What is Canoe Slalom? PDF Print E-mail
photo: Nina JelencIn Canoe Slalom, paddlers must navigate their canoe or kayak through pairs of poles, which are called gates. The course of gates is set up over challenging rapids, waves, eddies and currents on a 300m stretch of whitewater. If the paddler touches a pole or misses a gate altogether then penalty seconds are added to their timed run (2 seconds for touching a pole, 50 seconds for missing a gate). Gates have green and white or red and white poles. When gates are green and white athletes have to pass them in the direction of current, while with red and white gates paddlers have to pass them in the opposite direction to that of the current. The number of gates varies from 18 to 25.

There are Kayak events, for men and women, in single (K1) boats, and Canoe events in single (C1) and for men in double (C2) boats. Traditionally Canoe has been exclusively for Men but there is a growing Women’s contingent and Women’s C1 is in the World Championship program from 2010.

In the team events, three boats start together and the athletes decide who leads and who follows. The three boats (K1, C1 or C2) follow each other and negotiate the gates in the quickest succession as possible. The time of the run is recorded as the last boat crosses the finish line.

At individual race competitors first compete in heats which consist of two runs and the best run then counts at the end. The best 40 kayakers (K-1m), 30 canoeists (C-1m) and women’s kayakers (K-1w), 20 canoe doubles (C-2) and women’s canoeists (C-1w) advance to the semifinal. Then top 10 paddlers from each category advance to the grand final. In team race half of the teams that were at start advance from semifinals to finals. If there are ten or less teams on a start of each category best five teams then start in the final.

Source: ICF