Trakai, Lithuania, is to host the World Canoe Championships Masters for the first time this July with over 300 international paddlers from over 20 countries coming to compete on the historic lake.
© S.Čirbos nuotr.

Hosting the event is also hoped to be a stepping stone to Lithuania hosting the full World or European Canoe Championships and other global canoeing competitions.

"This is the first canoeing event of this magnitude in Lithuania. This is a huge challenge for us because until now Lithuania has only hosted smaller international competitions which involved mainly in neighbouring countries and athletes. Now we shall await the arrival of more than 300 paddlers from at least 20 countries,” said Lithuania canoeing federation president Aleksandras Alekrinskis.

“If you manage to successfully organize the masters of the world championship, Lithuania will seek to prepare the World Cup or the world junior championship, and in the long term the European or world championship,” said Alekrinskis.

The International Canoe Federation is looking at hosting more international competitions at Trakai given its unique conditions:

"The historic castle in Trakai rowing base is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Trakai is unique and the fact that the race takes place here in the natural body of water - lakes, rather than artificial water channels, which usually held the largest rowing competition. With these unique conditions, the International Canoe Federation is giving great attention to Trakai carrying more international competitions.”

The competition will put Trakai and Lithuania in the international spotlight and provide a boost to the local economy.

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