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

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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 

A challenging but excellent day of slalom

The third day of the IRF’s 2017 World Rafting Championship dawned sunny and warm, splashing the countryside with a lovely light as the Open and Masters teams prepared to tackle Slalom. The course had 14 gates, of which gates 2, 4, 7, 10 and 13 were upstream, the rest downstream. In addition to having paddling skills, teams also needed climbing skills to do their scouting as the river banks were strewn with very large boulders.

In the beautiful Koboke Gorge, with mountains covered with breath-taking forests, the Yoshino River makes its way down and produced a great course for today’s slalom. Today was free for the Youth and Junior teams who could use it by visiting one of the most famous temples on the island, there are 88, and this is the Unpen-ji Temple, No.66 – The Temple of Hovering Clouds, nearest to us. The unique feature is the 300 rakkan (arhats), which are all unique (no two the same). The second most frequent destination among rafters was the 45 m long Vine Iya Kazura Bridge. The legend behind this extraordinary bridge was started when Heike refugees were defeated by Genji (Minamoto family) in the 1185 Gempei War. Yesterday the Open and Masters had a chance to be tourists and relax.

Since the Slalom training day where some flips and swims were seen the river has dropped and so simplified things a little. Gate 10 was a hard one as it was upstream on river-left, but if you did not get into the eddy high enough you would be swept passed Gates 11 and 12 so receive 150 seconds penalty! For some teams it was better to skip it, but for the top teams they had to try if they wanted to win.

The Master’s Women all had trouble with gate 7, which was an upstream gate on river-right. Only New Zealand made this gate, on their second run, but then they unfortunately missed 10, 11 and 12. The final top 3 was Czech, Japan, New Zealand.

The Masters men tended to have trouble at the upstream gate 10, except for Czech, Brazil and Japan who had clean runs in the first round, with Costa Rica only getting a 5, a great run by them. Czech had another great second run with only 2 touches, but Japan’s first run was faster than theirs so they had to settle for second. That path from gate number 7 across to 8 foiled Brazil. Their first run was still good enough for third.

In their first run the Indonesian Open Women hit a rock and one competitor lost their balance and swam, but she managed to get back on fast, dug in the paddle and continued on. Some teams struggled with gate 7 which could then cause them to miss or touch gates 8 and 9. Gate 8 had a tricky wave after it which could knock the raft off course. The Italians did a great job at gate 8. The first run is always difficult and so mistakes are, ideally, corrected in the second run. All praise goes to the Japanese team that achieved only 15 seconds in penalties, the lowest, but the speed of Great Britain was enough to secure them the win with Japan placing second and New Zealand third.

The Open Men were the last to go and generally there were less misses which was logical because they are more powerful and can fight harder against the fast and powerful river. But there were still teams who would have expected to do better but unluckily had two bad runs which would have disappointed them hugely. Mongolia had a steep learning curve on a river that is far bigger than what they are used to. Experience they will bank for future like UAE have done, they achieved a respectable 14th out of 17, great for a newish team against tough competition. It was the ever dominant team of Brazil that took the win, with hosts Japan in second and Czech in third.

The locals turned out in good numbers to support their teams who were represented in all the categories and the teams enjoyed their cheers and encouragment.

Another great day is behind us, with rafts being paddled down the river and then flying back to the top over everyone’s heads via the flying-fox. Medal ceremonies were held at West-West for Sprint, H2H and Slalom for the Open and Masters.

Tomorrow is the last day of the competition, reserved for Downriver for all. And then it will be the closing ceremony in town. We will have live streaming again of the Downriver and Ceremonies, so stay with us.

Full Results

Overall ranking after Slalom

Photo Album of the day

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

A good day for Russia in the Slalom

The second racing day at the International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championship 2017 Japan, Yoshino River, Koboke Gorge, was reserved for Slalom for the Youth and Junior teams. 12 Youth teams and 16 Junior teams competed. The course was upstream from the Sprint course of the day before, just a five minute walk. A lovely day free of rain saw many spectators on the bank.

Fourteen gates, of which gates number 2, 4, 7, 10 and 11 needed to be negotiated upstream. This section of river is quick and wide with a short course making it a real challenge for the youngsters. Youth Women were the first to start and up to gate 6 everything tended to go fine. Some then chose to ignore upstream gate 7 so as to be able to reach 10 and 11, but crossing from gate 9 to the upstream gate 10 was a challenge, and from 10 to 11 even bigger. In the first run Russia and Japan had the least penalties. A much improved second run and the first place went to Russia, the second to New Zealand and the third to Indonesia.

The Youth Men were stronger but with many penalties too. The best run in the first round went to Russia, then Indonesia and Japan, worst was Turkey with 275 penalties. But Turkey came back firing on their second run to clinch first place, with just 10 penalties, Great Britain second and Russia third.

Junior Women showed more experience and had more power with the result of less penalties, but still quite a lot. Again, skipping gates brought some teams more penalties but faster times. Many teams were preparing their rafts for negotiating the next gate by entering a gate backwards so as to be pointing in the right direction on exit. The Czech team was fantastic during the first run with just 25 penalty same as Great Britain who had a slower time. The second run saw the Czech’s improve their time and slightly increase their penalties, but in a time of 04:06,25 they secured first place, and second place for Japan followed by Russia.

In the Men’s Junior category the penalties were similar but the best run of the day went to Russia with the fastest time of 02:53,71 and only 5 seconds in penalties. They were nearly 9 seconds faster than their nearest rival! Second place went to Argentina (host of the 2018 World Rafting Champs) and third to New Zealand team.

Tomorrow on the program is the Open and Masters Slalom, starting at 10 am. Youth and Junior will have the chance to enjoy this beautiful area we are in and to see some of the local culture.

The medal standings at this stage are:

  • Japan are sitting with 12 in total – 3 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze.
  • New Zealand have 11 in total – 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze
  • Russia have gone ahead of Czech with 10 – 4 Gold and 6 Bronze
  • Czech have 9 in total – 2 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze
  • Great Britain has 7 – 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze
  • Turkey has 3 Gold and Argentina has 3 Silver
  • Brazil has 2 Gold
  • Indonesia, Germany and Netherlands all have 1 – INA has 1 Gold, NED has 1 Silver and Germany 1 Bronze

There will be Live Streaming again tomorrow.

See all links for Results, Video footage of the day, Press Releases, Photos, etc here.

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: