In early 2015, Ivrea Canoe Club commissioned Whitewater Parks International (WPI) to help improve the paddling capacity and quality of its whitewater channel. Overall project priorities were aimed at enhancing whitewater features, while stabilizing channel hydraulics. The entire modification project was a robust collaboration between industry professionals and local expertise.
It began with a topographical survey of the steeper sections of channel, which were most in need of refinement. The upper section of the channel relied on a traditional 3D survey, while the bottom section reflected an even higher level of detail, as it was surveyed by laser scanning. Survey points were used to create a channel surface profile.
We then developed a 1:17 hydraulic scale model at Czech Technical University in Prague, with the help of their Civil Engineering / Hydraulic Laboratory Faculty. Specific objectives for the modelling included designing simple and affordable modifications that could also have significant impacts. Experiments with strategically placed bottom obstacles provided many positive results in the model, such as more centralized current, wave synchronization and increased eddy stabilization.
WPI draws from a number of collaborative professional relationships to deliver the most comprehensive, contemporary, and high quality services we can provide. Our successful experiences with predictive scale modelling can help create new or improve existing whitewater channels by anticipating hydraulic behaviors and mitigating potential issues before they arise.
Slalom athletes have praised the improvements to the channel and many have moved to Ivrea to take advantage of the Italian Federation's new premier training facility.
WPI worked with Cundall Engineering and Ivrea based stakeholders and contractors to evolve a modification approach that could be crafted mostly on site at a reasonable cost. Poured concrete surfaces were prepared in advance for modifying units that were either locally cast or pre-molded. These were able to be mechanically lowered into the channel and later fixed in place with simple anchors. Finally, the process required a day or two of turning the water on and off, while observing and refining the effects of unit positioning. These in-situ works were completed in January 2016.
The Ivrea course has since hosted a number of international competitions, including ICF World Cups in 2016 & 2017 and the ICF Jr/U23 World Championships in 2018.