What is Canoe Marathon?

Competition in distance canoeing has a long history, with famous national races including the Sella Descent in Spain which was first held in 1929 and the Devizes to Westminster race in England that began in 1948. It was not until the 1960s that international competitions began to develop, and in 1975 the first steps were taken to have canoe marathon recognised by the International Canoe Federation (ICF). It would be a further nine years until the ICF congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, approved a separate committee for canoe marathon including the introduction of a world championships.

Canoe marathon would traditionally have seen competitors race from one point to another across possible combinations of river, lake, estuary and sea while having to navigate around any obstacles, having to carry the boat at times if necessary. This format has developed to encourage a more spectator-friendly approach to the discipline with courses created to be covered in laps with a number of portages (artificial or real). The 2015 World Championships in Györ, Hungary, consisted of six to eight laps with up to seven portages (22.2km to 30km) depending on the class of event.

Those world championships were contested by two types of boat, canoe (C) and kayak (K). Men and women have singles events in C1 and K1, and doubles events in K2, while there is also a men’s C2 category. The world championships has been held every year since 1999, having initially been a biannual event since the inaugural edition in Nottingham, England, in 1988. Canoe marathon can feature different ways of starting the race, but at the world championships a held start is used, where the back of the boat is held by a boat holder on the pontoon until the starter lets them go.

Hungary have dominated canoe marathon, with their tally of 52 world titles more than double that of next-highest Spain (25). In 2015 they became the first country to win more than four events at a single world championships when they claimed five of the seven titles on offer. Unsurprisingly the three paddlers with most world titles are all Hungarian, Edvin Csabai (17), Renáta Csay (16) and Attila Györe (11). All 11 of Györe’s world titles came in C2, a joint-record for a single event with Csabai. Györe and Csabai won the event in 10 consecutive years from 1999 to 2008, with both going on to win their 11th C2 world title with a different partner, Csabai with Peter Nagy in 2009, and Györe with Márton Kövér in 2011.

The most successful non-European at the world championships is South Africa’s Hank McGregor. Only Csay (16) and Spain’s Manuel Busto (10) have won more world titles in kayak disciplines than McGregor’s six.

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World Series

For more information about the series, rankings and upcoming competitions, visit the Canoe Marathon World Series page.

Results
2018
2017

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

2019 Amsterdam Waterland Marathon
13 April 2019
NLNetherlands
AMSTERDAM Details
11 May 2019
DEGermany
RHEINE Details
10 - 12 May 2019
ITItaly
ISILI - CAGLIARI Details
2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Cup Baerum Norway
31 May - 2 June 2019
NONorway
BAERUM Details
22 - 23 June 2019
ITItaly
TORINO Details
25 - 28 July 2019
FRFrance
DECIZE Details
25 - 28 July 2019
FRFrance
DECIZE Details
3 August 2019
ESSpain
ARRIONDAS - RIBADESELLA Details
10 August 2019
SESweden
DALS LANGED Details
15 September 2019
IEIreland
DUBLIN Details
28 September 2019
ATAustria
LEOBEN, AUSTRIA Details
29 September 2019
ITItaly
PAVIA Details
14 - 15 October 2019
CNChina
SHAOXING Details
2019 Cnaoe Marathon World Championships
17 - 20 October 2019
CNChina
SHAOXING Details
17 - 20 October 2019
CNChina
SHAOXING Details
20 October 2019
ITItaly
PESCANTINA Details
9 November 2019
FRFrance
VALLON PONT D'ARC Details
Luxor
9 - 12 January 2020
EGEgypt
ASWAN-LUXOR Details
16 - 17 May 2020
ITItaly
FIRENZE Details
24 - 25 August 2020
NONorway
BAERUM Details
27 - 30 August 2020
NONorway
BAERUM Details
27 September 2020
ITItaly
PAVIA Details
1 October 2020
ITItaly
PESCANTINA Details
16 - 25 July 2021
USUnited States
BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA Details
9 - 12 September 2021
RORomania
PITESTI Details
9 - 12 September 2021
RORomania
PITESTI Details
1 January - 31 December 2022
PTPortugal
PONTE DE LIMA Details