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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;

Pre-Worlds Tully, 2018
Results; Videos: -1-, -2-, -3-; Photo: -1-;

EC Austria
Results: OM, OW, U23M, U19M; Photos: D1H2HSlD3; Videos: -1-, -2-;

EC Romania
Results; Photos; Videos: -1--2-;

2017

Pre-Worlds
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

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Seen this edit of the Danish Ladies' expedition to Čunovo last week? #AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #erc2018svk #irferc facebook.com/IRFEuroRafting…

Seen this edit of the Dutch Ladies' expedition to Čunovo last week?#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #erc2018svk #irferc

Posted by IRF Euro Rafting Championships on Thursday, July 12, 2018

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

Rafting for People with Disabilities in Iran

“Believe us… We are ABLE to Enjoy Wet Adventure”

On Monday 29 June 2015, one of my lifetime dreams came true… “Rafting for People with Disabilities”…

PWD Group bannerFor a long time I have been thinking that people with disabilities are able to participate and enjoy adventure activities. A disability cannot stop them from enjoying nature and adventure tourism. They only need more attention and care.

In many countries such as Iran, most people with disabilities stay at home, wasting time, getting no movement, no excitement and being depressed. Many families don’t let their disabled members go out and have fun, because they believe they are “disabled people” and they are not able to participate in outdoor activities and hate to be seen in the public. But this is not true!

PWD big splashThey are not disabled people; they are just people with disabilities.

A few months ago I became familiar with the Baavar Association which has been established by a group of people with disabilities. “Baavar” means believe and their main goal is to “enjoy present time”. We had a few meetings about how to arrange a safe and interesting rafting trip for them. So the date was set as Monday 29 June 2015 and we decided to do it on the Sefidroud which is a big river with safe Class 2 rapids located in the Gilan Province of Iran. Sefidroud was the only possible option for such a purpose according to our knowledge and experience.

PWD in raftSo we thought about every single detail of the program and specially focused on safety and how to do the plan with very special care. It seemed to be a very big responsibility for us.

We had a few serious problems to solve:

  • To get permission: We needed to get permission not only from the Tourism Organization but also from all other related organizations. In such cases all of them are conservative and avoid the responsibility.
  • PWD rafting 3River level: The dam stops the water frequently to preserve it. On lots of days the river is dry and they release the water according to weather condition. So nobody knows about it except the dams management who rarely cooperates in such cases. We were hoping to be lucky to have enough water for Monday ….. by chance . Of course we had plan B, C and D; to take them on the river with a low level, or to go to the natural water channels of Anazli, or the Caspian Lake or… There were plenty of alternative possibilities, but our plan A was Sefidrood with a high level of water. We needed whitewater, not blue or green water!
  • Strong winds in the area: This area (Manjl) is well-known for its strong winds opposite to the river current which normally blows in the afternoon, so we had to do the program in the morning and finish before 1pm.

PWD rafting 2We started communicating with the relevant organizations, collecting volunteers from the Iran Rafting Association members and getting prepared for this special plan. Meanwhile we had many calls from the Baavar group asking questions about the plan that showed us there was a high interest from them.

One day before – on the Sunday all Iran Rafting Association members were in the area to check the river and do all arrangements for the Action Day. I knew the river very well, but for this group we needed a flat start and finish point according to their conditions; many of them were on wheelchairs. We scouted all possible put in and take out points, especially emergency ones.

PWD GroupThen, I printed out a banner with my slogan “Believe us… We are ABLE to Enjoy Wet Adventure” and then met them in their accommodation place. They were staying in Saeed Zarori house who is an adventurous person with disabilities who accepted to take care of this group of about 24 people (13 with serious disabilities).

PWD preparationThe group was surprisingly eager to meet us and receive the equipment. We distributed life jackets and helmets to be adjusted and then had a delicious dinner together. I told them to be on the river the next day at 8:30.

They were really eager for the next day…

I was thinking that due to their condition we should expect them at the river around 10…

 The Action Day

We (Iran Rafting Team) were on the river at 8:30, and saw they are all equipped and ready at the river by 8:00!!! I was surprised!!! How did they do it?!!!

PWD safety talkSo from the very beginning I realized that these people are reliable and strong. After taking some pictures, I started the safety talk as trip leader. I did it in two ways, for those who cannot paddle and just should sit and enjoy the whitewater, and those who can paddle partially or completely. It was a great experience!

In each raft two persons with the more severe disabilities sat in the middle and a family member or a friend held them. We had a raft guide and 4 Iran Rafting team members who were responsible for paddling and holding them.

PWD rafting 4At the beginning all the Iran Rafting crew were worried… But then safety kayakers started to splash water on them, and it was a great start! After a few seconds we were all wet! They were really naughty, happy and strong people!

We were on the river for three hours. The beginning part was a flat section giving them the chance to warm up and become familiar with the river and rafting. Then we went through some safe and easy rapids.

PWD rafting 1It was time for a rest. The team stopped in a beautiful river bank, where they could play some games, enjoy the water and have some snacks.

We continued and went through some big waves and exciting rapids. They looked professional in the waves! We were a team now. I will never forget how they enjoyed the white water and how they screamed from the bottom of their hearts.

Soon we arrived at the finishing point! The last rapid was a great class 3, the biggest and the most exciting one just before the finishing point.

After the program we got some pictures and got ready to go home…

Yes, we travelled from Manjil town to Rudbar town about 8 kilometers on the river with “the special people with special abilities”.

PWD jump for joyIt was a unique opportunity for Iran Rafting Association and Iran Rafting Team members. We learned a lot from these people.

To all professional rafters: Make whitewater adventures easy, safe and accessible for people with special needs.

Believe us… These people are “ABLE to Enjoy Wet Adventure”.

Paddle Safe…

Kianoosh Mehrabi

Iran Rafting Association

Argentina’s inspiring youth team

Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with amazing natural areas, beautiful rivers and kind, hospitable people. From that country a young U19 men’s team will represent their country at the next “WRC R4” in Brazil.

I chatted to them and learned where their love of this sport was born and what great hearts these young people have. Maybe they will inspire you to do something similar.

Tomás Gómez first briefly introduced the team.

Arge team paddle“We are a group of young people that one day dreamt about creating a rafting team. Now we have won the National Championship in Argentina called “German Mateo” and so qualified to compete at the WRC Brazil. We have been training a lot.

We are all from a small town called “La Consulta” located in San Carlos, Mendoza, Argentina. Our initiation began on the river “Tunuyan” about 5 km from the town. We are all good friends, and college students.”

Arg u19 team2Who are the members of this team?

“Sebastián Polleto, Tomás Gómez , Julián Martin , captain Jonathan Uyarte and Brian “Gambeta” Latorre”

Do you have a coach..?

“We have a very good technical team. The first coach, is Dario “Pato” Pagano and the other physical trainers are Renzo “Chino” Martinez, Veronica Quilaquir and Rebeca Lorca. They guide us in training, and help us in all we need.”

Arg paddle sunsetHow did you start in this sport?

“One day Joni (current captain) and I (Tomas Gomez) decided to create a Rafting Team. We were very young, only 15 years old and we didn’t have much knowledge of this sport. So we practised the sport as a recreational activity but now we want compete.

The only thing we were sure of is that we loved being in the rivers and that was to become our way of life. So, we formed a group from guys that think the same way. The first competition was fun and we learned a lot, we had some problems, as the raft overturned on our first slalom.

Over time, we were more convinced that what we wanted for our lives was Rafting. We are a nice family united by rivers.

Arg team funny facesHow was your dream of going to the WRC born?

“In 2012 we met a Pato (Dario Pagano, our first coach). He was a paddler in a team that competed in the National Championship in Argentina. He saw our passion and determination and told us we had great potential and that we could become champions. That day, we began the dream of competing in the WRC R4 in Brazil.

How did you get to that goal?

“In early 2013 we scheduled all training to win The National Championship in Argentina, and get the pass to attend the WRC. Then once we knew we were champions we began the long and arduous task of preparing for the WRC.

Our coaching staff did a very intensive training program, in which we are currently in the final stage. At first it was very hard, but we have obtained high yields. We feel very good and eager to compete.

Arg social groupHow have you navigated the expenses to get to the WRC?

“We did different activities – we did a party, had some government support and also solidarity activities like rowing with special kids.”

Tell me more about this, how the kids responded, and what advice would you give to those who want to do the same in their communities?

“The idea came to one of our coaches, Veronica Quilaquier, and we instantly accepted. The team worked with two teachers to do a course for kids from a special school. These kids have mental problems and have difficulty in making social activities. A team has to be built both physically and spiritually. This was a great experience that we will never forget and will do again. For three weekends we got together and made beautiful things with them, all related to sports and nature care.

Before the activity, we thought it would be very difficult to relate to them, but the time flowed incredibly easily. For them, this type of activity is very important. At first they were very shy and did not dare to do things, but then surprised everyone with the attitude they had after.The idea was to start in the pool and then move to a lake, and if possible the river.

I think we all have a duty to cooperate in all communities. There are many ways to do this. Sometimes something that does not mean a lot to us means everything to others. All you have to do is do it.”

That is so right. Your example and demonstration of working with these children is a great example for others to follow. Anyone who is interested in this, can contact you directly for details and assistance. Thank you for that.

Let’s return to Brazil for now. As a young team, what are your expectations at this competition?

“Well, we have many – we want to meet other teams from other countries and link up with and share experiences and enjoy the event. We particularly want to increase our knowledge and experience of this amazing sport. And about the competition – we feel sure that we can get a medal.”

Have you followed other raft races so as to get to know your competitors?

“Yes, we saw the last Euro Champs, and we think that there are very good teams in our category, anyone can win, all are very good – but we also feel that we can.”

Which discipline is your main asset in this competition?

“We are very strong in Sprint and Head to Head.”

Is there anything in particular you want to see or experience when you go to Brazil?

“We want to get to know the Downriver river as it is high volume and something we have little experience back in Argentina.”

I love the enthusiasm of these young people, as well as their initiative, it is inspiring. They show big hearts in all that they do. Their social activities are a great example to others to follow. I am delighted that these youths are the future of the world rafting community and part of the “IRF”.

They will have the honour of carrying their flag of their country on their chests at the forthcoming competition in Brazil. Above all else we wish they thoroughly enjoy their first big competition and we look forward to seeing them at many more. It was a pleasure to meet them. Good stroke guys and welcome to the world sports rafting scene. 🙂

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