I paddled on the racecourse for the first time this morning. It's a man-made 2-kilometer course with a little channel on which to warm up that is separated from the rest of the course by an embankment. It has little channels by which to cut over to the course at the 1000m, 1500m, and 2k. (This is to eliminate the wake that each boat would create if it were to paddle up the side of the course to the start line.)
The warm-up channel is just a bit narrower than the Erie Canal, but otherwise looks (and smells!) the same. The race-course is maybe about as wide as the Genesee River. The whole thing is quite professional. The starting gates are really interesting. The nose of your boat lines up into a triangular gate, which holds your boat right on the start line. When the starting gun goes off, the gates from all 9 lanes simultaneously drop down into the water, allowing you to paddle forward. If you try to paddle before the gate drops, i.e. false start, you'd only run into it and bounce backwards.
The finish tower and stands
For this first world cup, I will be racing k1 and k4. I'm fairly certain that k1 is on Friday and Saturday and k4 is on Sunday. Right now we are working on getting me a boat for me to race this weekend. That's important.