Water sports and races staged on Grand Canal this weekend
en.hangzhou.com.cn   2024-06-25 10:57   Source: Hangzhou China

For a period from June 22 to 23, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the inscription of the Grand Canal into the list of UNESCO World Heritages, the 2024 Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Canoe Marathon Series (Hangzhou Station) & Yangtze River Delta Water Sports Festival was held at the southernmost tip of this long water course, as a tribute to this world-renowned miracle.

A station competition scheme, comprised of the hubs along the Grand Canal, was first applied this year. The race was a follow-up to the first two stations at Jining and Beijing, and was also the first one holding a kayaking relay across the entire water course.

The Hangzhou Station spans within a distance that features the city’s best of the riverside culture, starting and ending with both the Gongchen Bridge built in the Ming Dynasty. The Wulinmen Pier is the point of return.

The race has two projects, a 10-kilometer long distance and a 500-meter straight track race, each held on June 22 and 23, respectively. The 10-kilometer race requires athletes to start from Gongchen Bridge. They must head south, then turn back at Qingyuan Bridge near the West Lake Cultural Square, and finally reach Gongchen Bridge again. There have been about 200 kayaks registered for the 10-kilometer race.

The organizer has also prepared a gift package for a nice experience, which includes a theme pin, a quick-drying shirt, a duckbill hat, and a “quicksand” medal. The medal, featureing sands in the form of a starry sky and a blue sea, is a token of romance for the athletes. 

For sports enthusiasts and collectors, the race would also be a chance for collectibles. Now they can still find licensed race gifts, including the pins, mascots, plush toys, hats, and others.

In addition to the kayaking marathon, the Water Sports Festival would also be held at the Canal Square. It is in Gongshu District, the one boasting the most extensive area of the flow of the Grand Canal, that the popular event has been held for years. In the year that marks the 10th anniversary, this Water Sports Festival would be filled with the anniversary’s elements in celebration of it, including the Cool Play Area, Heritage Market, Smart Brain Challenge, Sports Party and the like.

The Cool Play Area comprises 6 zones separately for pick ball, virtual cycling, the Nine Blanks, balance challenge, basketball, and parkour. Citizens who choose any three of them would get a stamp. They would be given a gift if they take check-in photos and post them on WeChat Moments or Weibo.

Author:   Editor: Ye Lijiao