Kayaking and Canoeing

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kayaking and Canoeing


a boating sport incorporating four separate varieties of competitive paddling: so-called flat kayak racing, kayak slalom. “flat” canoe racing. and canoe slalom.

Kayaking and canoeing began to develop in the mid-19th century, when this sport became very popular in boating; in the I860’s kayak races began to be held, and then canoe races. Specialized rowing and paddling clubs appeared in a number of European countries. (The first known club of kayakers was organized in the I860’s in Scotland.) In the St. Petersburg River Yacht Club (founded in 1860). the first in Russia. kayaking began to develop together with sailing and sculling. The first kayak competitions were held by the club in 1871 (at 400 sazheni [853.6 m] for men in single kayaks). In the USSR kayaking became very popular as early as the 1920’s; in 1928 it was incorporated into the All-Union Athletic Games; in the 1930’s and I940’s, into the program of many competitions: and in 1946, into the program of events for the USSR championship in rowing. In 1951. in connection with the preparation for the XV Olympics. canoeing began to develop intensively. Since 1953. USSR kayaking and canoeing championships have been held annually. In 1953 the USSR Kayaking and Canoeing Section was created. and in 1959 it became the Kayaking and Canoeing Federation. Since 1952. Soviet oarsmen have belonged to the International Canoe Federation—ICF (founded in 1924 as the International Canoeing Association). which guides the development of all forms of kayaking and canoeing (racing. slalom. boating) and unites (1971) the national federations of more than 30 countries.

Since 1936 kayaking and canoeing competitions have been included in the program of the Olympics; since 1938 a world championship has been held once every four years: and since 1957 a European championship has been held (in odd-numbered years). Since 1971. by decision of the ICF congress, world and European championships have been held annually and concurrently.

Kayak competitions are held among women and men. and canoe competitions only among men. The distances of races for women are 500 m; for men they are 500 m, 1,000 m, and 10,000 m. Boat classes are designated by indexes: “K” for kayak and “C” for canoe. together with a figure indicating the number of oarsmen in the boat, for example. “K-l” is a single kayak and “C-2” is a double canoe. Boat classes for women are K-l and K-2; for men they are K-l, K-2. K-4, C-l, C-2, and C-6.

The 500-m and 1,000-m distances are along a straight route, while the 10,000-m is along a circle with a straight stretch between the centers of turns of at least 1.5 km and a radius of at least 60 m.

Soviet kayakers and canoeists are among the world’s leaders in this sport. Among them are 15 Olympic champions. 45 world champions. and 38 European champions. The greatest success in international kayak and canoe competitions has been achieved by many-time Olympic champions E. G. Kislova (Dement’eva). A. A. Seredina. L. I. Pinaeva (Khvedosiuk). M. T. Shubina, V. I. Morozov, and A. M. Shaporenko and many-time world and European champions V. S. Naumov, N. A. Gruzintseva, T. N. Shiman. G. I. Bukharin. A. P. Silaev, and A. I. Khimich. The development of Soviet kayaking and canoeing is associated with the names of such coaches as G. M. Krasnopevtsev, I. I. Pisarev. I. I. Rogachev, and N. V. Savvin.

Abroad, kayaking and canoeing are most developed in Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Rumania. the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Czechoslovakia. and Sweden. Many-time winners of major international competitions include G. Fredriksson (Sweden). J. Parti (Hungary), I. Vokněr (Czechoslovakia), L. Rottman (Rumania), E. Hansen (Denmark), and T. Zenz (FRG).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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