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Race Results

EC Overall so far:
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EC Proboj, Serbia
Results; Photos

ERC 2018, Slovakia
All results, photos, videos, etc

Guilin, China
Results; Photos: -1-; Video: -1-, -2-,

EC 2018 Results so far:
MenWomen;

EC Trnavka, Czech
Results: Sprint, Slalom; Photos;

EC Vrbas, BiH
Results; Photos;

more archived Race Results

Sponsorship, how do we get it?

By Fieke Reijntjes 

A good bottle of wine with a special rafting label

Putting the equipment sponsorship to the side, the question most people would like to know the answer to is:  How do we raise money? There isn’t a straight forward answer and that’s probably because raising money isn’t easy and it will cost time and effort. Finding financial support can contribute massively to more enjoyment by taking pressure away and feeling valued whilst training for and competing in our beautiful sport.

There are a few really successful ways of raising money for rafting showcased by different teams. This article might give you a few ideas’ to start your own projects or find a sponsor.  The below is tested by teams from the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Brazil. Continue reading Sponsorship, how do we get it?

Pakistan joins the IRF

The International Rafting Federation would like to extend a warm welcome to the Rafting Sports Association of Pakistan (RSA) as a new member.

Pakistan has many amazing rivers and there is plenty of potential to promote rafting in Pakistan especially on the Sindh, Jehlum, Neelum and Kunhar Rivers. Right now only one river is being used by the companies for rafting and that is River Kunha River, but soon there will be rafting on the Sindh as well. Continue reading Pakistan joins the IRF

Rafting and the Olympics: The Road Ahead

Most of you are aware that the newly created World Rafting Federation (WRF) and certain people in the International Canoe Federation (ICF) signed a cooperative agreement shortly after we (the IRF) filed our application for GAISF/Sport Accord membership.  Although the details have been kept secret, the IRF is happy to comment on the agreement should those responsible release it publicly.

The ultimate goal of Olympic inclusion for rafting remains a top objective of the IRF. The first step to Olympic inclusion is membership of GAISF/SportAccord. Our submission for membership is acknowledged and progressing through the application process.

GAISF/SportAccord and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) require that only one internationally recognised body may represent a sport.  By creating a second international body, the leaders of the WRF have delayed IOC recognition of rafting and therefore delayed rafting’s introduction into the Olympic Programme.

Continue reading Rafting and the Olympics: The Road Ahead

Taking people with disabilities out onto the water in Iran

For a long time we, the Iran Rafting Association (IRA), have been thinking about how to grow water sports for all. That’s why we formed the “Para Rafting” Committee in our association with the cooperation of Mr. Saeed Zarori, who is a well-known person, with disabilities, in the field of adventure activities. We had already had the experience of working together on a rafting tour on the Sefid Roud River (Gilan-Iran) for a group of disabled people. It was a great experience! We decided then to spend more time and have more programs of this type.

As the start for our Para Rafting Committee we planned a kayaking tour on a calm river near to the Caspian Sea in Gilan, Iran. Last week we performed this tour for 20 people with disabilities. I remember when we shared the poster – the tour was filled in less than an hour! There were a lot of people with disabilities who wanted to join us, but the maximum capacity was 20 and we could not accept more people as it was a sensitive program and we needed to consider all the special needs of these lovely people.

Continue reading Taking people with disabilities out onto the water in Iran

We need you (your writing skills)!

We need your input!

Have you got a great story to share? Awesome river trip photos? Write up of your last raft competition? Advice for fellow guides or those starting in the industry?

We want to hear from YOU!

Get in touch: media@internationalrafting.com

#sharingiscaring #goodstories #tellusmore #together #RaftersAreAwesome

You asked – we’re delivering – GAISF/Sport Accord membership

Getting recognition for the sport of rafting has been a long journey. It’s taken years of forging friendships, alliances and building on successes we’ve built together as one global rafting community. Your strength, passion and devotion to rafting as a community, a fraternity and way of life are what have gotten us to where we are today.

In line with our objectives of promoting rafting across all paddlesports disciplines, promoting rafting as a healthy lifestyle activity and gaining the acknowledgement of the wider sporting community, we have now completed the mammoth task of applying to GAISF/SportAccord. It’s taken some time to get to this point but we are now well on our way to getting rafting to the Olympics.

The IRF has been coordinating and guiding the sport of rafting on an international level since it was formed in 1997. As we look toward running our 17th World Rafting Championships this year in Argentina, we can look back in pride at what all our members (you!) have achieved for this sport.

#RaftersAreAwesome #GAISF #Olympic #OlympicDream #WeAreOne #WeAreIRF

Outdoor and Whitewater Fest opens the rafting season in Bulgaria

There is no reason why the rafting season opening should be limited only to the rafting community. The Bulgarian rafting club Adventure net decided to orientate it to a broader public so they invited companies who deal with outdoor activities in general. Focusing on the concept of an open festival, they invited many outdoor and adventure companies, giving them the opportunity to present themselves and exchange experiences and ideas. The festival served to awaken the curiosity of people who have never jumped into a raft or kayak before and to dare them to acknowledge and try different extreme sports and outdoor activities.

The start was given at 10.00 am on 1st April 2017 at the green camp of Adventure net in the Kresna gorge of the Struma River. The Outdoor and Whitewater fest continued throughout the weekend. Various activities were accessible for the guests:  tasting of different local products (cheese, wine, honey and more), provided by the municipality of Kresna town, the trying out of extreme sports equipment, information about the biodiversity in the Kresna gorge. A dancing composition in national costumes and a folklore orchestra from Kresna town provided for the joyful mood. Free rafting trips were offered to the representatives of the Bulgarian media, which secured a broad coverage of the event. The companies, presenting their products or services at the festival, were also offered a free rafting tour. Part of the morning program was the speech of the most popular Bulgarian climber in high mountains, Boyan Petrov, who presented the problems of the future plans for the construction of a highway, passing through Kresna gorge. The ecologist Andrei Kovachev clarified further that this infrastructural project would cause extensive damages to the biological diversity of Kresna gorge and prompted the participants at the festival to sign the open petition. More than a hundred signatures were gathered on that day for the petition.

Later on during the day the public’s attention was attracted by a team competition in reflip technique – the team who took the shortest time to flip, then reflip the raft, climb into the boat and raise their hands wins. All guests were also invited to participate in different sports activities for free: a climbing competition on a specialised wall, a ride on a longboard, a balancing walk on the slackline and many others. The most gifted participants were awarded with prizes.

The peak of the entertainment was indeed the evening event – a live concert by the rock and grunge band “Saint electrics”.  The dancing mood was kept high until the late hours, accompanied by a DJ set.  In this way the Outdoor and Whitewater fest made a difference in 2017 and will hopefully lay the foundations of a long-lasting tradition in the outdoor and extreme sports sector in Bulgaria.

Looking for rafting company to add Yushu on the Tibetan plateau, China, as their next travel location

Last year a very successful IRF rafting World Cup event was held in Yushu up on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

It is a great location for rafting with fairly easy logistics and varied options for different levels of rafting. And the region itself has great potential as a tourist destination with plenty of interesting cultural places to visit, stunning scenery and the potential for other adventure activities such as mountain biking, hiking and horse riding.

The Yushu government are looking for global rafting companies to grow the city’s rafting business and contribute to the rafting industry development within the city. Read the full information here.

This is a great opportunity for a company to expand into new territory and to contribute to a wonderful, friendly cities future in the tourism world.

A quote from a top New Zealand rafter: “We were surprised by how beautiful Yushu was and if we had known it was so awesome we would have spent a couple of days longer exploring and maybe even hiking into the hills!”

Calling all IRF GT&E Instructors and Assessors!!!

There is to be a GT&E Conference aimed at getting as many Instructors and Assessors together in one place.

Rescue swimmer WWTCKey details you need to know now:

  • Dates: 19 – 21 April 2016
  • Location: Wildalpen, Austria

The Conference has been called for a number of reasons:

  • The recent rapid growth of the IRF GT&E Scheme
  • Changes in how the scheme is to be run
  • Launch of the IRF Rafting Operators Best Practice Certificate
  • A need for industry colleagues to get together more often to discuss their trade

Ermin gte3We’re also looking into inviting rafting / safety equipment manufacturers to display latest gear, invite expert speakers to discuss trends in the industry, etc, so as to make it an event you won’t want to miss!

The Conference will be preceded by Euro Cup Wildalpen  (16 – 17), the most popular raft race in the Euro Cup series. And then immediately after the Conference it will be the annual IRF Rescue Race (23 – 24) which attracts guides from all over to come test their rescue skills against others in their industry.

More info coming soon!

The Albanian Adventure Resort – Meet the mind behind the idea

Blerina Ago, a 28 years old entrepreneur born and raised in the charming city of Berat in Albania, tells us how her life has been  flowing between living in the city and exploring the Osumi canyons. She worked hard and dreamt big so that she can tell us her future plans, the Albanian Adventure Resort, or as she calls it: nature’s own wonder park.

ALB Blerina

Blerina on a normal rafting weekend

Reporter: Blerina how long since you first rafted in this river and the breathtaking scenery?

Blerina: Growing up in Berat all my earliest childhood memories have something and almost everything to do with the river. I recall discussing this same topic a few days ago with my father and looking at pictures of myself happily swimming in the Osumi River. It felt so safe that when I was invited to raft by the boys, cause I was kind of a tomcat when I was growing up, I immediately said yes, and so I found myself paddling and rafting in Osumi, something that for everyone in that time in Albania was considered unusual not to mention all the: “Are you out of your mind?” comments from my parents, my teachers, my friends and so on…

Alb Osumi Canyon

Whitewater rafting as seen inside the wilderness of the Osumi canyons

Reporter: So when did you decide that rafting was your sport your passion?

Blerina: It is weird because now it feels like I always knew that rafting was my thing, but when I first felt the adrenaline of the rapids and the water splashing in my face I was totally hooked.

Reporter: How did this passion turn into a professional sports activity?

Blerina: Like me there were a group of people of boys that were hooked up by the adrenaline and the excitement of this activity. We would go every day to the river with our modest rafts at the time and challenge ourselves with new rapids. Besides this the Osumi canyons are truly a wonder of the nature and we felt like we had to experience that beauty every day and show it to our friends and family.  We felt compelled to make the Osumi canyons and rafting accessible for everyone. We invested our energy and our passion into turning this sport in one of the most successful touristic products in Albania at moment.

ALB Guides

Blerina with the core team of rafting guides

Reporter: What do you love most about rafting?

Blerina: I love everything about rafting…and I take great pride in touring visitors around with our rafts. We have been given a great opportunity to show to the whole world that Albania holds remarkable treasures ready to be discovered. To add to that rafting is one of the best activities to meet and bond with people.  There is so much positive energy, laughter and friendship involved around rafting and I get to do that every year, every season! It really motivates me being around people and that’s what I believe enjoy most about rafting.

Reporter: How did rafting became such a successful tourism activity in Albania? I was coming from the airport and there was a huge banner of Albania Rafting just as I entered in Albania.

Blerina: It didn’t happened overnight…It started over 15 years ago when after so many requests from our friends and family members we started to do our first rafting trips in the Osumi canyons.  Zamo Spathara who is now the president of the Albania Rafting Federation (ARF) was the one of the first rafting aficionados in Albania, so he had the idea to transform his passion and the many requests that he was getting into an actual experience. He acted upon his dream of making rafting accessible, safe and enjoyable for everyone and he pushed me and a few other young rafting fans into becoming certified guides. Ever since, the ARF was established and has been doing a lot of work to guarantee that rafting is exercised according to international standards in Albania. I am now the Secretary General of the ARF and we have had several trainings, certification and other activities to ensure that each one of the rafting guides that has been touring visitors is licensed and certified to deliver rafting tours. We have had great results and have been welcoming over 5000 visitors per year into the Osumi canyons and Vjosa river rapids.

ALB Shower

Photo 4. Rafting visitors having a shower of “adrenaline” at the golden waterfall in the Osumi canyons

Reporter: Now please tell me what the Next Big Thing is. What’s the Albania Adventure Resort? How did you come up with the idea?

Blerina: We have been doing great with rafting, almost every season, for over 15 years, we have accomplished a lot! Here, I am not just talking about promoting and standardizing rafting but also promoting adventure tourism, nature preservation and youth employment and participation in our activities. With all the attention that we have been getting lately, cause everyone wants to go rafting now…(Yayyy!) the spring season was so busy that sometimes we were unable to accommodate or tour occasional groups of visitors that didn’t book far in advance. Even though we were organized and fully prepared equipment and guide-wise, at some point our rafting activity became really hard because our base was far from the Osumi canyons and Vjosa river. What we needed was a rafting base close to the rafting itineraries and there was nothing there other than an old abandoned ex-military base built during communism. The base was there just next to the nature and breathtaking scenery of the Osumi canyons; we just needed to do what we have done so far…believe in the power of transformation and work hard to make our dreams come true. We immediately rolled our sleeves into work and requested the ex-military base, a property of the Albanian government, to be used for our rafting and tourism purposes and we were granted the base as part of an agreement of making the “Rafting and outdoor sports center” a public-private partnership between the ARF and the Ministry of Education and Sport. Furthermore, we made a business plan with an international consulting company, worked with an architecture studio to have a revitalizing plan for the area and the old buildings. We are now working in completing the first construction phase of the Albania Adventure Resort with the support of the Albanian Development Fund.

ALB Adv resort

The Albanian Adventure Resort architectural projection

Reporter: So what is your role in the Albanian Adventure Resort? How is the center going to operate?

Blerina: It’s not that I don’t like wearing many hats…I love it! I am the administrator of the center and I have taken this responsibility because I believe that I will go through with this initiative. It is challenging for women, especially young women everywhere in the world to assume a leadership position, mainly because of how societies have been built. I have been through a lot as a young women working in Albania and I am trying to inspire other young women like myself by giving a positive model, a model of hard work and perseverance as the right way to succeed.

As for the Albania Adventure Resort project, we have already set our goals and objectives and we are working hard to achieve our first milestone of establishing the visitor welcoming center and basic accommodation facilities within this year (2016). The AAR project is being implemented in three phases over the period of 5 years, so we expect to unravel one by one each one of the surprises that this centre hold and to list a few that we are working hard to develop within the first two years: 1. developing 5 new outdoor sports/recreational activities besides rafting (kayaking, hydro speed, mountain biking, trekking, snow-shooing, canyoning) in the area around the centre within the first phase; 2. developing student spring-summer-winter break programs  for high-school and university students. 3. offer tourism professional and tour guide certification for young people that want to invest in a career in adventure tourism, tourism management, etc.

Reporter: That’s great news Blerina and I wish you a lot of success. Is there anything else you want to add?

Blerina: We are now being supported by a lot of people through funds and capacity building because the AAR project is a very big project for Albania, the Balkans and outdoor sports. We welcome anyone who wants to give a contribution to the development of this center to join us, or come and visit us in the upcoming rafting season starting from March 2016 in the Osumi River canyons, in Skrapar, Albania. Thank you for the interview!

Reporter: Thank you and good luck!

And for all curious and adventurous mind, below is a link to the Albania Adventure Resort… the “coming soon” video!