Sprint racing is one of only two canoeing events included in the Olympic Games. Racing takes place on flatwater over distances of 200 metres, 500 metres and 1000 metres on a straight course, of up to nine boats, each in a separate lane. Races are in singles, doubles and fours, for both Canadian canoes and Kayaks, which have to conform to minimum weight and specified standard.

Our sprint racing is based around the five National Regattas, including National Championships and an Inter Club Championship at The National Water Sports Centre course at Nottingham. In addition a number of local regattas are run at sites throughout the country during the season.

Most paddlers enter sprint racing through a club, racing locally as novices and progress to national regattas at junior and senior levels; all paddlers are ability ranked within their classes i.e. girls, boys, men, women and masters.

The BCU Sprint Racing Committee, together with the management of the Lottery funded Sports Council’s scheme, select talented paddlers to train under the World Class Olympic Podium and Development programmes. In addition, the Start programmes cater for junior development through the clubs and gives opportunities for international competition at club level.

The World Class structure is designed to provide Great Britain teams for international competitions at junior (under 18), under 23’s and senior level for men and women racing both kayaks and canadian canoes. These competitions include World Cups, World and European Championships and the Olympic Games.

Great Britain has built an excellent record, achieving Olympic, European and World Championships medals in recent years


Photos credit: Ryan Pearce