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Search Canoeing, Canoe Polo, Flatwater, Kayak, Olympic Competition, Olympic Greats, Related Links, Slalom.

Summer Olympics

Latest news in the world of Canoeing.

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An Olympic sport since Berlin 1936, the hollowed-out log canoe has been transporting man up rivers and along coastal waters for thousands of years.

Eskimos designed the kayak to their needs and many variations can be found in the Arctic region. With no trees to hollow out, they made the frame from whalebone and driftwood; stretching a sea-lion skin tautly over it and waterproofing their mode of transport with whale fat.

In the 19th century, Scottish barrister John MacGregor had a wooden kayak built and took his notepad into the rivers and lakes of Europe's wilderness to write the book 'A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe'.

He later founded the Royal Canoe Club, and canoe regattas soon followed, in 1866.

Canoeing - Olympic Competition

There are two disciplines currently featured in the Olympics: Flatwater and Slalom.

But first the terminology:

K-1, K-2 and K-4 means one, two or four people in a kayak.
Likewise, with C-1 and C-2; canoes with one or two people.

Canoe/Kayak Flatwater

Europe remains the traditional power base of the sport, led by Germany, Sweden and athletes from the former Soviet Union.

As the name suggests, races are held on flat water, with competitors assigned to lanes.

Women only compete in kayaks, paddling in the closed boats from a sitting position, with a double-blade paddle.

Men race in kayaks and canoes; paddling in the open boats from a kneeling position, using a single-blade paddle.

Men Women
C-1 500m
C-1 1,000m
C-2 500m
C-2 1,000m

K-1  500m
K-1 1,000m
K-2 500m
K-2 1,000m
K-4 1,000m

K-1 500m
K-2 500m
K-4 500m

Canoe/Kayak Slalom

The dramatic whitewater version of the sport that looks as exciting as it is difficult.

There are only four events in this category; again the women drawing the shorter straw.

Men get to compete in the C-1 (canoe single), C-2 (canoe double) and K-1 (kayak single) while women have to settle for the K-1 (kayak single) only.

Canoeing - Olympic Greats

Birgit Fischer, of Germany, is the only canoeist to win twelve medals (8 gold and 4 silver) in 24 years of Olympic competition.

Birgit followed her K-1,500m single woman's gold in Moscow 1980, for East Germany, with two gold medals and a silver in Seoul 1988. The other eight medals (for unified Germany) came in Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

Gert Fredriksson, of Sweden, earned his place in kayak Olympic history with a total haul of eight medals: 6 gold , 1 silver and 1 bronze at four Olympic Games: London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960.

Olympic Sports

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Canoeing - Links

C/ Antracita, 7 4th floor, 28045 Madrid, Spain.
The International Canoe Federation was founded in 1924 to form a link between the new canoeing associations emerging in various countries, promote foreign touring and organise international competitions.

Official Canoe and Kayak Bodies

American Canoe Association:
The mission of the American Canoe Association (ACA) is to promote the health, social and personal benefits of canoeing, kayaking and rafting and to serve the needs of all paddlers for safe, enjoyable and quality paddling opportunities.

American Whitewater:
American Whitewater restores rivers dewatered by hydropower dams, eliminates water degradation, improves public land management and protects public access to rivers for responsible recreational use.

Australian Canoeing and Kayaking:
Australian Canoeing (AC) is the national organisation responsible for the management, co-ordination, development and promotion of paddle sports in Australia.

British Canoe Union:
The governing body of paddle-sports within the United Kingdom.

Canadian Canoe Association:
The official website of the Canadian Canoe Association has links to canoe clubs around Canada as well as all the official news and competition entries.

The Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association was conceived in 1971 as a result of the perceived need that recreational paddling enthusiasts from across Canada required a national body to co-ordinate the efforts of those involved in non-competitive canoeing and kayaking.

European Canoe Association:
Latest news, competition results and touring events on Europe's waterways.

Royal Canoe Club:
The Royal Canoe Club (RCC) is based on the River Thames in Teddington, just a few miles from central London. The club was founded in 1866 and has been prominent in UK canoeing and kayaking ever since.

Adventure Canoeing

Canoeing in Sweden:
The Canoe Guide site presents about 400 different trips by canoe and kayak in Sweden; on lakes, rivers and small streams as well as tours in archipelagos and along the coast.

Canoe Polo

The International Canoe Federation also promote canoe polo on its sporting calendar.

Canoe Polo:
Forum for fans of canoe polo.


The Alpine Kayak Club:
Friends of the extreme, alpine paddling report here about their adventures, experiences and expeditions world-wide.

World Kayak Federation:
Their ideal is to develop and safeguard whitewater kayaking as a recreational activity and as an athletic endeavour, with efforts focused on the development of whitewater parks, events, and raising the standards for whitewater kayaking instruction and instructor certification.

Not in English

Austria Canoe Federation - Ísterreichischer Kanuverband.

Brazilian Canoe Confederation - ConfederašŃo Brasileira de Canoagem.

Croatian Canoe Federation - Hrvatski Kajakaski Savez:
With a small English section.

Czech Canoe Federation.

Deutsche Kanuslalom-Nationalmannschaft.

Federation Francaise de Canoe Kayak.

Svenska Kanotf÷rbundet.

Further Reading

Canoeing and Kayaking.


Winter Olympics

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