FOCUS ON PUMPS
Huge industrial pumps create white-water for 2000 Sydney Olympics
Six Flygt Model PL710/865 large-propeller pumps, each capable of moving 2.8 cu m of water per second,
will power Sydney's white water slalom canoeing and kayaking course.
An exclusive Online Feature from the editors of mro-esource.com
© 2000 Machinery & Equipment MRO (600 words)
Sydney's flat landscape is not going to deprive Olympics canoeists of their white-water events:
an artificial course fed by high-volume pumps will ensure ideal conditions for their competitions.
It might be thought that hosting the Olympic white water slalom canoeing and kayaking events would
be difficult for Sydney, Australia, a city without hills, rivers or virtually any "white water"
at all. Yet when the 2000 Olympics roll around, Sydney will host the event against the breathtaking
backdrop of a state-of-the-art artificial white water course in Penrith White Water Stadium, a
feat brought about largely due to the world-class expertise of Gilles Bernard, one of the leading
builders of faux rivers and a three-time slalom world champion himself.
Bernard, an engineer at EDF-SIRA, part of the French national electricity board that controls over
70% of the country's surface water, is credited with designing a cost-effective way for Sydney
to build the artificial water work -- an undertaking once thought to be prohibitively expensive
for the host city.
To make the project more feasible for Sydney, Bernard drew on his formidable experience and reviewed
mathematical and physical models from ITT Flygt, which was providing the high volume pumps for
the project and had done a similar installation for the 1992 Olympic venue in Barcelona. At the
end of the day, Bernard had found ways to reduce the project budget by more than half.
No doubt, ITT Flygt's firsthand experience in creating the venue for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic
white water events in the Spanish town of Le Seu dÃ Urgell proved valuable to the process and made
Flygt the front-runner for the high-profile project from the start. The similarities between the
two jobs were striking: The U-shaped Sydney course is 300-m long, ranges in width from 8 to 14
m, and takes racers through terrain that drops some 7 meters in elevation. Le Seu dÃ UrgellÃs horse-shoe
shaped main course, at the International Canoeing and Kayaking Center, moved competitors over a
340-m-long route and a descent of 6.5 m. Intermittent obstacles, rough passages, and varying water
levels simulate a river's natural ebb and flow at both Olympic venues.
Six Flygt Model PL710/865 large-propeller pumps, each capable of moving 2.8 cu m of water
per second, will power the Sydney course, potentially delivering as much as 16 cu m of water per
second from the finish line to the "head pond" where the course begins. As in Barcelona,
the pumps are housed in a pump station out of sight and out of earshot of the competition, so as
not to contrast with the beauty and serenity of the river environment.
The stadium is designed to accommodate 5,000 spectators on its grassy river banks and, with
the help of temporary grandstands, will have the capacity for an additional 10,000 people during
the 2000 Olympics.
And, as was the case in Spain, Sydney's landmark addition is expected to draw world-class
competitors and recreational athletes long after the Olympic medals are awarded. After the games,
it will be turned into a major sport and recreational facility for Western Sydney.
This report was prepared for mro-esource.com Online Features by Minett Media. Placed online
June 1, 2000. © mro-esource.com and Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine, Toronto, Canada.
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