The VERBUND Water Arena is Now Up and Running
The Minister for Sport Gerald Klug, Councillor for Sport Christian Oxonitsch, Beate McGinn from VERBUND and President of the Austrian Canoe Association Walter Aumayr inaugurated the VERBUND water arena at the Steinspornbrücke bridge this morning.
Thus the first artificial white water route in Austria goes into operation. The white water park lies between the New Danube channel and the Danube river on the Höhe Steinspornbrücke bridge and is available for competitive sports as well as to those who like a paddle. This weekend there will be an open day from the 30 August to the 1 September and all recreational sportspeople are invited to come and have some white water fun for free.
At the opening, the Minister for Sport Gerald Klug said: "The artificial white water route fits in perfectly with my two most important projects involving high-performance sport: the sports complex "Masterplan" and Project Rio. At the next Olympic Games, we have many potential medal-winners in canoeing. With the new route and thus the improved training possibilities that go with it, we have managed to achieve what is to us a significant contribution to the preparations for canoeing."
The Wild Water Route in Detail
The 250 metre long course cost just under 5 million euros and thanks to its changeable fixtures is constructed in such a diverse way that it can be used for the specialist disciplines like slalom, rodeo, rafting and white water swimming.
"Rowing in Vienna is a 150 year old tradition and has just under 1300 active sportspeople involved. In the city surroundings there are 600 active canoeists, who, just like all beginners who are interested, have a top modern route available to them. This offer is unique for a major European city", says City Councillor Christian Oxonitsch.
Water pumps produce different current velocities as well as whirlpools, swirls and eddies. The race course features a cross-section of eight to 12.5 metres, the height difference between the starting pool and the finishing pool is 4.7 metres. The water is taken from the New Danube using a water pump. An almost 40 metre long boat conveyer band brings kayaks and rafts with passengers from the finishing pool to the starting pool.
"The course is a great ride! The high water pressure and flexible elements allow for diverse types of routes!" says Kayak world champion Corinna Kuhnle, who was one of the first people to try out the water course. "Finally it will be possible for us to train on a world class course in Austria!" she says.
The VERBUND Water Arena is attached to the already existent water sports centre near the regatta course on the New Danube channel, which will be completely renovated by 2014. Along with rafting activities and white water swimming, a canoe school will add to the leisure activities on offer on the channel. The park will be operated by the institute's own Vienna City Wildwasser GmbH.
„Water is our DNA", according to Beate McGinn, Head of Communications for main sponsor VERBUND. "VERBUND produces more than four fifths of its electricity from hydropower. We want to turn the element of water into an experience, whether it be in our nine power plant visitor centres in Austria or right here and tangibly at the VERBUND water arena".
European Championships 2014
The Austrian Canoe Federation will start training in September for the European slalom championships which will be held from 29 May to 1 July 2014. Further highlights of the sporting calendar for the VERBUND water arena are the white water world championship in sprints, to be held in June 2015 as well as the ICF canoe slalom in August 2015.
Open Day Weekend
On Friday afternoon, as well as the whole day of Saturday (31.08) and Sunday (01.09) the VERBUND Water Arena will be open to all visitors for free.
President Aumayr: "All paddlers, canoeists and water sport fans are warmly invited to form their own idea of the course. We hope that the water park will be received well by all water sports fans, in any case I wish you all lots of fun with testing it out!"