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The NZ K4 Womens Team training in Germany. Image thanks to Jantex Paddles.

In three challenges across three countries, the ICF World Cup is the biggest paddling series of the year.

Awarding the most consistent performers, points are accumulated over the three events, culminating in the crowning of the world champion. What’s more, the races are a fantastic prequel to the Olympics.

Competitors are the crème de la crème or international paddlers have qualified (or are in the last stages of qualifying) for the Rio Olympics 2016, which begins in August.

Last year, the new Nelo Cinco had just been released and the paddlers were just getting used to its groundbreaking design. This year we will really get to see what the boat is capable of in the hands of thoroughly trained athletes. It will be fantastic racing for sure.

Watch out for our New Zealand Representatives

Marty McDowell qualified for Rio at the Oceania Champs held in Australia earlier this year.

The NZ K4 Women will be racing their new Nelo K4 Cinco boat – they've been training hard and we're look forward to seeing them race.

Once again, the women’s K1 200m and 500m favourite is Lisa Carrington. But you never know what can happen on the day.

How to follow the racing

Web based Live Streaming: The ICF will have live coverage of all races on you tube here

Sky TV – LIVE: From Thursday evening Sky TV will have live coverage on Sky Sport 4 from 8.40pm

CRNZ Website:  Race times, competitors and results as they come in click here

ICF Website: For more details about the racing visit the ICF Website here

 Racing Breakdown

The NZ Olympic Kayak Team

The NZ Olympic Kayak Team. Photo CRNZ

World Cup 1

20-22 May 2016, Duisburg, Germany

Both Lisa Carrington and the K4 Women’s Team (Aimee Fisher, Caitlin Ryan, Kayla Imrie and Jaimee Lovett) will use Duisburg to test themselves under pressure, as this will be their first international race since qualifying for the Olympics at last year's World Champs. It will be a great insight into how they stack up against the other representative teams.

Marty McDowell drew a tough first heat at the World Champs last year, coming up against six of the fastest paddlers in the K1 1000m. Let’s hope he has a better draw this year as he progresses through to the semifinals.

Marty and Lisa will skip the World Cup 2 events and depart straight for Portugal after racing. This gives them a good week of training before the World Cup 3 racing in Montemor.

For race info and results head to the Duisburg Race Page here

World Cup 2

27-29 May 2016, Raçice, Czech Republic

The K4 Women race on Saturday afternoon in Race 103 at 16:10 or 104 at 16:16.

The final for the K4 500m will be on Sunday at 10:24

Race timetables and results on the Racice Race

World Cup 3

3-5 June 2016, Montemor, Portugal

With a week of training under their belts, Lisa and Marty will be amping to get back into the racing. Meanwhile the NZ K4 Women will be back at home in New Zealand focusing on their Olympic goals.

See the timetable, draw and results on the Canoe Sprint Portugal website here