In a week more than 300 of the world’s best young Canoe Slalom paddlers representing 27 nations will be on the Wisconsin River in Wausau, Wisconsin (USA), competing at the 2012 ICF Junior/U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships.
The five day event from 10-15 July kicks off with the Athletes Parade at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, 10 July at 6:30 p.m. at the 400 Block in downtown Wausau.
Jessica Fox will compete at both the World Championships and Olympic Games
Junior competitors coming to Wausau are between the ages of 15 and 18, and many are still too young (although eligible) to compete at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Jessica Fox is the exception as she will represent Australia in the Women’s K1 event at both the Junior World Championships Olympic Games.
For many of the other junior competitors, medaling at the 2012 ICF Junior World Championships will likely put them on the fast track to the following Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
Team USA’s Caroline Queen and Casey Eichfeld will also fly to London immediately after the conclusion of the U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships to represent the US in the Women’s K1 and Men’s C1 events respectively. The U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships are for paddlers aged 19-23.
USA Today names Whitewater Park in America’s top 10 urban whitewater paddling sites
All races for both age groups are held at Whitewater Park on the Wisconsin River’s 250 meter whitewater course that runs through downtown Wausau. Whitewater Park and Wausau have been recognized as one of America’s top 10 urban whitewater paddling sites by USA Today Travel.
Whitewater slalom requires paddlers to go through a series of gates suspended over the rapids as fast as they can to the finish line. The shortest elapsed time from start to finish with the fewest penalties assessed for touching a gate wins. Some gates require the competitors to go downstream; others require that the paddler come back upstream through the gate.
Unlike other international whitewater courses that can potentially face low water levels during dry periods, there’s always plenty of water available in Wausau from the Wisconsin River reservoirs.
Over 10,000 spectators expected to watch Championships at the venue
Wausau has hosted many international canoe competitions and several other world championship whitewater races, including one other Junior World Championship in 1994.
Admission is free and organizers expect more than 10,000 spectators to be at the venue to watch the action which begins Wednesday with the heats, and ends Sunday afternoon with the finals. Races begin at 9 a.m. each day and conclude at approximately 3:00 p.m.
The ICF Junior/U23 Canoe/Slalom World Championships are presented by the International Canoe Federation (ICF), the USA Canoe/Kayak (USACK) and the Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation. Major sponsors include Charter, the BA and Esther Greenheck Foundation, The Judd S. Alexander Foundation and The Dudley Foundation.
For more information on the 2012 ICF Junior/U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships visit: http://www.2012wausau.com/.
For live results visit: www.canoeliveresults.com/wausau-junior-u23-icf-world-championship-canoe-slalom-2012.php
Below you can download the provisional program.