Turns out you can also make rapids out of kayak plastic. Proof lies in the new whitewater slalom course for the London Olympics, which just saw water for the first time….flowing over plastic features designed by Scott Shipley. Read on for beta and a video glimpse…
Construction is completed and water is now flowing at the venue for the London 2012 Canoe Slalom events.
“It’s got our new RapidBlocs system that makes the course completely reconfigurable,” says Scott Shipley, a co-designer of the course. “They’re made by Palm/Dagger out of England, and there are over 1,400 of them in the park. Each has the same amount of plastic as a plastic kayak.”
“With water flowing we are getting our first look at the facilities that the world’s best canoeists will compete on in 2012,” says Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt. “With the venue due to be completed later this year, we are also on track to deliver an early sporting legacy well before the Games begin.”
The Lee Valley White Water Centre is being built in the heart of the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park, on a 10-hectare site covering an area the equivalent of 25 full-size football pitches. It will include an Olympic standard 300-meter competition course; a boat conveyor to transport participants to the course start in their rafts or canoes; a 160-meter intermediate/training course; and a finish lake area of 10,000 square meters. A facility building will contain a reception, café, changing rooms, admin offices, spectator viewing facilities, storage, and water pump/filtration plant.
The venue will be owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority as a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and rafting, as well as a major competition and training venue for elite events.
“It’s exciting to see such good progress being made in the delivery of a facility that will provide a world-class venue for Games-time and an excellent facility for usage after the Games,” says London 2012 Organizing Committee Chair Seb Coe, adding that they’ll start to take bookings for the Center this autumn to let paddlers use the course before the Olympians arrive. “We’re developing a challenging Olympic course for a world class Canoe Slalom event and a community facility which will provide a thrilling new experience for beginners.”
Adds Paul Owen of the British Canoe Union: “We’re beginning to see a real transformation now that water is filling the course…the site no longer looks like a footprint of building works, but is coming together as a world class Olympic canoeing venue.”
The Lee Valley White Water Centre is being built by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) near Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire. Before and after 2012, the venue will be owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) as a sporting and leisure facility for paddling, as well as a major competition and training venue for elite events. The course is expected to be open to the public for rafting and canoeing in April 2011.
A video blog showing the water flowing and construction progress at the venue can also now be viewed on the London 2012 website at