What is Canoe Sprint?
What is Canoe Sprint?
Flatwater Sprint Racing is one of the best-known competitive canoeing disciplines in Australia. This is probably due to its inclusion in the Olympic Games since 1936 and Australia’s involvement in All Olympics from the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Flatwater Racing is all about speed on flat water over distances of 200 metres, 500 metres and 1000 metres. The crafts that have developed are sleek and fast but unstable.[/vc_column_text]
Canoe sprint takes place on a flatwater course and races are contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). In a canoe, the paddler competes in a striding position using a single-blade paddle, in contrast to the double-bladed paddle used in a sitting position in a kayak. At international level the discipline is competed at four distances from 200m to 5000m, both individually and in teams of up to four. Each discipline is categorised by boat type, number of competitors per boat, gender, and race distance, meaning the example of C2M 500m is the canoe male doubles 500m.
Canoe sprint made its debut at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 with nine men’s events, with that number reduced to eight in London 12 years later to accommodate the first women’s race at the Games, the K1W 500m won by Denmark’s Karen Hoff. Canoe sprint has featured in every Games since, and the 2020 programme in Tokyo will consist of six men’s and six women’s events.
Canoe Sprint is a race to the line on a flatwater course with international competition set over four distances: 200, 500, 1000 and 5000 meters.
Races are contested as individuals and teams with up to four athletes in a boat.
Both canoes and kayaks compete in the sprint discipline and are distinguished on the results sheet by their initial letter C and K followed by the number of competitors in the boat, the gender and then the distance. For example, K1M 200m is Kayak Men’s Singles over 200 meters.
In a kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle pulling the blade through the water on alternate sides to propel the boat forward.
In a canoe, the paddle has a single-blade and the athlete uses a striding position with one knee on the deck and the other foot forward allowing room to pull the paddle down their preferred side of the canoe.
In international competition races are split into nine lanes that are allocated randomly in the initial heats; subsequently lane positions are set by qualification time: five being the fastest to qualify, then six, four, three, two, seven, eight, one and nine.
The Olympic Games is an exception, with races comprising of eight athletes with the fastest two occupying lanes four and five after the initial preliminary shakeout.
Calendar & registrations
2022 PV Schools Marathon and Sprint Championships – March 20th (Nagambie VIC)
2022 PA Canoe Sprint National Championships – April 13th-17th (Penrith NSW)
Sprint Development camp 16th Jan Essendon
VIC Sprint State Championships 30-31st Jan Nagambie
Paddle Victoria Victorian Paddle School Twilight Sprint 5th March Studley Park Boathouse
VIC School Sprint Championships 14th Mar Nagambie
VIC School Sprint Championships 15th Mar Nagambie
Geelong Sprint Regatta 13th Dec Geelong
VIC School Sprint Championships results 17th Mar Nagambie
Volunteers are essential to the running of any Sporting Event and Canoe Sprint Events are no different. If you’re interested in volunteering at a Canoe Sprint Event please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Friends over at PV Marathon have prepared some great training videos to assist with volunteering at Flatwater Events, the following 2 clips in particular apply to Sprint Events:
Paddle Victoria Sprint Clubs
Paddle Victoria has many affiliated clubs who specialise in Sprint paddling and have club coaches and boats available for their members to use when building their skills. For more information, contact the clubs directly. A list of clubs who support Sprint paddling can be found here, and their contact information can be found here.