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Milan Lovrenčič, probably the most well known face in the IRF!

The IRF has the great honour to present to you Milan Lovrenčič.

Milan 11Milan’s first World Rafting Championship was the Camel White Water Challenge in 1997 on the Zambezi, where he was the reserve team member for the Bober (Beaver) team, Slovenia, who have been 6 times World Rafting Champions, a record that will probably never be beaten or even equalled! From 1997 onwards he has attended all WRC’s except 2001 (USA) and 2005 (Ecuador), due to his professional duties.

milan 5From 1997 to 2005 he was a technical director of the national team. He was also a judge, but there were no certificates for that then.

Up until now he has been an official Judge at all WRC and all ERC. Every one of them! Costa Rica, Chile, South Africa, Czech Republic, South Korea, New Zealand, Brasil, Bosnia, Italy, Netherlands …

milan 3Besides that, he has been a Judge at more than 100 Euro Cup races in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Turkey, Bulgaria and Slovenia.

He has also been Head Judge at several races.

milan 8He was President of the Slovenian Rafting Federation from 1997-1999. He is an establishing member and President of Rafting Club Maribor since its first year, 1992.

He has also been “father and mother” of Slovenian Club Teams (there have been U15 boys, U19 girls, U21 boys, 2-3 Open men’s teams and Open women’s teams.)

milan 6After 41 years of “professional duty” as a welder and as a Head of maintenance team in a primary school, he retired in 2010 and now he has three grandsons – 5yr old Svit, 4yr old Tinej and 9mth old Jakob. One more needed for a full R4 team! 😉

milan 7This is a biography which many of us dream of. In all of this one can see great effort has been invested, but as soon as you talk with him you know the motive is always there, he simply loves rafting and loves his job as judge. (Thanks to Uroš Lovrenčič, his son, for helping us with this article.)

milan 9We all greatly appreciate Milan’s efforts in the development of rafting in Slovenia and the
assistance he has provided to others so selflessly; he honestly evaluates each ones mistakes at the gates, it is always good to get together with him at competitions,
listen to his advice and stories from his rich experience, and toast with him in the glory of friendship, companionship and rafting.

Milan10The IRF would like to acknowledge and thank Milan for his years of dedication to the sport and for his happy, friendly face that we all know so well at our rafting events around the world.
Thank you for everything, Čika Milane, Tatko… :)


Meet the 2015 Danish Open Men’s crew

21 teams this year will take part in Open Men’s division at the WRC R6 Indonesia, and we are glad that among them is again the Danish Men’s National team.

Three years have gone by since our interview with them about the Copenhagen artificial course and their participation in the ERC in Czech Rep in 2012. In addition to being the highest ranked rafting team in Scandinavia, these guys are constantly developing our sport, which has had the result that the rafting community in Denmark has increased significantly.

We talk with Michael Lindberg on several topics, including preparations for WRC.

DEN OM 5Michael, in what kind of format will Denmark be present at this year’s WRC?

“We will be 7 people going to the WRC. Jakob Færch (40), Michael Lindberg (29), Jakob Agergaard (37), Morten Bertelsen (41), Casper Mortensen (42), Jacob Bang (29), Rune Erlangsen (30). So during the competition we will be switching a bit, however, I see this as a strength, as we then have the opportunity to utilize the skills of the team in the best possible way. It also gives us a certain security in case someone on the team gets injured or sick. We will have four experienced athletes on the corners and 2 fairly new paddlers in the middle and I’m pretty comfortable that the team will do good things at the WRC.”

DEN OM 3We didn’t see you this year at the ERC, why?

“We actually did have a Danish Team competing at the ERC, though it was a team with only 2 experienced paddlers and 4 fairly new paddlers. There are so many IRF competitions that we want to compete at, however the reality is that with jobs, families and a whole lot of voluntary work in our own federation, we only have time to compete at a limited number of competitions every year. And with a WRC this year, some of us who have been paddling for many years, definitely wanted to go to this event.”

Before we move on to talk about the WRC in Indonesia, can you tell me how the project Copenhagen White Water Park is going?

DEN OM 4“We are still working very hard on the project and we actually got the project in the budget negotiations of Copenhagen Municipality this year. However, the politicians did not decide to go any further with the project in 2016 even though we made a lot of lobbying throughout 2014 and 2015. We fought with other projects such as an ice hockey stadium and a public winter bathing spot and to be honest, in Copenhagen reality is that a lot of projects need funding so it is always a tough one when you bring something new and revolutionary to the table. Anyway, we are still very positive and optimistic and we will keep fighting to get CWWP on the Copenhageners’ and IRF members’ map. A few more opportunities have already opened up for us since this summer, and for now it looks like that we could have some very interesting news in the beginning of 2016.”

DEN OM 2So its nice to see you again at a WRC competition. Tell me, when is your crew travelling to Indonesia? Will you have time to acclimatise and adjust…?

“We will arrive on the 30th of November and with the first competition being on the following Wednesday I would say that it is enough to acclimate. However, whether it is enough time to get used to the river I’m not sure about that. There is no doubt that if we could take off from work and family for a longer time, we would have arrived one week earlier to optimize our performance on the river.”

Which discipline do you expect to get the most out of?

“We all love the slalom competition. It is the most exciting competition as you really get to work close to the river, with currents and rapids, and the spectators are usually standing very close to the course creating this special tension and stadium feeling. Having said that, I’m also really looking forward to the H2H as this is really where you get to know the other teams ;-)”

DEN OM 1What do you believe will be the most difficult task for you in the WRC?

“Because we don’t have any white water in Denmark and 98% of our training is on flat water the most difficult task for us will be the downriver. The longer we are on the water the harder it gets for us. Not that we are not physically capable of doing the downriver, however, due to the flatwater training there is a lack of experience reading the river. Having said that I really look forward to the downriver as this part of the competition is always spectacular and fairly unpredictable.”

And what will be the most beautiful “task” for you at the WRC? Do you already feel the WRC fever?! :)

“Sure, we are so keen on going and finally getting some white water in our faces. I’ve been to Indonesia once and I’m sure this country will deliver some very stunning views and some great people which, together with a hard competition, will make this event incredible and something to remember.

Sponsors you want to thank!

“We would like to thank Helly Hansen, Teva and Artistic Sportswear for providing some of our gear and then of cause the Danish Surfing & Rafting Federation that made it possible for us to compete as the Danish National Team.

Thank you Michael for your precious time given to this interview. We know that time is short until your departure and that you are quite busy, so we wish you guys a good stroke and enjoy the WRC!

Denmark Open Men’s team is in the WRC action again, and these guys will do their best defending the colours of their country. We hope that the CWWP project will come into life as soon as possible and give these guys a fair preparation for competitions in relation to other competitors.

Follow them via FB: Raftteamdenmark and Surfraft

French Open Men’s Rafting Team coming to WRC R6 2015

After WRC R6 Costa Rica and New Zealand, the French Open Men’s next WRC participation will be at the R6 WRC in Indonesia. It will be great to hang out with them again at the WRC competition, and certainly interesting, because among their team members is one lady.

FRA OMKevin Mouillade introduces us to his FRA OM team.

“The Team France Raft 2015 comes from the centre of France : l’Auvergne.

The captain, Pierre Soubry, is a river guide on the river Allier. He come with his staff – Julien Becet (river guide), Joris Lashermes (river guide), Coline Bonnefoy (river guide) and Sylvain Drouet (kayaker, driver). This team is mixed with paddlers from another team to make up the whole team : Sebastien Assailly and Kevin Mouillade, from the Team Pyrénnées and river guides on the river Aude.”

FRA OM 6“From the start, our association is made up of passionate river guides. So far the French Canoe-kayak federation hasn’t supported us (but are not against us) and don’t care about rafting. For them, rafting is for tourists… we think differently!

That’s why in 2010, Mathieu Veyssiere decided, with another river guide, to put a team together in order to participate at the World Rafting Championship in the Netherlands.

After that we participated at the WRC 2011 in Costa Rica and again WRC 2013 in New Zealand.

FRA OM SponsorsEvery time the team is a little bit different, new paddlers come to discover rafting in the competition format.

All of us are river guides or just kayakers. No great competitors (or not for a long time!), no big federation to organise us. Only us – a handful of river guides, that’s why we tend to be somewhere in the middle to end of the rankings despite all the training.

But we are proud to participate at this competition, to compete at our best and to defend the colours of our country.

The level of all the competitors is better and better every time and we will try to meet that challenge one more time !”


FRA OM 5Thank you, Kevin, for this insight into your team. We wish you a good stroke and to see you next year at WRC R4 in the United Arab Emirates.


How to follow the 2015 World Rafting Champs

There are a number of places and ways you can follow what is happening at the World Rafting Champs 2015 in Sukabumi, Indonesia, which are running from the 29 Nov to 8 Dec:

*** Use #irfwrc if you are posting to your Facebook page or Twitter – that way we can all enjoy . . . → continue reading . . . How to follow the 2015 World Rafting Champs

Born with a paddle

Overall World Champions in Costa Rica in 2011, overall European Champions in 2012, runner up World Champions in New Zealand in 2013 and at R4 WRC in Brasil 2014 – Katerina Vacikova, Michaela Kratochvilova, Zuzana Valtrova, Lenka Lagnerova Vandasova, Hana Kankovska, Pavla Prochazkova make up this Open Women’s team that will be paddling . . . → continue reading . . . Born with a paddle

Italy Open Women 2015 – the cream of the crop

Bella Italia, belle ragazze – Caroline Goodall, Marianna Tedeschi, Alessandra Massimino, Clara Ganora, Jasmine Zurlini Frugis, Elena Bragastini and Francesca Leonardi  are coming to Indonesia for the World Rafting Championship to cross their paddles with the 15 other women’s teams. They will represent Italy in the Open division.

We are used to seeing a . . . → continue reading . . . Italy Open Women 2015 – the cream of the crop

USA Open Men 2015

The United States national rafting team, composed of: John Mark Seelig (captain and back left), Seth Mason (back right), Matt Norfleet (middle left), Kurt Kincel (middle right), Rob Prechtl (front left), Jeremiah Williams (front right), will compete this year at the R6 World Rafting Championship, Indonesia in the Men’s Open category. They will be fighting for . . . → continue reading . . . USA Open Men 2015

WRC 2016 – Wadi Adventures, Al Ain

The IRF is very pleased to announce that the 2016 R4 World Rafting Champs will be held at the artificial course, Wadi Adventures in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates!

The IRF have teamed up with Wadi Adventures to ensure a world class event can be held in this new and interesting location. The . . . → continue reading . . . WRC 2016 – Wadi Adventures, Al Ain

ERC Champs 2016 hosts announced!

We are very pleased to announce that the hosts for the 2016 R4 Euro Rafting Champs will be Slovenia!

The event will be held from the 17 to 22 May 2016. Sprint, Head to Head and Slalom will all be held on the Sava River in Tacen near Llubljana. And the Downriver will . . . → continue reading . . . ERC Champs 2016 hosts announced!

Last year’s U19 Women’s champions on WRC2015

The Australian U19 Women, who are the R4 World Champions, are ready for the R6 challenge.

“The team that deserves a big mention is the new U19 Women’s R4 World Rafting Champions – Australia. This team managed to keep Brazil from making it a clean sweep of the top podium position. They’ve had a hard journey to . . . → continue reading . . . Last year’s U19 Women’s champions on WRC2015