Race Results

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

Twitter feeds for #irfwrc

See you in Argentina from 4 – 10 November 2018

We have a date for the next WRC R4 competition. From 4 – 10 November 2018 Argentina will host the best rafters from around the world.  It’s time to reserve tickets and start planning to go to beautiful Argentina.

We know that most countries have already selected their representatives to take part in this competition, therefore, paddle in the hands and in the training – you have enough time to prepare yourself well for this competition.

Natural springs coming from the Andes Mountains in Moquehue, flow into Moquehue and Aluminé Lakes in Villa Pehuenia. Pure running water passes by Lonco Luan and Aluminé and become the tributary of Aluminé River together with the Ruca Choroi River, rivers where WRC will be held. That’s why we can hardly wait to visit this beautiful country, to meet again with rafters from all over the world, compete for the title of the best, make a new friends, hang out ….

Official Facebook page

More info here

Results: OW, OM, MM, U23W, U23M, U19  ; Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-, -4-, -5-, -6-; Videos.

See you there!!! 😀

Struma River (Kresna Gorge) needs your support

Rafting in Bulgaria is currently at risk of no longer being possible. Plans are in play to create a motorway across the only section of the Kresna Gorge suitable for competitions, amateur rafting and other white water disciplines.

Voice your concern by signing the petition!

The current plans involve a motorway connecting Germany with Turkey and Greece. Unfortunately, these plans mean building over the most exciting 17 kilometre section of the river.

At risk are a large array of flora and fauna native to the area and rare in the biodiversity of eastern Europe. The area is part of NATURA 2000, home to the greatest biodiversity in Bulgaria where you can find 122 species of butterflies all within a one square kilometre!

There are other options on the table for the motorway that don’t involve impacting this unique area. Your voice is needed to strengthen the resolve of the rafting and white water community.

More info:

Biodiversity Bulgaria – “Let’s save the Krensa Gorge”

European Commission – Daily News – 13/11/2017

Brazil Rafting Forum – March 2018

A unique immersion experience in the world of competitive rafting with multi world champions: Brazil!

The objective of this forum is to share the best techniques of competitive rafting, get to know the environment that made Brotas the world capital for competitive rafting and enjoy the lifestyle and beauty of Brazil’s inner landscape.

DatesMarch 16th-25th, 2018
LocationBrotas-SP, 220Km NorthWest from São Paulo
Participants: Min: 20 – Max: 35
Aimed atRafting athletes, coaches and sports administrators
CoachesMembers of Alaya Competition team, multifold rafting world champions

Registration open from October 1st  to January 31st

Day by day:
Day 1: Transfer from São Paulo Airport GRU to Brotas by van. Check in. Welcome dinner.
Day 2: Morning and afternoon run on Jacaré River.
Day 3: Down river simulation. 1 world champion per raft. Afternoon enjoy Brotas activities: ziplines, waterfalls.
Day 4, 5 and 6: Workshop on competitive rafting. Theory and practice about all 4 disciplines (sprint, H2H, slalom, downriver)
Day 7, 8 and 9: Brotas Rafting Contest. On day 9 closing party.
Day 10: Transfer to São Paulo Airport GRU.

More information:

Or Facebook details here

Big Thank You Miyoshi, Takuya, Daigo and Japan!

Miyoshi City, Tokushima is the gateway to the Yoshino river… home of Japan’s biggest and best white-water rafting. The abundance of crystal clear water combined with amazing scenery and the powerful, challenging rapids of the Oboke and Koboke sections all add up to an ideal setting for race rafting.” – and it was. This was the introduction on Japan’s WRC website – and we can add that the entire ambience, with mountains covered in forest, and the really beautiful Yoshino River flowing through, takes the breath away.


Many federations were introduced into new categories, and it was Mongolia’s first time competing at the WRC competition. There were entire families competing in different categories! And then there was the new generation coming through: “Highlight of my day today … was witnessing the U/19 Slalom medal ceremony, with Mark Treston and Paul Eame’s daughters receiving their medals, one for Team Japan one for Team NZ … and standing beside two very proud fathers and ex-Tully River raft guides … brought a tear to the eye!” – Graham Maifredi. 

Again, we saw flying rafts, an excellent zip-line system to get the rafts from the bottom of the Sprint, H2H and Slalom courses, back to the top, the best solution in the complex terrain.

Safety team

Brasil Open Men equalled two records at this event  – they are the World Champions for the fifth year in a row, the last time this was done was when Slovenia’s Bober team won the first 3 Camel White Water Challenge events and then the first 2 IRF WRC events. And they did it by winning all the disciplines, achieving 1000 points for Overall – the last time we saw this in the Open Men’s category was in 1997 at the CWWC, also by team Bober! It has taken 20 years to equal that record and maybe this one is better as in 1997 it was only 3 disciplines, now it is 4! Japan’s Master Men also achieved the magical 1000 at this event – welcome to the club of 1000 points!!! 

The timing of the event was excellent – with a Typhoon going past 2 weeks before and another 2 weeks after we were quite lucky! These pictures show the river in flood after the event – the road is the one where teams launched for Sprint, H2H and O/M Downriver.

Holding the 2017 WRC in Japan on the Yoshino River was a long time dream for four best friends – Taku Ikeda, Daigo Shibata, Teru Hiko and Mark Treston. They all met on the river about 16 years ago and have been best friends since. Taku and Daigo raced in the same team from 2004 to 2009 where they achieved 10th in 2005, 3rd in 2007, and 2nd in 2009! Since then Daigo has been working as the Japan Race Rafting Association director and has been instrumental in the running of the Japanese championships and other events which set him up as Race Director for the WRC. Taku took on the role of Event Director, Teru was Safety Director and Mark was handling the background logistics for all sorts of aspects. A great team that pulled together a great dream!

A competition is the ultimate product of huge amounts of hard work, behind which is the great work of the team of 4 above and their teams under them, the support of the state and sponsors, volunteers, judges …. we thank you all!!

This story does not end here, it continues to Argentina 2018, Australia 2019… See you there!

Race Rules updates

IRF small logoThe IRF Sport & Competition Committee will shortly be assessing and updating the IRF Race Rules.

The process is as follows:

  • Rule proposals may be submitted only as one of the three possible options. 1) Eliminate a rule, 2) change a rule, or 3) add a rule.
    1. When suggesting that a rule be eliminated, a copy of the rule must be included in the proposal.
    2. When proposing a change to an existing rule, the proposal must include a copy of the existing rule, and the suggested change.
    3. When suggesting a new rule, the submission must include a copy of the new rule written in a rule format.
  • All proposals must include Clear REASONS as to why this change has been suggested.  Submissions without clear reasons will be rejected.
  • All proposals must include the name of the person/organisation making the suggestion, and must come through an IRF member organisation representative or with their written approval.
  • All proposals must be in by the 1st December.
  • All proposals will be assessed by the Exec Com and those which merit further discussion will be presented to the S&C Com for full discussion. Discussions will be conducted on the IRF Forum.
  • After discussions have concluded,  all members of the S&C Com who have been active in the discussions will vote.  The aim is to conclude the voting by 15  February.
  • Updated rules, with all changes, will be published on the IRF website and sent by email to IRF member organizations. The aim is for this to be done by 1 March.

New H2H format tested out at Pre-Worlds

The report back from Pre-Worlds as to the running of the new-format H2H is all good! See video …

Joe Willie Jones is there and had this to say:

“The spectators loved it… a very good show with lots of contact at the buoys. A few surprises … good strategies trumped strength on a number of occasions. Even before the race there was an immediate change as teams carefully scouted the course to plan their strategies.

What made it even more interesting is that Argentina ran their National Selections H2H the previous day – so we had the old and new format to compare in quick succession. It was night and day to compare them on every metric. The difference in the reactions between the two systems was extreme. The old system scarcely got a reaction. The new system had everyone shouting through the entire run. Spectators loved it.

During the Captain’s meeting I asked everyone their opinion of how the two systems compared. All agreed that it was better or much better than before.”

This a great confirmation that this is the right direction to be going – we look forward to the future of the H2H!


All ready to start – World Rafting Cup / PRE-WRC Argentina


28 international and local  teams from the Czech Republic, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Japan, and Brazil will test their energy against the spirited Aluminé and Ruca Choroi rivers.

The opening ceremony of the 2017-Villa Pehuenia was held in the city hall facilities with the presence of all 28teams, Joe Willie Jones – IRF President, Omar Gutierrez – Governor of Neuquén province and the event organisers Gabriel Alamo and Sandro Badilla. Speeches and words of appreciation opened the competition. The highlight of the evening was the dance ensemble that had everyone up and dancing .

Continue reading All ready to start – World Rafting Cup / PRE-WRC Argentina

Pre-WRC in Argentina begins on Wednesday

The strong crystal-clear waters of the Alumine and Ruca Choroi rivers will test the sporty spirit, discipline, camaraderie, energy and sacrifice of the best athletes of the world and national Rafting.

Natural springs coming from the Andes Mountains in Moquehue, flow into Moquehue and Aluminé Lakes in Villa Pehuenia. Pure running water passes by Lonco Luan and Aluminé and become the tributary of Aluminé River together with the Ruca Choroi River. These two majestic and energetic rivers have become the venues of the Rafting Pre-World Argentina in the province of Neuquén.

White waters with powerful and challenging rapids flow across incredible landscapes formed by ancient Araucaria Araucana forests. That is why Alumine and Collon Cura Rivers are the ideal sceneries to enjoy rafting.

The localities of Aluminé, Lonco Luan and Villa Pehuenia-Moquehue are proud to receive the Pre-World Rafting Championship 2017 from 1st to 5th November, which will allow sportspeople, visitors and rafting-fans to discover these incredible landscapes, see the best rafting athletes compete together and “live the strength of the river”.

12 teams, 7 countries, 4 Continents

11 international teams from the Czech Republic, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Brazil and locals from Argentina will test their power against the spirited Aluminé and Ruca Choroi.

The Brazilian Open Men’s rafting team, who have recently been crowned as World Champions for the 7th time, will come to Argentina to get to know the waters of the rivers Aluminé and Ruca Choroi and the wonders of the landscapes of the Andes.

Mexico will be represented by their Open Men’s team. Chile will cross the mountain range with its Open Men and Women’s teams from Pucón. From Oceania, Australia will present its Open Women’s team. Japan, recent organizers of the World Rafting Champs – Japan 2017, will be represented by their Open Women and Men’s teams. The Czech Republic wants to be present and that is why their Open Men’s team will be measured in the waters of our rivers. Brazil will be present with 2 Under 23 Women’s teams and 3 Open Men’s teams. And finally, we have the local Argentinian teams.

The Pre-World Championship is organized by the Municipalities of Aluminé and Villa Pehuenia-Moquehue; the Ministry of Production and Tourism of the Province of Neuquén; the Sub-secretary of Tourism of the Province of Neuquén; the Andes Aluminum Club; the Argentine Rafting Association and the Catalan Mapuche Community under the control of the International Rafting Federation (IRF).vince of Neuquén and the financing of the Federal Investment Council (CFI), through COPADE.


  • Campana Dos (Official transport of the event)
  • Corralón EpuHueney
  • Posada la Escondida
  • Cabañas Moquehue
  • Eliel
  • Ferretería Don Cirilo
  • Complejo Don Cirilo
  • Alvall
  • Cabañas Paso de los Andes

In addition, the event is sponsored by the National Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR); the Government of the Province of Neuquén and the financing of the Federal Investment Council (CFI) through COPADE.

Rafting on the roof of the world. An IRF Instructor workshop at 3500m in the Indian Himalayas

As I walked down the steps on to the Tarmac at Leh airport I had that familiar feeling of being short of breath as the altitude hit me. This weeks 7 day International Rafting Federation  workshop was to be based at the base camp of Wet ‘n Wild explorations in Nimoo at the altitude of 3500m above sea level on the banks of the lower Indus & Zanskar rivers.

For those unfamiliar with the Northern Indian town of Leh part of the Ladakh region in the Northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Let me explain a little :

First off there is very little humidity due to the altitude of 3500m. So expect your lips & skin to start drying immediately.

Second: Ladakh is the sunniest state in India. The sun in Ladakh is harsh and brutal (my hands  look like they aged 40 years since my last post). We spending 7 days on the water so the sun is intensified by the waters’ reflection.

Third: The altitude of 3500m affects you. The thin mountain air make the simplest of tasks become a breathless ordeal. Standing up quickly or bending down to tie your shoelaces can leave you breathless and dizzy. I have often experienced waking up at night out of breath with a short feeling of suffocation.

This was to be my third trip to the area. I knew that the students on the course were in for a shock.

I had been planning this workshop since February. Seven months later we were almost ready for the take off. The students had started to arrive in the camp. This workshop had a true international flavor. The course was made of  a team of guides who had travelled  from the following countries: India, Bosnia, UK, Spain, Russia and Argentina.

The workshop was to be run by myself from the UK, and Gaspar from Hungary.

This workshop was going to a mixture of global experience. Secretly I could not wait for the action to begin.

As I have mentioned many times before it is very rare that a guide can present themselves for an IRF assessment  and be polished in all areas of raft guiding. As per the popular trend for this year I had combined the first 3 days of the workshop with Rescue 3 Europe Whitewater Rescue Technician Professional certificate (WRT PRO)

Gabby & Dave working through MA systems

The first 3 days of the course were gong to be spent looking at the whitewater rescue skills of the guides and preparing them for the final 4 days of assessment on the course. The WRT gave the guides a chance to update or learn new rescue skills. The WRT also played another silent role. It was allowing the guides to work together as a team and create a working relationship that would help them during the IRF trip leader emergency scenarios.

We based the first 2 days of the WRT on the rapid next to the Wet & Wild Explorations, a 100m long big volume class 3 rapid  on the lower Indus river. We kicked off the first morning in the classroom discussing the Rescue 3 philosophy & rescue theory along with communications & personal equipment.

We ventured out on to the water to look at whitewater swimming techniques. I could hear the guides quietly laughing at me when I gave them a very simple 70m class 2 swim. The laughs were soon gone when the students realised

The midday heat was so hot even the instructors had to cool off

how cold the water was. Each of the students completed the swim, the local Indian guides were shivering due to the lack of quality PPE (personal protective equipment) available to them. The international guides mostly had dry-suits but were gasping for breath as the altitude was teaching them a lesson.

The learning from the mornings theory lessons were starting to ring home. When working in whitewater at altitude the Self, Team, Victim, rescue priorities were ringing big loud bells.

We continued through the next 2 days working through the WRT syllabus.

We completed day one with a basic rope work session looking at the knots needed for river use.

Day 2 started with shallow water work and some rescue scenarios. We spent the afternoon looking at pinned boats and mechanical advantage. The team were really starting to gel together now. The instructor candidates were starting to show their experience coaching the less experienced students on mechanical advantage and rope-work skills.

On the evening of day 2 we looked at night operations. We discussed search theory along with night rescue operations. I then set up a night search scenario by hiding some willing volunteers around and in the river, all of the first 2 days learning were put into practice. After the search exercise we focused throwbag exercises in the dark.

The final day of the WRT was spent looking at the use of a raft in a rescue along with tensioned diagonals. All of the students were now qualified Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technicians.

Day 4 was the first day of the 4 day IRF workshop. Gaspar had joined me as the numbers were high, we had 11 students ranging from instructor candidates through to 1st year guides. Gaspar was also observing how I delivered the workshop as I myself am working through the pathway to become an IRF assessor.

Flip drill time

The first morning  was spent assessing the throwbag & flip drills. I had already assessed the swimming & rope-work skills during the WRT section beforehand. Both myself & Gaspar set up 2 work stations, I ran the flip station & Gaspar ran the throwbag station. This way we were both able to keep all of the students active. All of the foreign students mentioned that the flatwater standard IRF flip drill was a challenge at this altitude.

During the afternoon of day 3 we looked at the use of a kayak in a raft operation as we focused on the safety craft assessments. The non kayaking students got to spend some extra stick time coaching with Gaspar whilst I put the safety kayakers through their paces. We looked at dealing with multiple & panicked swimmers. The students also go to look at how to deal with unconscious swimmers from a kayak and to experiment with taking control of a guideless raft, they practised using vocal commands along with manipulating the rafts position with their kayaks and ultimately exiting there kayaks into a raft to take control of the situation.

Days 5 & 6 were spent based on the Lardo class 4 rapid on the big volume, lower Indus river. Lard was also the venue for the recent High altitude Ladakh river festival. Lardo is a 200m big volume class 4 rapid with multiple lines each with interesting consequences if the line is missed. The next 2 days were going to be spent looking at class 4 rafting skills and trip leader emergency scenarios. It was interesting to watch the guides step up when we asked who wanted to guide Lardo first. Once the lines had been run a few times confidence levels rose amongst the students.

Both myself and Gaspar agreed that we wanted to have a large element of practical rafting skills included in the TL scenarios as any potential scenarios on Lardo would be dynamic in nature and would involve customers / victims spread out over a large area. We took turns to set up and assess each scenario. We had 2 days to run 9 trip leader scenarios. Each scenario had complex issues which were both fun to set up and a learning experience for the students.

Some of the subjects covered in the scenarios were.

  • Multiple mid stream stranded swimmers.
  • Non English speaking stranded swimmers
  • Lost customers
  • Flipped rafts
  • Hypothermic  customers
  • Entrapped customers
  • Customers with shoulder dislocations
  • Non cooperative customers
The students did really good jobs in managing the scenarios. The key learning points were:
  • In a emergency scenario the trip leader needs to be a strong leader with good communication & delegation skills.
  • Once an emergency scenario has been dealt with a good trip leader should debrief the whole team quickly to regain group control and re motivate the customers.

Day 7 was spent observing each of the instructor candidates delivering a 20 minute theoretical classroom based session. The Guides & Trip Leaders had selected the topics that they wished to see a presentation on. Many of the

Instructor candidates delivered very interesting presentations. The key learning points for the instructor candidates were:

  • Give your talk a structure (introduction, activity, summary).
  • Position your students in a style where learning can be maximized.
  • Don’t make your subject too big (keep it simple)
  • Use as many visual aids as possible, involve the students as much as possible).

The workshop was a great successes for all involved. The IRF now has new provisional Instructors from UK, India & Russia.  We have a host of new trip leaders, guides and safety kayakers from India, Spain and Ecuador. A warm, heart felt thanks to Chotak & the team from Wet ‘n Wild Explorations in Leh, India, and to the candidates for making the workshop a great learning environment.

See you on the river
All Pictures: Mark Hirst, Anton Sveshnikov
Videos: Mirko Davidovic

Brazil Open Men seem unbeatable!

Another wonderful sunny day in the Koboke Gorge on the Yoshino River. The last day of the competition was reserved for the king amongst all of the disciplines – Downriver. It has the most points available for the Overall ranking, and so can greatly affect the final championship positions.

The Open and Masters paddled a section in the morning with some challenging class 3 and 4 rapids. The Juniors and Youth were in the afternoon on a section that did not have class 4. The start was a flying start in groups of 5 to 7. This made it very interesting for spectators as the teams battled at the beginning for a good start position.

Japan Open Men had a bad start which put a lot of pressure on them to catch and overtake some teams. But they never caught Brazil who took first place with Argentina doing a great time in the second group to secure 3rd. Brazil are once again crowned Open Men World Champions taking a clean sweep of all the Gold medals and making them the most successful team in the IRF’s history.

Japan Open Women shot out front and stayed there all the way to the end. New Zealand tucked in behind enjoying their good lines. Czech came blistering through in the second group to take third. This result delighted the locals as their team are now Open Women World Champions!

Once the tussle for places settled after the start it tended to stay that way. The Japan Masters Men have proved they could have been top contenders even in the Open Category by putting down the fastest time of the day of 39:58,82, beating Brazil Open Men’s time of 40:10,18, and also having the best of all times in Slalom too. Second was Czech Republic and third New Zealand. Japan takes the Masters Men crown with a full sweep of Gold medals!

New Zealand proved that their Masters Women are still strong, taking the Downriver win and so the Overall win as well. Japan used their local knowledge to secure second with Czech third.

The top 3 places Overall for Open and Masters are:

  • Open Men: 1.Brazil; Japan; Czech Rep
  • Open Women: 1. Japan; New Zealand; Great Britain
  • Masters Men: 1. Japan; 2. Czech Rep; New Zealand
  • Masters Women: 1. New Zealand; 2. Czech Rep; 3. Japan

The afternoon saw the Youth and Juniors pitting the endurance and water reading skills against the upper stretch of the Yoshino River.

It was a very good start for Junior Men, a tough fight until the first rapid. After that there were no more surprises. Russia dominated and so secured themselves the World Champions crown. Argentina secured overall second with their second place in the Downriver. Indonesia did a great downriver to claim third, but overall 3rd went to New Zealand.

The Junior Women saw no major changes after the start seeing Czech take the win and the Overall title with Russia second and Great Britain third for both.

The Great Britain Youth Men led the first group after the start and they were constantly attacked by the Turkish team. The Turkish team eventually overtook them and finished well ahead to take first and be Youth Men World Champions. Argentina paddled the race with only 5 members, with the knowledge that they would receive 50 penalties for it, because one member was sick, leaving them in the last place. Bad luck for these young guys. The Japan team stumbled on a stone and in an attempt to move the raft off they flipped. Second was Indonesia with Great Britain in third.

The Indonesian and Japan Youth Women were stranded at the same time on different rocks at the last rapid, but Indonesia managed to get off after hard work to claim third. Second was New Zealand and first in Downriver and Overall was Russia.

So, once more a successful International Rafting Federation World Rafting Championship competition is behind us. The Champions will all be crowned at the closing ceremony in Miyoshi Ikeda General Gymnasium in the evening.


Links to all results, photos (low and high res), press releases, etc