Race Results

Results: OW, OM, MM, U23W, U23M, U19  ; Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-, -4-, -5-, -6-; Videos.

WRC 2017

EC 2017 Overall
R4: WomenMen.
R6: MenWomen

more archived Race Results

Twitter feeds for #irfwrc

White Water of Siberia – 2018 Forum – schedule is out!

This year will be the third White Water of Siberia Forum (WWOSF) to be held in Siberia – 2016 and 2017 proved very popular and successful (read more about those two events). This should be a bucket list item for all rafters – to go rafting in the Altai region!

The schedule for the 2018 WWOSF is now out so you can set aside the dates and be ready for when they call for participants:

Dates: 20 to 29 August 2018.

On the 20 and 21 August you will be in the Tomsk district for the cultural and sporting part of the forum. The forum’s opening ceremony is in Kopylovo village. There will also be the first introductory and training rafting session, checking participants’ equipment, training of the guide-instructor team, forming the rafting teams from the forum participants, some team building and introduction and assigning of the guide instructors.

Then everyone will participate in the international contest festival “Axe day – 2017” in Zorkaltsevo village. This will be followed by a conference meeting with the legendary Russian traveller – Eugene Kovalevsky. The discussion topic – international tourism and extreme travelling. This is finished off with a Gala dinner.

From the 22 to the 29 August everyone travels to the Altai Republic. Journey through the lake Teletskoe on boats, then the valley of the Chulyshman River where you will raft down the Chulyshman river (Class 4 – 5). You will also take in the Accurum natural border, Katu-Jaryk range, Kurkure Waterfall, Chulchin Waterfall, Kudyrge barrow (the archaeologists revealed a burial complex of more than 60 constructions: fences, stonework, barrows of the 6-7 century AD. The excavations provided a profound material, illustrating the culture and life of the ancient Turk tribes, inhabiting the Chulyshman valley).

There will be a conference about “The ancient history – following the path of the Silk Road.”

Then you will be meeting sportsmen, organizers, spectators and seeing the place of the traditional Russian rafting competition “Ak-Talai-Margaan”, which can be translated as “Challenging the White Water” from Altai language.

There will be a round table of open discussions with the best Russian rafting teams. The main topic of all discussions – Russian sport, and the project of the R6 World Rafting Champs in Russia.

Everyone will then participate in the Russian National Rafting Cup in international rafting teams, formed from the forum participants. Disciplines will be Sprint, Head-to-Head, Slalom and Downriver.

The best part yet – International Friendship Rafting – the final event of the forum, rafting down the Katun River on big rafts from the inflow of the Katun River Ilgumen to the inflow of the Ursul River (3 hours long).

Finished off with a final gala concert, awarding of certificates, gifts and prizes.

European Rafting Champs 2018 – Team Information letter!

Here is the Team Information letter for the IRF’s 2018 R4 European Rafting Champs (ERC) – this will allow teams to start planning for their trip to Bratislava, Cunovo, Slovakia in July.

This location is already well known for many as a very successful R4 Euro Champs was held there in 2014. It is a great course with easy viewing and good challenges on the water; and plenty of accommodation varying from hotel, bungalow, boarding house to the cheapest option of camping, right there at the race location.

The key information is:

  • Date: 2 – 7 July 2018
  • Location: Bratislava – Cunovo, Slovakia
  • Organizer: Nadácia Pantheon Foundation
  • Event Director: Michal Černý – Slovakia
  • Categories: R4 Youth, Junior, Open and Masters
  • Division: (Men/Women)
  • Races: R4: Sprint, H2H, Slalom and Downriver
  • River: Artificial white water course 20km from capital city Bratislava grade 3-4.
  • Entry:
    • Fee: 100 € per person in team.
    • FormERC 2018 Entry Form
    • Closing date for entry: 30 April 2018
  • Accommodation: Is available at the event location as well as in nearby town. Here is the Accommodation Requests Form.

Wide selection of Photos and videos of the 2014 ERC at the same location.


WRC Australia and Pre-Worlds launch their website

World white water rafting championship hopefuls will converge on Tully in May to vie for a spot in next year’s international event.

Here’s a taste of the white water that awaits you!

More than 100 paddlers will race in the Pre-Worlds and Australian Rafting Championships on the Tully River – and organisers are calling it a dress rehearsal for the “real deal” in 2019.

Tully will host the 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships, after securing the rights late last year in a coup for both Australia and the local community.  The Pre-Worlds are also part of the package.

Australia World Title winners 2001 on the Zambezi. Left to Right – Sean Gill, Chris Brumley, Graham Maifredi, Glen Merrick, Mark Miller, Clancy Heywood.

Event director Graham Maifredi said preparations were ramping up.

A community information session will be held at the Tully Visitor Information Centre on Monday 12 February and people who want to learn more about the two events – from potential suppliers, sponsors and volunteers to competitors – are encouraged to drop in any time between 10am and 12.

“After more than 30 years of rafting on the Tully River we’re gearing up for the big one,’’ he said.

“The Tully region is already known as an adventure mecca with skydiving, scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, sea kayaking, river kayaking, fishing, mountain biking and hiking as well as white water rafting, but we’re hoping the world rafting events will reinforce that and cement our name as the adventure capital.”

The Pre-Worlds will feature downriver races and sprints as well as slalom racing and head-to-head race-offs.  It will be staged on the river from 9 to 13 May.  Teams will contest open, master, youth (under-23) and junior (under-19) events.

ARF Open Men’s Team on H2H at Pre-Worlds in Japan.

Maifredi said the Pre-Worlds would entice Australian athletes and a number of teams from other countries who were keen to test their mettle in the river’s Class 4 rapids.

“This is the national titles and a selection event for the worlds but it’s also a chance for athletes from other countries to come and familiarise themselves with the river ahead of 2019,’’ he said.

“The Pre-Worlds will be a great training run for us as well, to see how our race locations, spectator sites, communications, operations crews and general logistics go.

“We have hosted Australian and Queensland rafting and kayaking championships here before but we’ll be honing in on our operations this time around to ensure we get it right for the Tully River’s first world event.”

Australia Open Women in action at WRC 2005, Ecuador.

The 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships is expected to bring up to 700 athletes and thousands of spectators to the Far North region.  Maifredi said accommodation and entertainment also presented opportunities for locals.

The Australian Rafting Federation is working with Stanwell Corporation, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Queensland National Parks, Raging Thunder Adventures, the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and traditional owners, Tropical Coast Tourism, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland to host the events.

The Australian Rafting Federation launched its World Rafting Championships website last week at  Expressions of Interest forms are on the website.

More information about the Pre-Worlds and WRC 2019.


Support pouring in to IRF

A recent breakaway rafting group has caused quite a stir amongst the rafting community. Many in the rafting world are horrified that efforts have been made to splinter the strong camaraderie the IRF has built over the past 20+ years. A HUGE outpouring of support towards the IRF has been received through letters, emails and social media. 

In the few hours since we issued our position letter, the IRF has received publicly endorsed support from most of the highly respected National Rafting Federations in the world, including:

  • Czech Rafting Federation, New Zealand Rivers Association, National Dutch Rafting Federation, Costa Rican Rafting Association, British Rafting, US Rafting Association, FAJI (Indonesian Rafting Federation), Brazil Rafting Teams (especially the 7 times World Champions), Ukraine Rafting Federation, Australia Rafting Federation, Japan, Rafting of Belgium National Canoe Federation, Athlete’s Committee, Romania, Nepal.
  • Most others have informed us they are calling directors meetings and will pledge their support shortly
  • All of these rafting federations are democratically run organisations that make decisions that have been approved by their members at a Congress or Assembly, not by dictatorial decree

We urge those unsure of whether to support the IRF to consider the following:

  • The IRF was created to represent and defend the interests of rafting before all national and international authorities
  • The IRF facilitates the growing needs and demands of the worldwide rafting fraternity through a unified body that deals exclusively with rafting issues and factors that influence the development of rafting
  • The IRF actively seeks to include everyone regardless of gender, age, race, politics, religion or sexual orientation
  • Dividing the rafting world will have a long term negative effect on the sport and the goals we all have set out to achieve
  • Supporting the IRF is directly supporting the fraternity, camaraderie, friendships, skills, expertise, and common goals of the wider rafting community

The IRF shares the Olympic Dream.  However, we don’t base our dreams purely on hope – there is so much more to be done than just focus on the Olympic Dream.  We will continue to focus on our GAISF / SportAccord application, our hugely popular and internationally recognised and supported race events, our worldwide recognised guide training scheme, our river conservation efforts and all the massive successes we have achieved to date – all with YOU involved and part of the journey.  Let’s continue the journey together.

See the IRF Board of Directors response to the splinter group here.

To All IRF Member Organisations and Interested Parties – from the IRF BOD

The IRF Board of Directors would like to wish you all a successful 2018! As we move quickly through the first month of the New Year, we want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to each of you – our federation members – for participating in our success for these last 20 years.

Threat to rafting unity

Recently it has come to our attention that Mr. Danilo Barmaz, President of FIRaft (the Italian Rafting Federation, an IRF member), has approached some of our member organizations with an invitation to abandon the IRF and join him in creating another international rafting federation. Barmaz plans to head a meeting in Belgrade, Serbia later this week, and has invited a few IRF members to sign up. Mr. Boris Purjakov, President of the Serbian Rafting Federation, and Mr. Fikret Yardmici, Rafting Vice-President of the Turkish Developing Sport Branches Federation, are assisting him in this effort.

In summary, Barmaz has suggested that our members do the following:

  • Abandon the IRF for his splinter group, and accept him as our leader.
  • Allow him to copy 99% of our IRF programs and ideas and use them for his group.
  • Allow him to run rafting as a quasi-independent part of the International Canoe Federation. (He is very unclear in his information on how this would work).

The invitation included documents containing defamatory and false statements about the IRF, and misleading information and promises that suggest that he will be able to accomplish far more than the IRF has done over the last 20 years — particularly the goal of putting rafting in the Olympic Games. Rather than work with the IRF to reach this goal as we desire, Barmaz seeks to create a splinter group, going completely against the basic concept of sport unity.

Unfortunately, much of what Barmaz is saying and promising is not based on fact. Here are the facts.

We urge all of you to read this information very carefully to ensure you are CORRECTLY informed.

Let us be clear – dividing our sport by creating a splinter group is destructive and counterproductive for rafting. It is a pathway to nowhere. The few sports that have done this have only become weaker, spending more energy and time fighting with each other than working towards achieving their common goals and representing their sport. Barmaz’s proposal is already doing this among a few of our IRF members, and taking valuable time away from other urgent tasks. GAISF and the IOC will only recognize a single federation to represent a sport, and urges all such divisions to unite.  We do not wish to waste time fighting with our brothers and sisters within our rafting family.  We prefer instead to work together to reach our common goals.

Not all of us can be expected to share the same views, of course. We are a union of thousands of individuals scattered around the globe, all with different customs, languages, politics, and personal goals. However, the IRF was created because 20 years ago rafters recognised that our greatest strength is through UNITY. Regardless of differences, we remain united under a single banner, because we all recognize that with unity comes strength, and a greater likelihood of achievement.  We appreciate the passion that Barmaz has for our sport, and welcome him to work with us instead of attempting to divide us.  Our door is open to him, as it always has been.

Through YOUR participation and enthusiasm, the IRF is known around the globe as the largest and most important rafting organization in the world, representing thousands of rafting enthusiasts joined together by our common love for rafting. As an IRF member, the IRF is your voice for rafting, run for the benefit of all of us. Our success depends entirely on each of you, and your organization’s active participation. The IRF is YOUR federation. The IRF is you.

The IRF is not simply a group of passionate individuals, it is a set of common ideals and values — created by all of us through compromise and agreement — and set down in writing in our Bylaws. In our Bylaws, we have all pledged to remain unified, working together for the betterment of our sport and for those that practice it.

As a democratic organization, the IRF is governed by our members, for our members. When differences arise between us, any of our members are free to propose to elect new IRF leaders and/or adopt new IRF policies to take us in the direction they prefer as a UNIFIED body.  Our hope is that Barmaz and the small group that is supporting him, will continue to honor this basic democratic principle.  Our intent is not to disenfranchise or disrespect the views of anyone, but instead to focus our attention on our common goals rather than on our disagreements.

In conclusion:

The IRF will not make false promises to you.

We WILL however, continue to work tirelessly for our sport, we WILL continue to work towards achieving GAISF and IOC recognition in pursuit of the Olympic dream, we WILL continue to improve our World and Continental Championships and our Guide Training System and our youth programs, and we WILL continue working on all of the other aspects of rafting (like recreational rafting and river conservation) that our members expect us to do.

The IRF is YOUR organization – a place where real river rafters can come together to enjoy our sport, have friendly but serious competitions, make friends all around the world, and to paddle and protect beautiful rivers. We look forward to having your continued support in the years ahead.

Thank you

Board of Directors
International Rafting Federation

SVOČR responds to the activities of Mr. Barmaz of the Italian Rafting Federation

Many members have recently been approached by Mr. Danilo Barmaz, President of the Italian Rafting Federation (an IRF member), with an invitation to abandon the IRF and join him in creating another international rafting federation.

The invitation included documents containing defamatory and false statements about the IRF, and very misleading statements that suggest that he will be able to accomplish far more than the IRF has done over the last 20 years  — particularly the goal of putting rafting in the Olympic Games.

Below is the response from the Czech Rafting Federation which falls under the Union of Boaters of the Czech Republic (SVOCR).

SVOCR letter to Mr. Danilo Barmaz

The IRF BOD will be responding shortly as well.

Rather than work with the IRF to reach this goal, Mr. Barmaz sadly seeks to divide us, going completely against the basic concept of unity, and completely ignoring a large number of the IRF Bylaws that he has agreed to follow.

We urge all members to do proper due diligence before signing up to anything.

Nikki Kelly voted as Chair of the new IRF Athlete’s Committee

One of the recent changes to the IRF Bylaws was the addition of an Athlete’s Committee, and the Chair of this committee would be a member of the Board of Directors (BOD).

This first committee, as per Bylaws, was appointed by the BOD. From next year on this committee will be voted for by the athletes themselves.

The 7 members then voted for who the Chair would be. Here is the list of members of this committee and here are their bios:

  1. Nikki Kelly (Chair)
  2. Ales Danek (Vice-Chair)
  3. Fieke Reijntjies
  4. Ine Skjorten
  5. Lucas da Silva
  6. John Ancito
  7. Keita Yagisawa

Well done to Nikki and we look forward to seeing what this committee can achieve for the athletes – as a new committee they have the daunting task of getting everything off the ground. Any athletes who would like to make suggestions to this committee can contact Nikki directly. Here is a link to Nikki’s acceptance video for the International Whitewater Hall of Fame award.

As per Bylaw 47 – the duties and election of the Athletes’ Committee is as follows:


  1. To represent the athletes in the sports related decision making bodies of the IRF.
  2. To act as a mediator between active athletes and the IRF Organisms.
  3. To represent the athletes in sport related meetings of the IRF Administrative Committees and Sub-Committees.
  4. To form the official opinion of the athletes concerning actual issues and to pass resolutions of the athletes.
  5. To work for the athletes’ representation in the IRF Member Organizations.
  6. To appoint when necessary, a spokesperson to represent the athletes during IRF Competitions.
  7. All proposals by the Athletes’ Committee are ratified by the IRF Board of Directors.


  1. Three (3) representatives from the European Region, two (2) representatives from the Pan American Region and two (2) representatives from the Australasia Region elected by athletes from their respective regions.
  2. The election shall take place during the IRF World Championships.
  3. The election process and the counting of the votes will be monitored by an independent individual.
  4. The Athletes’ Committee Chair is elected from amongst its elected members.
  5. IRF Member Organizations will be informed about the election three (3) months prior to the World Championships, and the candidates must be presented to the IRF at least 30 days prior to the World Championships.

Is the colour of your helmet important?

Iceland 2010 Godafoss waterfall – “Mark fu@k!n go get him!” … Me: “I would if I could bloody see him!”

We were a group of kayakers (all raft guides too ) taking a day off and paddling the famous Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland.

For those who don’t know Godafoss, it is a horse shoe shaped waterfall with multiple lines, ranging from 3m to 12m in height. A popular tourist destination, the ultimate park & huck spot I would say.

Spot the swimmer – IRF workshop Thailand 2017

We had been warming up on the small 3m drop when we noticed 2 kayakers  on the opposite bank lining up to run the 12m drops. We watched as the first kayaker ran the fall pretty cleanly. The second kayaker ran the fall quite quickly afterwards and went deep. Counting in my head  I knew that once I had counted past 6 there was trouble. As he had failed to re surface I felt the adrenaline starting to kick in as I took the calm-down breath all in the same second

Although we were not with the other kayakers we were their only possibility of rescue for at least the next 6 hours. There are not many water rescue teams in Northern Iceland.

Both myself & Karu, a Nepali kayaker jumped into our kayaks and went to try and help. The kayaker had been missing for around 5 minutes by the time we got to the bottom of the drop. I remember shouting  to Karu as we paddle across the pool “Don’t rush in, lets take care of each other’ s safety first.”

We both paddled to the PLS (Point Last Seen) and saw nothing. I looked up to literally see hundreds of tourists reaching for mobile phones to make emergency calls. I tried to remember what kit he was wearing. I remembered seeing a black jacket and a white helmet. (Not much contrast with whitewater and black rocks.) I could not get any type of visual reference.

Isere River France 2016 – the white helmets are hard to see in this environment

Eventually we heard a scream from behind the drop as he jumped out from behind the fall where he had been trapped. The panicked swimmer grabbed our kayaks and we towed him to safety (phew). I was right – white helmet & black jacket.


Working as a guide & safety kayaker over the years I have been involved in lots of rescues of swimmers both from rafts & kayaks. The amount of times I have said to myself that I cannot see them mainly because of the colour of there helmet is huge. From my own experience I have noticed that there are a few colours that are hard to see in moving water they are.

  • Bosnia 2017 The Blue / Green helmet is hard to see


  • Black
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Grey

My question is why are the manufacturing companies using these colors. I have found that the following colors are much easier to see and track when chasing a swimmer through big water.

  • Orange

    Tara River 2017- much easier to see.

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Pink
  • Luminous green / yellow.
For those that work around the emergency services we tend to know that the colour of your helmet represents the level of your training.
  • White = I/C or person in charge.
  • Red = Technician level  trained.
  • Yellow = Responder level trained.

A really good trend I am starting to see within the commercial rafting industry are companies using   different color helmets  for customers with certain needs, eg:

  • Red helmets for non swimmers or nervous customers.
  • Orange helmets for customers with medical conditions

Isere River High water 2016

This way guides & safety kayakers are able to help the above mentioned a little quicker in a situation if needed.

Of course the colour of the helmet is great during the daylight but what happens if you get stuck out on the river once it becomes dark ? How are you going to see your friends & customers?

For a few years now I have been providing students on my courses with branded  SOLAS (Save our Lives at Sea) stickers. SOLAS material is highly reflective and recognised

Example of the stickers I’ve had made

by coast guards and marine industries all over the world. Stickers can be purchased from to your own custom design.

Next time it comes to purchasing a new helmet take a second to think about not only the design but the colour too.


Mark Hirst

What’s the point in promoting women in paddlesports?

Women have been raft racing since Project Raft on the Chuya River, Siberia, in 1989. The Amazonkis Team from the USA were the first to pave the way and show how it’s done. Women in rafting have come a long way since our very own IRF Secretary General was told by a well known paddler at a Zambezi Rafting Festival in 1992 that their women’s team (the only one there) were taking on more than they could handle and would end up being helicoptered out. Instead they placed 16th out of 32 teams! There are women’s teams from most countries competing in IRF competitions now. So what’s the point in hosting an event named after and in aid of women in paddlesports? Surely they don’t need their own event!

Continue reading What’s the point in promoting women in paddlesports?

Pre-WRC Australia 2018 – Info letter #1

So many beautiful competitions are waiting for us in the 2018 season, and one of them is Pre-WRC Australia (9 – 13 May 2018).

As Australia are the hosts for the 2019 World Rafting Championship R6, the Pre-Worlds are done one year before as a big test for the organisers and a great opportunity for the competitors to get to know the river through a competition. The organiser will be able to test their organisation skills, transporting of competitors, boats, accommodation, food, logistics, and so on ….

To help you with your planning here is the first info letter for you, so that through this letter you will get to know all the information you need to get a better picture of where you will be going for WRC 2019.

The Australian Rafting Federation invites you to the Pre-WRC to compete, socialise and enjoy your time in Australia. The Tully River and Tropical North Queensland are waiting for you. 😉

Official organisers’ Facebook page