The best way to describe the start of the downriver at the Teva Pre-Worlds was chaos, exiting, heaps of energy and a lot of crashing and bashing. Starting 12 rafts at a time in the men´s and 8 in the women´s and then driving them together into a space no wider than 3 rafts about 50 meters down the course was ideal. The downriver course at Dutch Water Dreams was 5 laps starting with a battle start, then a paddle around the lake, up a set of stairs where you entered the track and rafted back down to the catchment pool and around the lake 4 more times. It was an intense physical and mental challenge for the teams as your approach to each section ( flat water, whitewater, running) had to incorporate a different mentality and not just be focused on river running. Strategy played an important part in all areas of the course.
Unlike traditional downriver races this one allowed the spectators to watch and support their favourite teams throughout the race. We had people running along with rafts, many looked from the bridges over the course and no one was disappointed in the action delivered.
In the end it was team Alaya Expeditions 1 with a time of 26:39.02 that took first over Team Japan (26:51.60) and Team USA (28:37.76). Team Mistral from Slovakia proved complete dominance in the women´s division winning the downriver and making a clean sweep of all races. Their time was 33:07.66. In 2nd place was Team Kari Traa from Norway with a time of 35:38.59. In third and proving they are consistently in the top teams was the UK ladies with a time of 35:45.41. For complete results check out the Teva Pre-Worlds result page.
The downriver race was huge success and teams, spectators, sponsors and media enjoyed the race format. It was one of the events highlights and a fantastic way to end a very successful event. Once it was all said and done and the fat lady had sung the final standings are posted on the results page but the top 3 in order were.
Men – Alaya Expeditions 1 , Team Japan, Team USA
Women – Team Mistral, UK Ladies, RK Stan Women
The Teva Pre/Worlds was a well organized event with a lot of teams looking at artificial courses in a new light. The technical and fast course was a challenge to many and the race disciplines all worked well. We are looking forward to the WRC2010. Keep checking the blog for updates on all rafting matters from around the world, enjoy the pictures below. Video will be uploaded soon.