How to qualify for World or European Aquabike Championships

In 2017 we had the first ever Long Distance Aquabike World Championships in Pentiction, Canada. The following year the European Championships had their premiere in Ibiza. And this year will be the first time we´ll also have a World Championship over the Standard Distance in November in Abu Dhabi. Before that we´ll have the Long Distance World´s in Šamorín, Slovakia (which is actually more like a middle distance race) in August and the Middle Distance European´s in Bilbao, Spain in September.

But what does it take to take part in one of those races? If you consider racing in a European or World Championship event, we´ll let you know, what you have to consider.


Now first of all: the qualification criteria and nomination process very much depends on the guidelines of your national triathlon federation. We will publish articles about the qualification and nomination process in each country for every championships race separately. So this article will be more about the general requirements you have to meet to be able to start at an international championships race. Just briefly about the qualification criteria: The good news is, that in most European countries you don´t have to do any qualification races. But you can read more about that in the upcoming articles about the qualification requirements for each event respectively.

Regardless of an further qualification criteria you have to meet – depending how this is defined by your national triathlon federation – you have to meet the following criteria to be even able to qualify and register for such an event:

1. License from your national federation

You don´t necessarily need a yearly license to start in a triathlon or aquabike race. Because at local races (or even bigger international events) you can always buy a one-day license to participate in the race. But not at international championships. To participate there you will need a yearly license of your national federation. In most countries you can only apply for a yearly license through a triathlon club. So you´ll need to join a triathlon club, if you haven´t done so already. Some countries do also have different “levels” of licences. For example in Austria you´ll need a premium license if you want to start in an international championships race. If you need to qualify through a qualification race, you´ll already need to hold the license at the day of the qualification race.

2. Official triathlon suit from your national federation

In an international championships race you are now allowed to start in your club´s tri suit. You´ll have to buy an official triathlon suit from your national federation. They are usually personalized with your last name at the back and front side of the suit. Usually it´s also allowed to have the logo of one sponsor additionally printed at the front in a pre-defined size.

3. Other official clothing

If you´re aiming to make it on the podium, be aware that you also have to wear official clothing from your federation at the award ceremony. This could be the triathlon suit or also a T-shirt or jacket from your national federation. I highly recommend to get at least a T-shirt for that case. Because if the weather conditions are bad and you only have the triathlon suit, would mean you have to leave or put back on the wet/dirty tri suit for the award ceremony.

4. Registration through national federation

For an international championships race you can´t just sign up through the event´s website. You also have to register for the race at your national federation. Some federations have specific forms for that on their website, some you just contact by e-mail. We´ll tell you more about the registration process in each country at the respective posts about how to qualify for each event. So this is different in every country, but you ALWAYS have to register through your national federation in one way or another.