-numbered year. A
testament to the sport’s growing global development, four countries - Slovenia, India, Brazil and Argentina - are making their
first foray onto the international competition stage here next week.
“Like any sport, World Championships brings out the very best in competitors, even more so for freestyle kayaking since we
aren’t yet an Olympic event,” said ICF Freestyle Chairman Lluis Rabeneda. “Even casual spectators who might not know
much about the sport will appreciate the complexity of the athletic moves and amazing amplitude the athletes can achieve.”
Among the newest of the ICF’s disciplines, freestyle kayaking is a sport where paddlers perform spins, flips and turns in a
standing wave or hole on a river. During the competition, paddlers competing one at a time have 45 seconds to perform
moves similar to those performed by snowboarders, skaters and surfers. The panel of three judges plus the chief judge can
only award each move on the scorecard once. Some moves can be performed in both right and left directions. Each move
has a strict technical definition established by the ICF. The judges’ job is to determine if the move performed has met the
definition. Points are either awarded in full or not at all. Bonus points may be awarded for moves that are executed
particularly high above the water (air or huge bonuses) or combos, where the boater performs two or more moves in
succession without a resetting between moves.
The international nature of the competition lends itself well to a festival atmosphere. To that end, the organizers of this year’s
event, working closely with local government officials and businesses in the region, have created a spectator-friendly venue
and put together an exciting program that includes live music, the local Volksfest cultural event, and other crowd-pleasing
competitions like King of the Wave, Biggest Trick, a Lake Jump Bike Show and stand up paddle downriver race.
How to tune in from afar:
The event website, http://www.icf-freestyle.de, will be the hub for all the most current info, schedules and results including:
- Press releases: Daily press releases highlighting the day’s results
- Image galleries will be made available at http://www.ICF-freestyle.de
- Video: Daily updates will be posted online. A live video feed will begin with quarterfinals.
The ICF website, http://www.canoeicf.com/icf/, will also feature, event information, LIVE webcasting, daily press releases and
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– but the sailors praise the new boats