The new, world-class Lee Valley White Water Centre
hosts the London 2012 Canoe Slalom
events from Sunday 29 July to Thursday 2 August. The aim of the sport is quite simple: competitors (men only, we hasten to add) must navigate their way through a course of hanging gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible. It's quite like slalom skiing, but on water. There are up to 25 gates on the course and various penalties can be incurred: two seconds for touching a gate and 50 seconds for missing a gate. There are three medal events to be decided: the Canoe Single, the Canoe Double (both of which are raced with single-bladed paddles), and the kayak single (where competitors can use a paddle with blades at both ends - to help them control the tricky longer boats). The state-of-the-art Lee Valley White Water Centre is located 30km north of the Olympic Park
and promises to be the ideal venue for an intricate sport which combines speed and precision.