Canoe Slalom

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Canoe slalom is one of the most spectacular watersports, demanding skill, stamina and courage. The aim is to run a rapid river course marked by "gates" fast, and without touching.

A "gate" is two poles, suspended over the water. Green and white gates are negotiated in a downstream direction, red and white gates upstream. The gates are placed so that you must make tricky cross-current moves and use the eddies and waves.

A touch is penalised with 2 seconds added to the competitor's time. Missing a gate costs 50 seconds - a wipeout in serious competition. Each competitor takes two runs, and the times are added together*

Four classes compete: Men's and Ladies' Kayak, Canadian Singles and Canadian Doubles.

This is a sport in which Britain excels. Richard Fox was 5 times World Champion; Lynn Simpson was Ladies World Champion; and Paul Ratcliffe has held the World Cup and took the silver medal at the Sydney Olympic Games.

 A Typical Slalom Kayak