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Pan Am Canoe Kayak Slalom

Canoe / Kayak Slalom

Canoe / Kayak Slalom


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Sport Overview

In this exciting, adrenaline-fuelled sport, athletes negotiate their way down a churning whitewater course of rapids, rocks, drops and eddies while negotiating a series of gates, in the fastest time possible. Canoe – slalom athletes use a single-bladed paddle and sit in an open boat. Kayak – slalom athletes use a double-bladed paddle and are in a seated position within a closed cockpit boat.

Canoe – slalom features both men's and women's canoe single events and a men’s canoe double event, while kayak – slalom features both men’s and women’s single events.

TORONTO 2015 marks the debut of canoe – slalom at a Pan American Games.


History

While the canoe itself has a long history dating back to an era when it was made of wood and hollowed out trees and used as a means for transportation, hunting and fishing, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that the first official races were held.

Kayaking as a sport got its start in 1905 with the creation of the canvas kayak.

The first Canoe Slalom World Championships under the patronage of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) were organized in 1949 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The original canoe slalom boats consisted of folding and rigid canvas canoes. They were replaced with fibreglass-reinforced plastic boats up until 1972. After this time the slalom rules were simplified and there were dramatic changes in boat construction. In 1992, canoe slalom was introduced at the Olympic Games and there were more changes in the slalom rules such as gate penalty and the two-run system.

At the 2010 World Championships, a women's canoe class was introduced to the sport and demonstrated the progression towards gender equity. Women now compete in two events at the Olympic and world championship level — the single kayak and single canoe.

Today’s competition kayak/canoe is sleek, nimble and made from a variety of ultra-light materials such as a carbon-Kevlar compound.

How it works


Canoe

Athletes negotiate their way down a whitewater course using a single-bladed paddle, racing through a series of 25 red and green painted poles (gates). The coloured poles specify the direction in which the paddler must pass through the gate. If they touch the gate, they receive a two-second time penalty; if they miss the gate altogether, they receive a 50-second time penalty. The combined score of time and penalties determines the finishing order.

Canoe slalom features both men's and women's canoe single events and a men’s canoe double event.

Kayak

In this single's event, kayakers use a double-bladed paddle and are in a seated position within the closed cockpit of the boat. The kayaker navigates 25 gates on a whitewater course in the fastest time possible. Time penalties are given for gates that are touched (two seconds) and missed (50 seconds). The combined score of time and penalties determines the finishing order.

Kayak slalom features both men's and women's kayak single events.


Terminology

Canoe

Blade
The wide part of the paddle that passes through the water.

Bow
The front end of the boat.

Chute
An area where the course becomes constricted, resulting in a narrow tongue of water.

Cockpit
The enclosed space where the paddler or paddlers sit.

Drop
An on-course feature that creates fast currents.

Eddy
A pool of calmer water outside the course’s main current. Upstream gates are often placed here.

Line
The path the paddler takes through the gates.

Stern
The back end of the boat.

Kayak

Cockpit
The enclosed space where the paddler sits.

Spray skirt/spraydeck
A cover worn by paddlers that seals them in the boat and prevents water from entering.

Upstream gate
A slalom gate that has to be negotiated against the water’s flow.

Additional Information

Additional Information