The ICF has launched a competition to find the designs for their new slalom gates ©ICF

A competition to find designs for new slalom gates has been launched by the International Canoe Federation (ICF), who are offering two cash prizes of €3,000 (£2,400/$3,400) for the winners.

The sport’s world governing body are hoping to find designs and models which allow spectators to see when an athlete touches a gate during a slalom run, a fast-paced version of the sport where competitors pass through a series of barriers.

Any entries, which can be submitted through drawings, videos, sketches and PowerPoint presentations, can be electronic or mechanical in nature and must be suitable for use at all levels of canoe slalom competition.

There are no restrictions on entrants as fans, athletes, coaches, national federations and companies related to canoeing have all been invited to apply.

Bidders must demonstrate the description of the concept, the principle scheme of the design, whether it has a mechanical or electronic layout and what the estimated budget will be when submitting their entries.

The deadline is July 1 of this year.

The ICF will award one cash prize for the chosen electronic gate and one for the selected mechanical gate.

ICF vice-president Tony Estanguet will help judge the entries in the gate design competition ©Getty Images
ICF vice-president Tony Estanguet will help judge the entries in the gate design competition ©Getty Images

The ICF Canoe Slalom Technical Committee will be tasked with judging the entries along with Tony Estanguet, the three-time Olympic champion,  who serves as a vice-president for the governing body.

It is hoped the new gates will help improve the visual image of the sport by giving spectators a better idea of when an athlete touches a gate.

If the paddler touches a pole with anything - paddle, boat, buoyancy aid, helmet or any part of the body – a five second penalty is added to the athletes’ time and if a gate is missed out, or negotiated in the wrong direction or upside down, the penalty is 50 seconds.

The sport normally involves two timed runs down a course of between 300 and 500 metres.

The two main disciplines are kayaking and canoeing.