Trnovo ob Soči, Slovenia, hosted first two world cup races of the season. The strongest wildwater canoeing nations were among the best during two days of exciting racing. France topped the medal standings with eight medals, followed by Czech Republic and Germany with seven medals.
The extremely low level of the Soča River forced competitors to show all their knowledge while navigating between the rocks which are usually covered with rapids. Some of the favourites were among casualties of the rocky course which also caused broken paddles and scratched or damaged boats.
The main favourite in men’s kayak sprint race, local Nejc Žnidarčič (SLO), set the fastest qualification run with almost three seconds lead, but later in the final hit the rock and showed spectacular flight through the air. The mistake caused him medal and pushed him to 10th place. He crossed the finish line with a smile: “What else to do after a run like this? If the run was not fast it was at least attractive. I just saw a video of the run and I think I could be a good competition to ski jumpers. It was a really nice jump,” said reigning European champion.
Good news from preparation of the European Championships in Banja Luka: After the big flood in the Canyon of river Vrbas last year, the whole electric system could be repaired. Yesterday evening the light test finished with success and the Europeans can start in two weeks.
Vrbas river is mountainous river with a several wild sectionsand fast falls. Vrbas consists of two canyons – a canyon Tijesno (5 km) on which is a kayak course and a canyon Podmilacje (8 km). International qualification of the difficulty of the flowing in the canyon Tijesno is III and IV degree of wild water and depending on a flood-gate, flowing varies from 25-120 m3 and in the spring even to 500m3.
Water temperature in the summer is above 17 C and air temperature is above 30 C degrees. Slalom course length is flexible and it can be used from 400 to 800 m according to needs and it is part of the slalom course 5 kilometers long. It is approachable with many ways and steps and it is secured with two electrical gates for dragging out in the case of accidents and injures.
There is an ambulance close to the course, about 2 kilometers far.
Canoe-World meets Augsburg during Wildwater Canoeing Event weekend
Since the Olympic Games 1972 in Germany, the “Eiskanal” in Augsburg has been known in the canoe scenery as a very challenging artificial white water circuit. Many high level competitions in Canoe Slalom and Wildwater Canoeing Sprint have already been hosted on the 300 meter long WW III-IV channel. After organizing of the 1. World Championship in Wildwater Canoeing Sprint in 2011 Augsburg gave place to the 1. ECA Wildwater Sprint Cup and ICF ranking race with competitors from 10 nations. The first day of the big canoe event the athletes have already got familiar with the new international rules for sprint competition. Following the new rules the best 5 athletes per category of the first heat are directly qualified to the finals and do not take part in the second heat anymore. The second heat decide about the rest of the tickets to the participation in the finals. Both spectators and competitors were very confident with the new system. The organizers could manage the ICF ranking race on Saturday without any problems as well as the ECA Sprint Cup competition on Sunday.
Last Wildwater Canoeing World Cup finished in Vienna on the new wildwater stadium where also the Slalom Europeans was held a few weeks before. It was the first time that the wildwater canoeing circus used a water circulated artificial course.
During the last years the President of the Austrian Canoe Federation worked very hard for the building of the course near river Donau and he offered the wildwater canoe sport a new kind of possibilities to promote this wonderful discipline. All the competitors were happy to found best conditions for their races and they all liked to do as much runs as they could have for preparation to the next year World Championship in Wildwater Canoeing Sprint on same course in Vienna.
Normen Weber and Marjolaine Hequet seems to be unbeatable in C1
German C1 paddler Normen Weber and French C1 women Marjolaine Hequet fixed their third gold medal in their third world cup race in Lofer.
With an excellent performance won Weber the classic race between St. Martin and Lofer on river Saalach before Croatian Tomislav Lepan and French Louis Lapointe.
Due to her third gold medal before Italian girl Marlene Ricciardi and German Sabrina Barm on third place, the French girl Hequets leads the world cup ranking with a clear distance.
Locals convincing in the first World Cup sprint
After Schmid and Filzwieser/Draxl have already picked up their first medals in the classic distance on Friday, now their run of success continued at the home World Cup of the Austrians. While Schmid souvereignly took the third place behind the towering Nejc Znidarcic (SLO) and Richard Hala (CZE), Filzwieser/Draxl were able to secure their first ever World Cup victory in a thrilling final against Nies/Pesch (GER) and Brücker/Weber (GER). After the Swiss dominance in the Classic on Friday, Alice Schmitt (FRA) took her chance today to win in front of Costanza Bonaccorsi (ITA) and Chantal Abgottsponn (SUI).
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