Note Sportscene. Below Ettore Ivaldi’s thoughts about a "Canoe Slalom Cross" proposal that the ICF Slalom committee will present to the ICF Board of Directors later this month. In 2012 we published an article which explains how Boater Cross or BoaterX works: http://www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/extreme/news/how-a-boaterx-works. The photos we published are the property of Alexander Heinle (Augsburg).
Writer: Ettore Ivaldi | Translation from Italian by Zeno Ivaldi | Original Article: http://ettoreivaldi.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/boarder-cross-obiettivo-olimpiadi.html
I would like to start by saying that Jean Michel Prono (President of the ICF Boarding slalom) wants to add “Canoe Slalom Cross” (alias “Boarder Cross”) to the World Cup slalom tour. The same race that Enrico Lazzarotto organised more than 10 years ago.
It consists of a knock-out tournament between four athletes per round competing on a five to seven gate slalom course; usually, this kind of race starts from a three to five-metre ramp above the river. The first athlete to cross the finish line wins.
Today, whatever seemed to be just a show and nothing more is becoming more and more official and it may be seriously taken into consideration for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The whole French federation is pushing for this event to take place which is evident from them including border cross as part of the World Cup race in Pau last year.
Please note: Boarder cross has nothing in common with freestyle (which already is an ICF discipline), but it more like a hybrid between slalom and extreme kayak races, despite the latter not being an ICF discipline.
In fact, the Adidas Sickline world championships are not recognised by any federation, and I believe that it is one of the closest things to a boarder cross, obviously talking about the spirit of this kind of racing.
The main reasons they endorse this choice are:
- To add something new to the world of kayaking.
- To be able to use artificial Slalom courses also for some different kind of racing.
- Give more Olympic medals in canoeing and kayaking competitions.
Furthermore, factories producing plastic boats are way more powerful and versatile (they produce way more things than just kayaks) than factories producing carbon boats. They can take advantage of kayak races and all the visibility of the Olympic Games for auto-promoting.
If you bring big factories to the sport you also bring money and visibility. It is a dog chasing its own tail. With money and with someone believing in it you can extend the dog’s tail. Dog is happy because he can get its tail, it does not keep turning in circle for nothing and arouses curiosity (looking a little stupid though).
Let me explain you what the rules might be
Each heat would consist of four paddlers with the first two in each heat to advance to the next round. Racing would take place on a slalom whitewater course and consist of five to seven gates with no more than two upstream. The duration of the race would last between 45 and 60 seconds.
Boats must be a maximum of 2.75 metres and a minimum of 2.05 metres long, and must weigh at least 20kg. They will probably push the K1 men and women categories for the Olympics, meanwhile the C1 will race only at the World Cups.
In 1996, the same thing happened in cycling. They removed the 4 x 100km relay to add mountain bike and then in 2008 did the same thing for BMX as the discipline is more attractive for young people and has a much larger economic return.
Back to us [canoe slalom]: The proposal looks interesting. Of course after this Wildwater will lose every opportunity to go to the Olympics but no one has ever actually worked for this to happen. So too bad for them.