Tourism Minister Norman Moore announced today that Perth would host the 2005 International Canoe Federation Marathon World Championship.

Perth will host a triple world championship including seniors, juniors and masters competitions — a first for international canoeing.

‘This event will see 1500 competitors from 50 nations battling it out on the beautiful Swan River, with the city skyline creating a backdrop,’ Mr Moore said. ‘The ICF Marathon World Championship is expected to generate an estimated $5.53 million for the Western Australian economy.’

There will be six races in each of the senior, junior and masters competitions. The course will start and finish on the Swan River at Hinds Reserve, near the Garratt Road Bridge.

It will take in the picturesque Ascot Waters and will provide spectacular vantage points for spectators, with bike paths running the length of the course. The course consists of a 3km loop at the start, followed by three 11km laps and portages.

The main event is over 35km. The juniors and masters will race over 25km.

Mr Moore said that as well as the World Championship, Perth would also host the World Cup Marathon event in 2004 and the national championships in 2005. These events would attract an additional 1000 competitors and supporters to Perth.

Mr Moore said that the World Championship would not only boost the local economy, but would also have a positive impact on local events.

‘The timing of the Championship will also give international competitors the opportunity to compete in the annual Coates Hire Avon Descent and thereby increase its profile,’ he said. ‘The Championship will help to develop this ever-popular event by focusing the public’s attention on canoeing.’

Canoeing is a traditional European sport and has been held in the Northern Hemisphere six out of eight times since it began in 1988.

EventsCorp Event Development Director Mike Rees, who travelled to Warsaw with Australian Canoeing to present the Australian bid, said that Australia had originally bid for 2004 but Norway was granted that year and Australia secured 2005.

Local canoeing legend Ramon Andersson acted as ambassador for the event bid.

‘Having competed around the world, I can honestly say that Perth will provide the ICF with the best there is to offer,’ he said. ‘Our blue skies, clean air and water, and spectacular scenery will make Perth a memorable destination for the championship.’

Ramon’s career highlights including a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games in the K4 class, and winning gold in the K2 class at the 1992 Marathon World Championship.

Media contact:
Hartley Joynt, Minister’s office,
Tel: 9321 1444
Mobile: 0419 982 508

Janine Carter, EventsCorp, 9270 3311 mobile