There is a great selection of Guide/Trip Leader courses coming up in May – from Austria to Iceland, Spain, Scotland and Turkey. And we are very excited to be doing a big Instructor Workshop in the USA for the first time as well as an Instructor Workshop in Austria!
1 – 3 May: 4/5 Guide & TL certification and Safety Kayaker workshops at Viking Rafting
, Iceland. Instructors and contact: Chris Doyle-Kelly
and Anup Gurung
- 1 – 4 and 9 – 12 May: Class 3 Guide course, Inn River, Austria. Contact/Instructor: Bijan Arbab. (2 day outdoor-first-aid course (16 hrs) on the days in between!!!)
- 3 – 8 May: 6 day IRF/SRA guide course on River Tay, Scotland. Details
- 3 – 10 May: Trip Leader / Class 3 Guide training and certification programme. Melen River, Turkey. Instructor: Vedat Vural
- 5 – 10 May: Guide, TL, and IRF Instructor Certification Workshops at Sierra Rescue, Truckee, California, USA. Instructor: Joe Willie Jones. Registration and Details
- 8-10. May: IRF Instructor Certification Workshop. Steiermark, Austria. Contact/ Instructor: Gaspar Goncz
- 11 – 15 May: Raft guide training course and assessment. Ara River in Torla-Pyrenees-Spain. Grade 4. Contact Instructor Eneko Yarza.
The annual GT&E Rescue Race takes place this coming weekend (25 – 26 May) in Wildalpen, Austria. This is being run by Gaspar Goncz, Head of the IRF Guide Training & Education section. More details.
Raft Races in May
There are a number of national events as well as Euro Cup events and the month culminates with the Euro Rafting Champs in Bosnia:
Euro Cup Nis, Serbia – invitation:
“Serbian Rafting Federation and Nautical club “Liman” are inviting you to the Euro Cup and Third University Championship that will be held in Nis on the river Nisava from the 15 – 17 May 2015, in category R6, in four disciplines – Sprint, H2H, Slalom and Down River on the river that has undisturbed and controlled flow of water of 50 m3 due to the power plant. High-quality competition is guaranteed. On this river was run World Cup 2009 as well as five Euro Cups, as well as other rafting competitions. The time of the competition is just a couple of days before Euro Champs in Bosnia and it is therefore interesting for your teams that can check their preparedness and have a good workout. There is no fee, the camp by the river is free and lunch packets are also free. We are capable of providing free hotel accommodation for one female and one male team. If you are interested, apply on time.”
Firstly I want to leave a tribute to all the contestants on their endurance through the very harsh weather we had at the event. It is amazing to watch them put their hearts out there even in those conditions. Being in it they cannot see it themselves, so it is my job to tell them that they looked amazing, real athletes. Despite all this, the mood among participants was excellent. And a special thanks to the Slovak U19 team for the transport from Vienna, Stefano for the invaluable umbrella and jacket and Camping Wildalpen as the second office.
The event was well attended as usual with 45 teams made up of 13 women’s and 32 men’s teams from eight countries.
Due to the large number of teams the competition began on Friday with the night Sprint. Very heavy rain accompanied this race. The contestants were real gentlemen, so the women went first. The first surprise of the competition was the team “Rafting Denmark Ladies 1″ who won 1st place. All their efforts paid off, and I hope this will be a great motivation leading up to the competition in Bosnia. In second place was the team “Italy 4 Senior” and the third “Italy 3 Senior”. In the men’s division “GIMPEX 2″ of Slovenia took first place, “Italy 2 Senior” second, and the third was “GIMPEX 1″.
An unexpected party took place that evening with excellent organization by the event organizer.
The second day of the competition started with the H2H, women once again starting. Despitet the terribly cold “Italy 4 Senior” team persisted through to first place, second place went again to the Italians, “Italy 3 Senior”, and third place went to the great team of “RT Denmark Ladies 1″. The Italians demonstrated excellent physical fitness and stamina.
Believe it or not, we had half an hour of sunshine between the two races and just when we were enjoying it, it started to rain and snow! So the men had the worst conditions for the competition. First was “GIMPEX 2″, second the German team “RTA Schaben 1″, and the third place team “Kanyon Raft Team” from Hungary, who are already known for their excellent performances in the H2H competitions.
After a short break came Slalom with the first run late afternoon and the second under the lights. The Slalom was excellent on the fast and high water levels of the river due to all the rain and snow. Yes it was raining again … but the audience was amazing, especially the children. Many had no umbrellas while following the whole race and behaved as if there was no rain or cold. They were amazing.
Getting familiar with the course is always necessary so that, as usual, we saw a great improvement and more aggressive driving in the second run. The first race saw competitors struggle on the upstream gates of 6 and 7. If teams did not get this right they lost their rhythm for the next gates. Various solutions were tried, especially in the second run, one even resulting in a flip. It was a matter of seconds that separated the first and second place in the men and there were excellent performance by many of the teams, but “Gimpex2″ was the fastest with the Germans “RTA Shwaben 2″ close in their footsteps, and third “RTA Shwaben 1″. An outstanding performance from the German teams.
In the women “Italy 4 Senior” was very skilful. An excellent second place for the Dutch team “Unlimited” and Slovakia schools slalom again came to the fore through third place for “Vopicky U23″ team.
The competition finished off with incredible fireworks. Thanks to the organizers for a great pyrotechnic show. The party afterwards will remain in our memories as much asl those of the races. 😀
When we’d forgotten that the sun existed and we thought it was a new ice age on the horizon, we could not believe it when the sun came out for the last race of the women’s Downriver bringing out his smile and drawing ours out too. The men were motivated by this sun but it all disappeared and the ice competition came back.
The course was longer than last year, about 12 km in total. The Salza River is beautiful and since I, myself, had a chance to paddle it I can say that the river fully meets the requirements of the competition. It is technically challenging but not too difficult, the nature is amazing, a turquoise river at the end glistened in the sun.
It started with a group of competitors on the shore. It was quite a struggle at the start and for overtaking during the race, which, on the whole, gives a better overall impression. Personally I like the group starts. As it has a large number of points for this tough discipline it usually decides the winner. So the order in the women’s Downriver was the same as the overall: 1st “Italy 4 Senior”, 2nd “Rafting Denmark Ladies 1″, 3rd “Italy 3 Senior”. Excellent performances by all three teams. That just says that the Euro Champs contest in Bosnia will be great.
For the men things were more complicated, except for “Gimpex2″ who, by winning the Downriver showed their dominance in the competition, 1000 points for these guys. Second place in the Downriver for “Kenyon Raft Team” gave them second overall. While third in the Downriver went to “Senior Italy 1″, which climbed them into 4th place overall. And 6th place in the Downriver, “RTA Shwaben 1″ won third overall.
What a competition! Everything was somehow positively crazy. Thank you to the organizers of the competition, once again a fantastic competition and socializing. Thanks to the sponsors who stand behind all of this. Congratulations to the winners, participants, judges, volunteers and the wonderful audience. We saw old friends, made new, we were freezing and the sun escorted us, the beautiful river Salza, friendly inhabitants of Wildalpen, lots of new surprises during the competition … Wildalpen!
Ahead of us is still EC in Augsburg and Nišava, warm-ups before the European Championship in Bosnia. See you there!
It’s so good to be back on the river Struma again. My first impression and my first serious swim was great, back in 2008. Now the river Struma is even faster than before due to higher water. I’ve enjoyed my ride again and was not disappointed, it’s been even better.
Big water and high speeds were an excellent challenge this year for the rafters. The weather is variable were there are all four seasons. It’s been mostly winter like weather here. EC R6 Struma this year brought together teams from Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. Hosting a total of 10 teams, of which 7 are male teams and 3 are female teams. In addition to the Euro Cup this is also the national competition in Bulgaria. We could see the contestants father and daughter of the Romanian team – Mares families, as well as the father, the son and daughter of the Bulgarian team – family Paunovski, so that makes this sport even more beautiful.
Training on Friday was great, but quite cold. Since we were well warmed up on Saturday, the gates were set and Slalom could begin. With very fast water and demanding gates (only 3 upstream gates!), this brought a lot of negative points to teams. From gate number 3, which was on the right bank, teams were supposed to pass through on the left side of gate 4 (green), to the other upstream gate number 5. It was the first place where teams were losing the rhythm of the gates. As a final challenge at gate number 9 (green), they were supposed to catch after leaving gate number 7 (upstream) through 8 (green), on a big wave made by an even bigger rock. Not many teams succeeded in this.
The final standings in this event looks like this:
Men 1. “Respect”, 2. “Adventure Net”, 3. “Liman”;
Women: 1. “Adventure Net”, 2. “Rafting Ladies”, 3 “Reflip”.
Sprint – First the men competed, then the woman, as is usually the case. Pursuing a better time placement as follows. In first place in the men’s category is “Respect”, second place is “Liman”, while third place goes to “Adventure Net”. In the women’s category in first place is “Adventure Net”, second place is “Rafting ladies”, while third place goes to “Reflip”.
We know how the river curves and where river currents are going and in this case, the river was curving on the right. According to the rules, it should be the fastest part of the river, but no. This was that part of the river because of the vortices that made it slower than the left side. Teams started at this point for H2H. The teams that chose the right became stuck in the eddies. It fooled many teams and they lost the race.
This is best demonstrated by “Respect” in the men’s category, followed by those “Liman”, while in third place “Reflip2″. In women, the order was as follows: 1. “Adventure Net”, 2. “Reflip”, 3. “Rafting ladies”.
Wildalpen is where it maintains Euro-cup R4, Austria, and which is known for its party. Partying in Bulgaria could be compared with the party in Austria. It’s hard to say which is better. No on other Euro Cup these parties like that. People are having fun, but Wildalpen is well known to Europeans. Yes, I need to emphasize: “…for us Europeans…”
Downriver start was divided into two groups of five teams. As the cold weather took its toll among the women’s teams, the “Rafting Ladies” and “Reflip” girls abandoned the race because of a sick team member or more. This does not mean that the race was not interesting though and nevertheless there was one flip.
The great battle between the teams in a very demanding course brings us the following results. Men’s: 1. “Respect”, 2. “Liman” and 3. “Reflip2″. There were penalties for “Respect” and “Liman” at the start. The only female team who paddled Downriver was “Adventure Net.”
So it was after the fourth discipline the result looked like this:
Men: 1. “Respect”, 2. “Liman”, 3. “Adventure Net”
Women: 1. “Adventure Net”, 2. “Rafting Ladies”, 3. “Reflip”
Since all races have nicely finished, we have had a great time between races and the party on Wednesday evening with excellent hosts, “Banja”- hot pools in the mountains (for memory ). As usual, Bulgarian, kindly people have made this competition unforgettable.
Thank you to the organizers, the famous twins among the rafters; Emil and Emilia Begunova, for everything and for helping us to report to you. Thank you to all the sponsors. Congratulations to the winners and participants. Greetings to the judges and safety team.
I had the opportunity to see some old friends, meet some new and hope that one day my life again will take me on this event, because it is fantastic. We enjoyed it and you. If you missed this, do not miss it this following year. Struma River is a river that will not disappoint you, only be well prepared for her and her challenges. See you next year on Struma 😉
So, next is the EC R4 Austria 😉
Having trouble working out what age group you are in for our divisions? Here are a list of ways you can work it out to see if you are eligible for the 2015 year:
You are OLD ENOUGH to compete in the Open division in 2015 if you:
are 14 years . . . → continue reading . . . How to work out what age division you are in for competitions
The IRF Race Rules have recently been updated. Most of the updates are small and are there to make things technically more clear. Here are some of the key updates:
For paddlers moving countries it has been made simpler for them to paddle for their new country of residence. Clarity has been added to . . . → continue reading . . . Updates in the Race Rules
Russia is offering an International Youth Rafting Workshop in the form of a rafting camp up in the beautiful Altai Region.
This is a great opportunity for paddlers and coaches to get together, share their knowledge, learn new techniques and skills, plus take their country’s rafting to a whole new level …. while having a . . . → continue reading . . . Great opportunity for Youth teams and their coaches!
Wrapping up this excellent series, swiftwater rescue expert Jim Coffey of R3- Rescue for River Runners, shows how the skills covered in the previous videos can be put to use on a typical day on the river with a mixed group of kayakers. One of the less skilled paddlers has to swim, and . . . → continue reading . . . Putting Rescue Skills to Use on the Water
SKR Bosna will have the honour of representing Bosnia y Herzegovina in the up coming R6 Euro Rafting Champs which are being held on the Vrbas River near Banja Luka. This Open Men’s team is made up of: Dajan Vinovcic -Captain, Sanjin Smriko, Mustafa Bisic, Jasmin Dizdarevic, Armin Kasapovic, Haris Pehadzic and Coach: Ekrem Tuka.
. . . → continue reading . . . SKR Bosna’s home advantage!
Red Ladies Raft Racing, Colorado, are well known to us (Red Ladies of the USA looking at rafting development long term), but it’s a long time since we last chatted to them. So to find out what has has happened in the meantime we chat to Julie Sutton.
Hello Julie, it’s been a . . . → continue reading . . . Red Ladies of Colorado
The dates for the 2015 World Rafting Champs, which are being held on the Citarik River, Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia, are from the 29 Nov to the 8 Dec. Here is a more detailed schedule:
(Youth = U19 and U23)
Sunday 29 Nov: Youth – Training Day – Sprint + H2H Judge Workshop Monday 30 . . . → continue reading . . . WRC 2015 dates and schedule announced!