First combined Whitewater Championships in Pau wins the 2017 Industry Professional Award

pau france 2017 world paddle awards industry professional canoe kayak slalom wildwater extreme jean zoungrana clemence mathieu christophe prigent icf championships

Photo Credit: World Paddle Awards | Jens Thybo | Silkeborg

2017 ICF PAU CANOE WORLD CHAMIONSHIPS - Winner of the 2017 Industry Professional of the Year Award



With over 500 Whitewater athletes from 65 nations in attendance, the 2017 ICF Canoe World Championships in Pau was the first Slalom, Wildwater and Extreme Slalom combined event in history. Generating a never before seen atmosphere with a huge crowd, the event was awarded the Industry Professional award at the World Paddle Awards ceremony in front of a packed audience.

Accepting the award on behalf of the event was Jean Zoungrana, Clemence Mathieu and Christophe Prigent who said the success of the event came from a great team who worked together from 2015.

“We would like to thank all the people who contributed to the success of the event, the people who have been following us since 2015 or even since 2009: the organizing structures, public and private partners, volunteers, service providers, in brief all the people who were able to share, with us, the values of canoeing,” Christophe said.

“The success came from the teamwork which has been realized since 2015. We are a close team, we work all together, every day in the same place and it tightens necessarily the links Indeed, this event could not have been a success without the passionate work of the employees, trainees and civic service of the HOC but also about 430 volunteers who worked from the preparation of the event until the final cleaning.”

From the beginning, the organizing committee was dedicated to ensuring the spectator stands were at capacity and full of atmosphere. With an estimated 50,000 spectators attending over the course of the week who were entertained by not only the racing but also various activities, concerts and entertainment, the committee definitely achieved their goal.

“Canoeing is not very publicized that’s why we chose to develop specific communications according to the public: the FFCK (French Federation) members, school kids from the urban area and the public.”

“The public answered and we are very proud of it. We hope to have participated actively to the development of canoeing in France and abroad.”

When asked what the most memorable moment of the championships were, Christophe quickly replied with the Opening Ceremony, to which many of the award attendees agreed. 

“We chose to put the athletes at the centre of this opening ceremony. The public needs to know athletes, to see them closely, to identify them. There was a crazy atmosphere as soon as every team paraded in front of the public. Athletes had a big smile on their faces, which is a very beautiful reward for us, to see all athletes happy! This ceremony ended by a magic show and big fireworks! It was a unique moment that announced the beginning of 10 days of sports and popular event.”

After such a successful championship, the organizing committee is already in the midst of organizing more groundbreaking events.

“We will welcome in 2019 a Slalom European Championship and in 2020 a Slalom World Cup stage. For the moment we do not know yet if the Wildwater Canoeing Sprint and Extreme Slalom will be part of the competition, but we are ready to organize new exceptional events!”

The World Paddle Awards congratulates the 2017 Pau World Championships on their Golden Paddle.

Read the event's full profile here

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