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What’s happened so far at the World Rafting Championship 2017 Japan 

The International Rafting Federation’s 2017 World Rafting Championship (IRF WRC) in Miyoshi, Japan has brought together 71 teams from 22 countries across the globe. The adventure began at registration on Monday, 2nd October, followed by the Opening Ceremony that show cased the world’s best rafters to the City of Miyoshi.

Continue reading What’s happened so far at the World Rafting Championship 2017 Japan 

World Rafting Champs 2017 kicks off in Japan

This first day of the IRF’s 2017 World Rafting Championship (WRC), on the Yoshino River, Miyoshi City, Japan, got under way today with 12 Youth (U19) teams, 16 Junior (U23)  teams, 14 Masters (40+) and 29 in the Open division. Each of these divisions has the male and female category as well. 71 teams from 22 countries are competing for the honour of being World Champions.

2017 World Rafting Championships

The Mongolian Open Men’s team were the first to do the Sprint run – a fitting team to start since it is the first time Mongolia has ever been represented at a World Rafting Championship. The Open category was followed by Youth, Junior and finally Masters. First with Sprint then Head to Head (H2H).

The start and end of the Sprint course was flat, but the tricky rapid in the middle which has a series of standing and lateral waves affects the speed of the teams so that whoever could read the river the best passed through the fastest.

2017 World Rafting Championships

Defending champions, Brazil, took the Gold in the Open Men’s Sprint with a time of 01:23,07 with hosts, Japan, a close Silver in a time of 01:24,28. New Zealand Open Women, always a strong team, took Gold with a time of 01:30,80.

In the Youth men’s category the first three teams were only hundred’s of a second apart – Turkey with the time of 01:28,19, Argentina with 01:28,65 and Great Britain with 01:28,98.  Hosts of the 2015 WRC, Indonesia, were delighted with their Gold in the Youth Women.

Russia, always strong in the Junior Men’s category took the Gold in the time of 01:24,89. Czech showed they have a strong up and coming women’s team by taking Gold with a time of 01:32,79.

2017 World Rafting Championships

The delighted local spectators were treated to a win by the Japan Masters Men’s team in a time of 01:22,91, beating out defending champions New Zealand. Master’s Women saw the strong team of New Zealand defending their title.

Medal winners in Sprint – Gold, Silver, Bronze:

  • Open Men: Brazil, Japan, Germany
  • Open Women: New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain
  • Youth Men: Turkey, Argentina, Great Britain
  • Youth Women: Indonesia, New Zealand, Russia
  • Junior Men: Russia, Argentina, New Zealand
  • Junior Women: Czech, Japan, Russia
  • Masters Men: Japan, New Zealand, Czech
  • Masters Women: New Zealand, Czech, Japan

Full Sprint Results

After the Sprint concluded it was time for the Head to Head (H2H), which is 2 rafts racing in a knock out format. Sprint has a total of 100 points towards the Overall title, whereas H2H has 200. It is the most exciting of the disciplines as the two rafts provide great entertainment as they fight their way to the finish line.

2017 World Rafting Championships

Two rafts are released simultaneously and so clashes are common and as the Great Britain Open Women found, they can be costly! As they clashed with the Netherlands team one of their paddlers lost their grip and fell out the raft and cost them precious time as they hauled her back in and continued, giving the Netherlands the chance to get ahead.

The Nepal team stood out as they took many by surprise since it is their first ever international competition, and they secured a very, very respectable 4th in the H2H. Brazil showed they are still the team to beat though as they once again took Gold.

Medal winners in H2H – Gold, Silver Bronze:

    • Open Men: 1. Brasil, 2. Japan 3. Great Britain; >
    • Open Women: 1. Japan, 2. Nederland, 3. Czech Republic;
    • Youth Men: 1. Turkey, 2. Japan, 3. Great Britain;
    • Youth Women: 1. Russia, 2. New Zealand, 3. Great Britain;
    • Junior Men: 1. New Zealand, 2. Czech Republic, 3. Russia;
    • Junior Women: 1. Great Britain, 2. Czech Republic, 3. Russia;
    • Master Men: 1. Japan, 2. New Zealand, 3. Czech Republic;
    • Master Women: 1. New Zealand, 2. Czech Republic, 3. Japan.

Full H2H Results

Japan took the highest number of medals today – a total of 10! Three Gold, five Silver and two Bronze, a great haul!

​The predicted rain was fortunately light until the end of the day but did not dampen spirits.  Tomorrow is Slalom for all the Youth and Junior teams.

Event Organiser, Taku, showed how multi-talented he is by multi tasking running the event and looking after his child. He and his team can be proud of what they have achieved – the event ran smoothly and efficiently!

And best wishes to Charlie Sutton of the GBR who turned 19 today and his proud parents wish him happy birthday.

Results – Overall After Day 1

Links to Facebook photos

High resolution versions of above photos:




WRC 2017 – GB Open Womens Team aiming for more medals

Being crowned World Champions at the R4 WRC in Al Ain last year certainly adds pressure to the head game. These women have come through adversity this year (broken collar bone to name but one of the injuries) and found themselves fighting fit and ready to give it their all in Japan. This medal winning team has taken on board two members from last year’s GB U19W medal winning team to increase the odds in their favour. Here we meet the team as they prepare for their journey to Japan.

Continue reading WRC 2017 – GB Open Womens Team aiming for more medals

WRC 2017 – GB Open Men aiming for the podium

Training hard for this year’s WRC, GB1 Open Men have focused their time and efforts on solidifying their strong Sprint and Head-to-Head previous competitive edge and pushing for cleaner and faster slalom runs. Here we meet the team as they head out to Japan with an aim of getting to the podium again.

Continue reading WRC 2017 – GB Open Men aiming for the podium

Indonesian Masters Women Ready to Compete at WRC Japan 2017

“The Indonesian Masters Women Team consists of Veronica Moeliono (54),  Amy Kadarhutami (53),  Diah Bisono (52), Amalia Yunita (50),  Mieranda Wimar (50),  Tense Manalu (43),  Sarah Sagita Harmoun (41) and Inge Sianturi (43) as team manager. The team was trained by Andi Suherli, the national paddler who once raced for Indonesia in the 2007 World Cup in Korea where his team was nicknamed “The Rising Star” – the following year the same team achieved the Runner Up position in Japan”

Continue reading Indonesian Masters Women Ready to Compete at WRC Japan 2017

Where to follow the IRF’s 2017 World Rafting Champs

There are a number of places you can follow this year’s World Rafting Champs. So, depending on how good your internet connection is and/or how much time you have – here are the options:

Slovakia declared as hosts for the 2018 Euro Rafting Champs

The IRF is pleased to announce that Slovakia will be the hosts for the 2018 IRF Euro Rafting Champs.

Slovakia won the bid to host the event in a very close competition with Turkey.

It was eventually Slovakia’s ideal R4 course, Cunovo near Bratislava, that pushed the win in their direction, as well as the relative cost effectiveness for teams to get to the location and their many years of experience in organising rafting competitions.

Slovakia were hosts to the 2014 IRF Euro Rafting Champs, so it is a location that is familiar to many. They did an excellent job then and so we all look forward to another successful event in Cunovo.

Turkey’s River Firtina – Ardesen in Rize, their proposed location, would make a great R6 location – and the IRF BOD hope that Turkey will bounce back with a bid for the 2019 ERC.

Photos, videos, results of ERC 2014 at Cunovo.

Organisers/sponsors of ERC2018: 

The Pantheon Foundation was established on November 19, 2012. The founder is the Pantheon Group, which recognizes our social responsibility and need to help. We mainly focus on supporting young talents and preserving the history and sights of Slovakia. From the private sector, we try to help where the state has forgotten. We secure and collect financial resources, from which we subsequently support selected projects.

I am going to Japan! – meet NOR OW team for WRC 2017 Japan

We wrote about these beautiful women for the first time in 2013, they have since changed their composition, overcome many challenges, changed the category in which they compete… but they have not and will not give up and we will soon see them in Japan as they compete in the Open category. So, let’s meet them:

Continue reading I am going to Japan! – meet NOR OW team for WRC 2017 Japan

9 days to the start of the IRF World Rafting Championships 2017 in Japan

71 teams ready themselves for the white water of the Yoshino River outside Miyoshi City.

Teams from all around the world are preparing themselves, for the R6 (six-man rafts) World Rafting Championships which are being held on the Yoshino River, near the city of Miyoshi, in the Shikoku region of Japan. Teams register on the 2nd October and the official training follows over the next few days with the first two disciplines, the Sprint and Head-to-Head, being held on the 6th. The other disciplines are Slalom and Downriver. The divisions are U19, U23, Open and Masters (40+), and each has a men’s and women’s category.

22 countries will be represented at this event, coming from as far afield as Mongolia, UAE, New Zealand, Brazil and Canada as well as a big contingent from Europe. “The racing is obviously a very important factor for these teams, but they also love to paddle and explore new rivers while being introduced to new cultures” says Sue Liell-Cock, IRF Secretary General.

Hosts, Japan, are always one of the favourites and so we expect big things from them at this event as they race on home ground and are inspired by the local crowd  to do their best. They were Overall World Champions in the Open Men’s category in 2011, both Open categories in 2010, and both their Open teams achieved Silver in Overall in 2009. They achieved three 3rd places Overall last year and their Open Women took the Gold in Slalom, their Masters Women took Gold in Sprint. They will be keen to defend those titles as well as win Gold in Overall so as to be crowned the new World Champions.

The R6 defending champions at this event are Brazil in Open Men and U23 Men and Women, Czech Open Women, Russia in U19 Men and Womne, New Zealand in Masters Men and Women. Other medal favourites are Great Britain, Indonesia, Germany and Argentina who are hosts for the 2018 IRF World Rafting Championship.

The Yoshino River will be supplying some great action. A pool-drop, Class 3 / 4 river, it has some good challenges for the teams and only experienced paddlers are allowed to compete. The scenic valley will provide a great back drop for all this action which will be live streamed for all around the world to enjoy.


Congress 2017 – Agenda and other information

The IRF will be holding its Congress during the 2017 World Rafting Champs in Japan. All federations have been notified of this already, and sent the Agenda.

Below are the details and links:

  • Dates: evening of 4th and 5th October 2017
  • Location: Former Nishiu Elementary School Gym, which is the captain’s meeting room at the WRC Headquarters near Miyoshi City, Japan.
  • Agenda with links to proposals
  • Reports
  • List of nominations received for BOD
  • Other meetings – we are endeavouring to hold more meetings during the WRC. However, tranport and timing remain as limitations. We will keep you informed. Meetings we would like to hold, which will be general meetings that all are welcome to attend:
    • Sport & Competition 
    • Guide Trainig & Education 
    • Assisting potential new members to get started with rafting