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Canada will hold Olympic trials on Lake Lanier
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Lake Lanier’s canoe and kayaking venue has been chosen for the Canadian Olympic Trials next month.

About 130 athletes from Canoe Kayak Canada will compete for spots on the Canadian 2008 International Tour Team and to qualify for two other canoe championships at Lake Lanier’s canoe and kayaking venue the first weekend of May, according to the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club.

The event will close the boat ramp at Clarks Bridge Park on May 3-4, said Connie Hagler, a club board member.

"I know (the lake level is) coming up, so hopefully more of them (boat ramps) have opened and there will be a lot more options on where to put in," Hagler said.

On race days, boaters will be permitted to pass through the venue between races. There will be long breaks between races, and boaters can contact the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club when the day of the event draws closer to find a good time to pass through the venue.

Hagler said boaters will have to pass through at no wake speeds, Hagler said.

"There’ll be lots of athletes that are in these really tippy boats that are there, and if the wake comes through, you’re likely to flip somebody or it makes the docks move a lot," Hagler said. "You just could hurt somebody or knock something over or break something if you’re going fast through there."

"We just have people slow down for safety reasons and to make sure that the waves that are created don’t either flip somebody or damage any of the equipment that’s out there."

The event will bring in some of the top names in the Canadian canoe and kayak sport, she said.

"If (people) want to come and watch, it’s free admission for everybody, and it ought to be just fascinating to see," said Hagler.

Members of the Lake Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club will install the Olympic course on Saturday, and ask boaters to use caution in the area of the venue during that time.

"We’ll be out there in the boats and putting the cables in," Hagler said. "Considering how low the lake is, nobody should be going full-out, not paying attention to what they’re doing anyway."

"As long as they’re watching us, they’re not going to run over us and we’ll be just fine."

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