PENRITH, Australia (AP) _ Winds gusting to nearly 35 mph forced officials to delay the start of the final day of Olympic canoe-kayak competition.

The gusts sent whitecap waves rippling through the race lanes and tipped finish-line markers practically sideways as competition was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Sunday (6 p.m. Saturday EDT).

There was no letup after a one-hour wait, prompting organizers and team leaders to announce a delay until at least 3 p.m. (midnight Saturday EDT).

The Australian weather service issued a strong wind warning until 6 p.m. With the sun setting just before 7 p.m., waiting that long would likely force the race schedule to be tightened to ensure finishing in daylight.

Paddlers often race in inclement weather, but these winds were considered too severe _ especially since races would be held going into the gusts.

High winds in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith were a concern coming into the games. Several pre-Olympic practices at the Sydney International Regatta Center were scrubbed and alternate plans were made to hold time trials instead of races for rowing.

But things went fine for the eight days of rowing and there were few problems during the first five days of canoe-kayak.

The six remaining events are the men's K-1, K-2, C-1 and C-2, and the women's K-1 and K-2, all at 500 meters.

The only U.S. entry is in the K-2, with Angel Perez of Miami and Peter Newton of Seattle seeking the first sprint kayaking medal for Americans since 1992.

In other races of note, Bulgaria's Petar Merkov was seeking his second medal of the games despite reports he tested positive for a banned substance earlier this summer, and Birgit Fischer was after the seventh gold of her career, which would be the most ever by a German.