by Paul Zammit Cutajar Published 01/10/2016
Green gates are passed through downstream.
UK - The Courses
White-water slalom courses are complex to build and Treweryn in North Wales is one of the few 'natural' courses. The others are 'pumped', that is the water flow is created by pumping water to a top lake and allowing it to flow down to a lower lake. The drop is typically around 5 metres over a run length of around 300 metres - for water, that is fast. This flow level needs about five 300kw pumps to provide enough water to fill a 50m swimming pool every minute. The energy costs are huge just to keep things running, each pump costs around £600,000 (we think, we cannot find any that size for sale on the web!). The seating arrangement around the course at the London Olympics catered for 12,000 spectators, but was removed afterwards.
All this infra-structure can present problems after an Olympics. You cannot easily fill the course and make it a water feature as it has too much slope - the Athens course is now drained and derelict, joining a ruck of diving pools and other underutilised facilities (indeed almost every venue from Athens is now derelict).
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