Canoe ocean racing has become the first International Canoe Federation (ICF) discipline to introduce a world ranking for World Championship participants.
The ICF Congress has approved a number of changes to the ocean racing international programme, one of which changes the way the paddlers' rankings will be calculated in order to make qualifying for the World Championships more accessible.
World Cup events, selected international events, Continental Championships and National Championships will all be eligible for world ranking points as long as they follow the requirements.
For World Cup events, a minimum of two continents and five countries must be participating, while in Continental Championships there must be three countries and ten athletes competing.
National Championships must have a minimum of 50 athletes in the open men category, 20 athletes in the open women and ten athletes in all other events.
In addition, only the two best results from an athlete at a world ranking point event will be eligible.
Races eligible for world ranking points must be run no later than five weeks before the World Championships and there will be a maximum of five ocean racing World Cup events per year, run in-between World Championships.
Nations are limited to five boats in each class for a World Championship entry, with the first 40 athletes in the ICF Ocean Racing World Ranking and previous world champions also eligible to participate.
Other changes introduced include mandatory prize money and an official Masters World Championships.