Race Results

Euro Cup Vrbne
Results; Photos: -1-
Finish Race #2
Results; Photos
Australian R6 Nationals
Results, Photos: -1-
Finish Race
Results
R4 Euro Rafting Champs
Results; Videos and Photos 
Euro Cup Vrbas
Results; Article; Photos: -1-
Euro Cup Trnavka
Results; Photos: R4 Sprint; R4 Slalom
R2 China
Results; Photos
Euro Cup Serbia
Results; Photos: -1-; Video

more archived Race Results

IRF Twitter Feed

European R4 heavy machinery – “Hiko” Rafting Team

This team from the Czech Republic has awesome previous results and is proving very hard for any other teams to get anywhere near let alone surpass. We bring you the 2014 R4 European Champions!

Hiko6The names of the big four are: Jan Havlíček, Ondřej Pinkava, Jan Šťastný, Aleš Daněk and for downriver Tomáš Kejklíček.

Jan – is definitely the most popular name in rafting. If you yell Jan, half “Gimpex” and “Hiko” team will respond. :D This is the name that has the most medals around their necks. ;)

Hiko1Aleš Daněk talks to us about their impressions of the competition and their success.

Three times in a row you have been crowned R4 European Champions – well, done!!! What is your secret – I won’t tell anyone. ;) :D

“Yes, three times in a row. Probably the most difficult was the first, in Italy 2010, where we had only one gold medal and competed with a team that was improvised. Two years ago we set a new European record of gaining a 1000 points and it will be very hard to reach that again. So in two years it’s new challenge for us!”

Hiko8I love the moment when, after playing the national anthem on winning the Overall Gold medal you broke out with such victorious energy. You have been incredibly successful, have set a new target for everyone else and taken a firm place in the history books. How were you feeling at that moment?

“After our results from the last two Euro Champs we could only aim at overall victory. In Slovakia at the Euro Champs it was a fair situation for all teams because everyone was only doing R4, whereas previously in 2010 and 2012 some teams had been doing R4 and R6 which meant everyone was able to give full power.”

Hiko5Did you think you would win overall?

“Yes we hoped for that and it has given us great confidence ahead of the World Champs in October where we want to build on that win.”

Which other team left you with a good impression at this event?

“We focused particularly on our own performance and results, but probably the second Czech team – they were a little bit improvised because of injury, and our fight in the final H2H was very interesting for fans.” See video below for this exciting race.

Will we see you in Brazil?​”​

Yes of course! We hope that it won´t be cancelled again. That´s the aim of the season – where we want to gain our best results.”

Hiko11I received an objection that I was only writing about the Moms who paddle, do you have Dads in your team and if you do, how do they manage the whole story of kids, work, paddling..?

“We all live and work in different cities; half of us have families and children. They have very tolerant wives, who allow them very good conditions for their training for competitions. We train separately and meet three or four times a year at the races.”- And achieve such success?! Impressive. Hats off!

Are there sponsors and others who you want to thank?

“Of course special thanks to “Hiko” sport company and his perfect equipment and XO foods for their special nutrition. :-)”

Congratulations on your great success guys. You have really made ​​the Czechs proud.

This season is not over for them and I cannot wait to see them competing at the 2014 World Rafting Champs in Brazil in October. In Brazil, Japan defends the World R4 title, and whether these guys it will bring that title back to Europe will be answered soon. This task will certainly not be easy for anyone to achieve – the crown for the best R4.

Article by Nada

Austria now using the IRF GT&E Scheme

IRF Logo 2The IRF Guide Training & Education (GT&E) Scheme has recently been adopted into Austrian law which will make it compulsory from next season for all river guides in Austria to be IRF certified if they wish to guide there.

The change came about as Austria looked at updating their 20 year old guide certification system with a scheme that was of an acceptably high standard as well as easy to manage and internationally recognised. A number of their own instructors put forward the IRF scheme and after careful consideration a workshop was scheduled in Tirol.

Tirol Rafting FederationThis workshop was run by the IRF Head of GT&E, Gaspar Goncz, and was organised by the Tirolean Rafting Association with the Austrian Canoe Federation (IRF member) overseeing it. The workshop focussed on getting as many of the old instructors onto the IRF Scheme as possible so that new guides could continue being certified within Austria and to maintain Austria’s autonomy.

Marcel Pachler – President of the Tyrolean Rafting Association – was at the Workshop and says the Tirolean Rafting Association website will be updated with the relevant information before the next season starts and in the meantime they are the ones to contact with any questions you have.

This is excellent news for all those holding the IRF certification as it will mean their qualification will now be welcome and accepted in Austria. We are looking forward to more countries taking the IRF Scheme on as their official scheme as this will make guide certifications far more mobile. And that is what we are after – having a uniform scheme that is accepted all over the world because it is known to be of a high standard and easy to use.

Safety Talks – getting it right!

Mark Hirst, an IRF GT&E Instructor, has written a great article about how to deliver good Safety Talks at a start of a river trip – here is what he has to say:

Over the years I have had the opportunity to witness some professional, motivating raft safety talks and unfortunately some painfully poor safety talks. I wanted to share some of my thoughts behind a safety brief. This post will hopefully share some of my ideas and hopefully start a productive discussion.

I want to divide the topic into a few separate areas.

  1. The setting & introduction
  2. The delivery & content order
  3. The unspoken messages finding the humour balance
  4. The wrap up & mantra
  5. The language& communication thing

1. The setting and introduction

Let’s imagine you are going onto stage to perform. In order to perform at your best you need everything around you to fall into place and work in harmony to make an effective performance (after all that’s what a safety talk is). So – let’s look at a few things to help get the setting right.

Mental setting

You should clear your mind of any distractions for the next 20 minutes. No phones, no outside distractions. Your only focus is making sure your customers receive the best possible safety talk to enable them to have the best possible trip.

I constantly use this mantra as a trip leader: “Poor safety talk poor trip” or “outstanding safety talk outstanding trip”.

Appearance

Would you be taken seriously at that job interview if you were not dressed properly or using the correct body language? Here are few hard fast rules I use:

  • No sunglasses if possible, eye contact is everything
  • Fully kitted and ready for action
  • Look, talk, and think professional and the rest will follow

Setting (environment)

You need to make yourself the sole focus of the customers for the duration of your safety talk. Take away any distractions. Once your customers are distracted it’s really hard to get them back. Below are a few top tips.

  • Move them if possible to a quiet secluded place. If this is not possible have them sit or stand with their back to the river.
    A common mistake I see during a safety talk is with the customers looking out onto the river. This makes it really hard to keep their attention especially if there are other companies or a big rapid at the put in point.  Your customers will look at the impending doom and never focus on you or your safety talk.”
  • Take away any reasons to fidget. Make sure all helmets & PFDs are already fully adjusted. All cameras, Go-Pros are to be left alone and banned for the duration of the safety talk.
  • If possible have the customers with the sun & wind behind them. Buses can be used as wind breaks.
  • If your customers are standing get the small people to the front along with any customers who might not speak the same language as you so that they can get a clear view of the talk. Do not have any customers behind you or out of your field of vision.
    “As a guide it is important to be able to make eye contact with all of your customers during the safety talk. Making eye contact with your customers will make then focus on you more. You will also be able to read your customers’ feelings by looking at their faces. From this you will be able to work out the confident from the nervous customers.” 

Introduction

Now that you have the attention of your customers, you start by telling them the most obvious things; your name and the names of your guide team and what you are going to do and why you are doing it

“Now we are going to spend 15 – 20 minutes talking about the trip and the trip safety. It’s important you listen to me as you will then know how to paddle and what to do if you fall out of the raft”.

Summary:

  • Clear you own head and prepare yourself first
  • Make sure your customers are in a position where you are their sole focus
  • Eye contact is everything
  • Tell them what you are doing and why you are doing it

Now the setting is correct it’s time to give them some technical information.

2. The delivery & content order

The delivery style of your talk is highly important. On days when the river is high and you know it’s going to be a seat of the pants trip your delivery style will have a higher sense of urgency compared to the days when you are working during lower water levels.

Remember being a good guide is mainly about people skills; be yourself. Don’t become some type of transfixed military robot reading a script without an understanding of what you are talking about. Inject some emotion into your safety talk.

Relax, talk with a smile and be human, eye contact is everything.  Raise your voice when you need to in order to highlight the important points.

You can always try some role reversal: imagine yourself as a customer going on a scary raft trip. How would you like to be spoken to?

Content order: I have had many heated discussion with fellow guides on the content order of a safety talk. I have taken on board their views and here is what we came up with:

  • Don’t adjust or take off any of the safety kit we give without our permission.
  • The paddle and T pieces
  • The raft and your seating position
  • Efficient  forwards & backwards paddling techniques
  • What to do if you fall out. The OBE, outer boat experience.  (smile, hold your paddle, swim back)
  • The outside line & getting someone back in
  • Reaching rescue with paddles
  • Aggressive proactive swimming
  • White water swimming position (look around, be active in your own rescue, don’t just sit there)
  • Throw bags
  • Flips  (physically flip the raft on the land and do a dry land  flip drill)
  • Safety kayakers /safety rafts

Paddle Drill: The one thing I will be asking my crew to do more than anything is to paddle – so it is worth a little extra time working with the crew on their paddling technique and timing.

“I used to work for a company that would deliver a really comprehensive safety talk, but no time would be given on showing the customers how to paddle. Yes, all of our customers were well briefed on what to do if the raft flipped but none of them could paddle.”

So – get your customers to paddle well to avoid getting into situations where they will be swimming.

Read about 3.The unspoken messages finding the humour balance, 4. The wrap up & mantra and 5. The language & communication thing in Part 2: Safety Talks – getting it right – Part 2.

Mark is an IRF Guide Training & Education Instructor who runs courses and and workshops in a wide variety of countries from Iceland to India and Nepal. He hails initially from Great Britain. If you’d like Mark to run a workshop for you contact him via his webpage.

Bids for World Rafting Champs 2017

Are you interested in bidding for the IRF’s 2017 World Rafting Champs?

It’s R6 that year (meaning 6-man rafts) so a great way to show off your awesome rivers, rafting and country as well as giving your teams a home advantage.

Bids need to be in by the end of this year (31st . . . → continue reading . . . Bids for World Rafting Champs 2017

Guide workshops in Canada, India, Spain and Nepal!

What a great selection of places to go to do your IRF certification assessment! Canada (Quebec), India, Spain and Nepal!

2-4. Sept: Certification Workshop Canada – Quebec, Jacque-Cartier river. Instructor: Gaspar Goncz 8 – 10 Sept: Safety craft course (kayak), Zanskar River, Ladakh, India. Instructor: Mark Hirst. Host: Wet n Wild Explorations. Contact 11 – 13 Sept: Guide & . . . → continue reading . . . Guide workshops in Canada, India, Spain and Nepal!

So who is Nada?

Many of you may have been getting emails from someone called “Nada” and wondering who she is, especially as she asks so many questions! So we thought we’d turn the tables and interview HER for a change! So lets get you all familiar with her -

Team Serbia Women at WRC 2010

. . . → continue reading . . . So who is Nada?

New Women’s European R4 Champions – Mistral, Slovakia

Winning Gold at 2014 R4 Euro Champs

We are all already familiar with this team who have been at the top of the rafting honours for over 10 years now and have just swept up the title of R4 Euro Champions in the Open Women’s category. We’re talking about the well-known team . . . → continue reading . . . New Women’s European R4 Champions – Mistral, Slovakia

Extraordinary Congress in October

An Extraordinary Congress has been called by the IRF BOD so as to discuss any issues that have arisen since the last Congress in November last year.The Extraordinary Congress will be held during the WRC in Brasil. The exact date will be confirmed shortly but the provisional date is . . . → continue reading . . . Extraordinary Congress in October

WRC Brasil – Info letter #2

Here is the latest information from Brasil - Information letter #2 - with regards to the 2014 World Rafting Champs being held there.

Remember – teams must register by the 31st August – only 3 weeks away! You need to email Brasil team admin to get your password so you can . . . → continue reading . . . WRC Brasil – Info letter #2

IRF Race Judges Course – Brasil

There will be an IRF Judges’ course during the WRC in Brasil for all those who wish to become certified IRF Race Judges. The details are:

Dates: first meeting is 2pm on the 7th Oct. Assistant Judges – finish after Downriver on 12th Oct. General Judges – finish after Downriver on the 19 . . . → continue reading . . . IRF Race Judges Course – Brasil