More than 250 athletes are expected to compete in next month’s ICF canoe ocean racing world championships in Lanzarote, Spain, underlining the growing popularity of the sport around the world.
The strong entry numbers come despite some powerful ocean racing countries, including Australia and New Zealand, still being severely restricted by international travel rules. Organisers have been impressed by the enthusiasm of athletes wanting to paddle internationally again after more than 12 months of next to no competition. The ICF world championships were originally scheduled for last year, but had to be postponed because of Covid.
“We know how passionate our canoe ocean racing community are about their sport, so we should not be surprised to see so many athletes have already entered next month’s competition,” ICF ocean racing committee chairman, Mario Santos, said.
“But of course, after such a difficult time globally, and with many countries still struggling, there was always going to be a question mark about events this year. But the athletes have voted with their feet, and this world championships is sure to be a triumph.
“The attraction of paddling at Lanzarote, which is experienced at hosting top level ocean racing events, I am sure has enticed many athletes to sign up. But also just the opportunity to once again take on the world’s best.”
The 2021 ICF canoe ocean racing world championships is scheduled for July 4-6, and will feature elite races for both men and women, as well as U23 and masters categories. Strict Covid protocols will be in place to protect all participants.
“The organising committee of the 2021 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships sets to organise a safe and top tier event,” the executive director of world championships, Jose Maria Garcia Riolobos, said.
“With our experience of organising the four previous editions of the Atlantic Ocean Surfski Lanzarote, we will provide the best and safest conditions for the development of this world championships.”