There are various types of canoe. Different types of canoe are used for different purposes. In general, the sport can be divided into kayaking and Canoeing. As far as design is concerned, a kayak has a covered deck while a canoe only has an open deck. Both types of canoe are equipped with seats. A kayak paddler uses a paddle with two blades while a canoe paddler uses a paddle with a single blade.Athletes in a sprint wins if they finish the race the fastest. The course of a sprint is located on a river or sea. The distances are 200 metres, 500 metres and 1000 metres. There are groups of 1, 2 or 4 athletes. The course of a slalom is on river rapids. Athletes need to go through a number of gates during the race. A gate consists of two poles. There are downstream gates and upstream gates. Athletes need to pass through a downstream gate in the downstream direction and an upstream gate in the upstream direction. If the athletes touch the pole of a gate or fail to pass through a gate, there will be time penalties. In addition to speed racing, canoeing has other forms of competition, for example canoe marathon, which requires high physical fitness, and canoe polo, which requires teamwork. Here are a few common forms of canoeing in Hong Kong: •Canoe MarathonCanoe marathon is long distance canoeing. It is usually divided into age groups. The course is about 18 to 23 km long, while courses of international competitions may be up to 30 or 40 km long, which are extremely challenging. If geographical or other factors make it impossible to have a course of a suitable length, then the course goes around a short course a number of times. Canoe marathon requires athletes to have explosive sprinting strength. It also tests their ability of making turns. Some marathon courses goes through rivers, lakes, rapids, bays and the sea, which test athletes' ability to canoe on calm water and rapid currents. The most highly regarded canoe marathon is the ICF World Canoe Marathon.•Canoe PoloAs the name suggests, canoe polo is a combination of canoeing and water polo. It is played by two teams of five players. The players control the canoe and try to score goals. The team with more goals wins. Canoe polo is challenging and exciting. Athletes need good canoeing skills and a sensitive touch for offence and defence.•Kayak Course RaceIn kayak course race, athletes need to pass all checkpoints to reach the finishing point. The course is from 1000 m to 5000 m long, depending on factors such as the age of the athletes or the environmental restrictions. Since the race is not carried on fixed channels, athletes must have a good sense of distance, be skilful and devise a strategy to pass the checkpoints in the best route.There are many canoe elite athletes in Hong Kong. The have represented Hong Kong in international competitions such as the Olympic Games, World Championships, the Asian Games and the National Games of the People's Republic of China. They have won prizes in various international and intercity competitions.Kayaking Courses offered by Water Sports Centres of the LCSDKayaking is a sport for all ages. Its equipment is simple. It is a popular outdoor sport. The Water Sports Centres of the LCSD provide different types of canoe for rent. They offer different kayaking certificate training courses, which last from one to three days and include training courses for young people which provide basic knowledge and practice opportunities to children from 8 to 13 years old. Many community canoe clubs also provide courses that are suitable for people all ages. Participants can enjoy paddling under guidance from coaches.To take a kayaking course, visit the website of the LCSD or visit the related courses (Canoe or Kayak)promoted in Youth.gov.hk website.
(The photo is provided by Information Services Department) The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department and Ocean Park Hong Kong released seven endangered green turtles in the southern waters of Hong Kong. The turtles were accommodated temporarily at Ocean Park and were assessed by veterinarians. which are in good condition and ready to return to sea. Each turtle was tagged with a microchip and Inconel tags for future identification before they were released. A satellite transmitter was also attached to the carapace of each turtle. The department can collect data to formulate conservation measures by tracking the movement and feeding grounds of green turtles. Green turtles are the only species of sea turtle known to nest locally. All wild turtles, including sea turtles, in Hong Kong, are protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170). People who hunt, disturb, possess, sell or export sea turtles, including their nests and eggs, except in accordance with a special permit, will be liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year. Additionally, all sea turtle species are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora and regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals & Plants Ordinance (Cap 586). The import, export, re-export or possession of specimens of endangered species not in accordance with the ordinance is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $10 million and 10 years in jail. People are urged to report any sighting of sea turtles or suspicious activities involving the marine animal to the department by calling 1823.