Australian Wildwater paddlers Robert McIntyre and Maddie Batters led the athletes March into a packed square in Sondrio Italy for the opening ceremony of the World Wildwater Championships.
Being from Australia always affords our Athletes the privilege of leading the March of most ceremonies and is a great feeling when the crowd is big and cheering which was the case in Sondrio yesterday evening.
After the official opening all athletes and the public were thrilled with a night time display of a number of rafts paddling down the local side river through the town under lights with all national flags on display in addition to a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.
The first event of the championships commences tomorrow with the individual classic race which has been set on a modified course commencing at the start of the Sprint rapid given that the river is at an extremely high level making the top continuous class 4 section deemed too dangerous by the race organisers. All athletes have been training over the last week at a variety of race levels which has made it difficult given the ever changing lines but it is the same for everyone hence the best athletes will come to the for front of these world championships in what will be exciting racing in big whitewater.