The virtual world cup will be held on December 17, will be streamed live, and will pit world and Olympic athletes against recreational paddlers keen to test themselves against the globe’s best competitors.
Athletes will race over approximately 2000 meters, and using the latest cutting edge technology will be able to measure their progress against opponents located in loungerooms, garages and gymnasiums around the world.
ICF President Thomas Konietzko said the virtual world cup showed the importance of embracing innovation to remain relevant in a fast-changing sporting landscape.
“Today this specifically means for traditional sports to adapt and adopt, or be left behind and forgotten,” Mr Konietzko said.
“As the governing body of the sport, we want to drive innovation and foster the growth and development. By having an online virtual competition, we intend to do just that.
“The virtual competition will have the opportunity to increase our membership and increase engagement with paddlers all year round by making our sport more accessible. Not only can paddlers virtually anywhere join, but now they can enjoy our sport during cold winter months.”
There will be individual races in three categories – junior, senior and masters 40+ – for both men and women. There will also be races for men’s and women’s paracanoe. Each race will have a cut-off of 15 minutes.
The ICF has partnered with world-leading ergo manufacturer KayakPro to ensure the competition offers the best possible athlete experience. Competitors will need access to a KayakPro machine, and the cutting edge Genesis Port Bluetooth Smart Console. Athletes who don’t have the console may qualify for an ICF donation.
Competitors will also need to be able to film their performance, to be part of the ICF livestream program.
Entry to the event costs just EU 5. Registration closes December 7, and a trial competition run will be held for interested participants on December 15.