Wildwater Racing is a discipline of canoe racing, also known as Downriver Racing, consisting of paddling straight ahead downstream through white water in a boat whose main characteristic is its large wings for stability. It has no rudder and is shorter than a marathon or sprint boat, but longer and straighter than a white water boat. (4.5m length/ min weight 11kg)
Events are held as a time trial format, paddlers leave individually with between 30 to 120 seconds separating them from the paddler in front. The wildwater time trial is the purest of whitewater racing forms – the athlete, the river, the clock.
Courses can be as short as 3 minutes for Rapid Sprints where peak fitness is required to battle the river obstacles, lactic acid, competitors and themselves to be the fastest over the course. Classic courses range around the 9 – 30 minute mark. Or go hard at the WA State Titles in Bridgetown which is held over 7km. Athletes must manage the very unstable downriver kayaks anywhere from flat water up to grade 4 rapids.
A racing performance is the result of physical conditioning, skill and harmony with the water. Beautiful water, scenery and companionship make the Wild Water Racing experience compelling. The competitor is free to take whichever route on the river they desire, a freedom of racing unsurpassed in the whitewater world.