ICF TO ADOPT ‘OPEN ENTRY’ AT 2022 OCEAN RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The International Canoe Federation has scrapped entry quotas for the 2022 Ocean Racing World Championships.
In a major decision that will be announced in the coming days, all paddlers will now be able to compete, regardless of whether they qualified to represent their country through a national selection process.
The Paddler understands that the outcome was pushed by Australia’s then Ocean Racing Technical Committee, made up of Julie & Rob Jenkinson, Mike Mills-Thom and Steve Dalton.
The powerhouse country argued it was unable to hold an equitable selection race following an extended period of COVID restrictions, and ultimately, drew the support of the ICF.
The decision comes just days after countries began holding their selection races.
France determined its team over the weekend, while South Africa held its national championships in Cape Town on May 1.
Two-time World Champion Sean Rice and surfski great Dawid Mocke were just two of the notable names omitted from South Africa’s representative team, who have had their campaigns revived by the open entry.
It also positions the 2022 World Championships to be the biggest the discipline has ever seen.
Portugal will host the event from October 6 to 9, two years after COVID stopped it from doing so in 2020.
The World Championships were held last year, but were only able to attract a weakened field after athletes from Australia and South Africa were banned from travelling to Spain’s Canary Islands.
Nick Notten and Michelle Burn, both South African citizens who were able to travel on a dual passport, claimed victory and will defend their titles later this year in what is expected to be a star-studded field.
More to come.