Paddlers Vie for World Champs in France


The pace around the whitewater stadium has steadily picked up all week here in Pau, France where I am with my 16 year old daughter. She is a rookie competing in a very BIG race this week.

French day workers and volunteers have taken this sports facility and transformed it into a gala event venue of which any PGA Championship Tour would be proud. Except that you don’t want to be slicing a golf ball here as it will end up in fast moving and treacherous water.

The Pau Pyrenees Whitewater Stadium is host to the week-long prestigious Whitewater Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships which gets underway on Monday.

Grandstands, high-tech camera platforms, supersize video screens, and tent villages have risen up amidst the autumn colors and crisp air here in the French Pyrenees Mountains.

With Paris recently selected as the 2024 Olympic host city, this World Championships is set to be quite the spectacle. Everything must be top shelf and point perfect. The *suits* will be on hand.

Selling to Itself

The World Championships is forever an agent that sells big ideas. So much energy will be spent here this week selling to a crowd that is already its customer, in other words… selling to itself.

I’m in awe as I sit here and witness cases of superb Champagne being wheeled into the VIP tent, which in itself is a massive, regal-looking structure perched over the race course finish line.

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