Slalom is one of the most exciting branches of canoeing where the paddler has to steer the boat down a set course as quickly as possible, passing through a numbered series of downstream and upstream gates in the process. Each gate comprises two hanging poles at a set distance apart.
Time penalties are incurred by hitting the poles (2's) or by missing the gate (50's). The competitor must get enough of the boat and body across the gate-line between the poles to satisfy the judges. The run score is worked out by adding the run-time and the penalty seconds from the run. At the Olympics and other major International events there are three rounds qualification-semifinal-final that athletes must progress through. Only the top 10 semifinalists get into the final.
The objective of every competitor is to be 'fast & clean'.
Slalom is organised on a divisional basis such that paddlers compete against others of similar ability with events being held between March and October. Official entry cards can be obtained from the Slalom Committee Secretary or SCA Office on receipt of a Stamped Addressed Envelope, and should be sent to the event organiser (refer events calendar) at least two weeks before the event.
Division 4 entries are often taken on the day and prizes awarded for all classes of boats including "plastic" ones. All cheques/postal orders should be made payable to the organising club, not to the person organising the event. In addition to the full slaloms, short ranking slaloms for newcomers to the sport are organised throughout the season.
SCA Performance, through investment from sportscotland, operates programmes in Sprint and Slalom to support athletes with the potential and commitment to achieve Olympic medals.