A huge field of 380 competitors were at Aachen, near the border of Belgium and West Germany on Saturday (28 April) for the first day of the German International White Water Canoe Championships.
GV People watching TILT DOWN & PAN No. 70 starting off
MV PAN No. 74 starts
MV PAN No. 107 shooting white water followed by No. 110 doing the same (2 shots)
STV TILT UP No. 124 down water shoot as crowd watches (2 shots)
GV No. 131 doing the same from other side
MV Judges & timekeepers
GV PAN Nos. 152 & 151 shooting white water
MV No. 156 gets help after being stuck in rocks
MV Crowds on bridge TILT DOWN TO No. 239 in water
SCU Judge or timekeeper
STV No. 240 clinging on to boat (2 shots)
GV Competitors down canal through town
GV No. 342 rolls over in boat
MV No. 240 down slalom stretch & paddles on
Initials ESP/2213 ESP/2244
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Background: A huge field of 380 competitors were at Aachen, near the border of Belgium and West Germany on Saturday (28 April) for the first day of the German International White Water Canoe Championships.
The teams were from Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, The United States, Belgrade and Luxembourg.
The winding, sometimes treacherous, five-mile course was turned into a racing rapid when the German Water Authority agreed to let out millions of gallons of water from a reservoir near the source of the river. Half an hour before the event was due to start, the water was let go. The river level rose, and 'white water' conditions were created.
The competitors took an average of 17 minutes to complete the course, which ended in the canals of the ancient German town of Monschau. There were dozens of spills. Some competitors lost their canoes completely as they sped down a steep valley, through obstacle courses and over water shoots.
The 380 competitors started at 30-second intervals, which meant that scores of canoes found themselves overtaken by faster craft launched well after themselves.
The first day concentrated mainly on individual events. Sunday (20 April) saw a large field of doubles, and a tricky slalom.