Canoe Marathon takes the fast paced discipline of Canoe Sprint and adds to it mass starts, tactical wash hanging and co-ordinated portages. It requires balance, technique, strength and endurance and sees athletes being challenged by all types of water; river, lakes, estuary and sea or combinations of these.
The main objective is to challenge paddlers on calm or flowing water. The paddler has to negotiate currents, rapids or weirs encountered and where it is necessary to carry (or portage) the boat around an impassable obstacle.
Athletes typically compete in races that are 20 kilometres (12 mi) for men, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) for women. The races may be divided in several parts and/or several days. World Cup and World Championship races normally are about 30 to 40 kilometres (19 to 25 mi) long.
The classes include Male and Female Kayaks K1, K2 and Canoes C1, C2. The number of paddlers within a boat is indicated by the figure beside the type of boat: K1 and C1 signifies an individual Kayak or Canoe race, K2 and C2 signifies a Kayak pair and Canoe pair race.
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