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Providing a life raft: dummies guide to canoeing

Posted at 4:45 pm, July 17, 2012 in Olympics & Paralympics
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We all remember capsizing a canoe as part of an orienteering expedition at school but how many of us have thought about it since then? The sport has been steadily growing since 2007 so to make sure you are down with the cool kids, we’ve put together a few facts to keep your head above water…

Street cred: Canoes were trending spectacularly in 2007, when it emerged that a man called John Darwin had faked his own death in a pretend kayak tragedy. Since then, things have been quiet.

Basics: Olympic canoeing consists of two disciplines, slalom and sprint, which are divided into canoe and kayak categories.

• Sprint – a straight race along flat water. There are 12 gold medals available with distances ranging from 200m to 1000m.

• Slalom – a spectacular event also known as white-water canoeing, where paddlers duck and weave through rapids and negotiate a course of 25 gates.

Almost useless fact: The main difference between a kayak and a canoe is that kayak paddles have blades at both ends whereas canoe paddles have a blade at only one end. Glad we’ve cleared that up.

Do say: ‘Canoeing may be a low-profile sport but with so many medals available, success on the water could propel Great Britain up the overall table.’

Don’t say: ‘Watersports are totally my bag.’

For more info, see timeout.com.

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