Race Results

WC 2019 Series
Results: OWOM

WC Silokek 
Results: MM, U19M, OM, OW, U23M, U23W

Ibar, Serbia 2019
Results; Video; Photos

EC 2019 Series
Results: R6 Overall; R4 Overall

EC Devil’s Stream
Results; Photos; Video;

EC British Open
Results; Photos

Canada Nationals
Results; Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-. Video H2H.

Pre-WRC, Ziyuan
Results: Men, Women; Photos: Trng, SP/OC, SL, H2H, DR; Videos: D1, D2, D3, D4;

ERC Vrbas, Bosnia
Results and media

EC Results so far
R6: OM; OW. R4: OM; OW.

EC Trnavka
Results: Sprint; Slalom. Photos.

WRC 2019, Tully
Results, Photos, press releases, etc

EC Wildalpen
Results: OM, U23M, OW; Photos

EC Priboj, Serbia
Results; Photos

EC Nottingham
Results, Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-. H2H Video

EC Romania, Dracula Race
Results; Photos

WRC 2018
All results

more archived Race Results

IRF World Rafting Championships 2020 (China) postponed

As much of the world finds itself in the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, China is in the position of having practically eliminated community transmitted COVID-19 infections, and we have found ourselves faced with the same issues that the Olympics and many other sports have been facing over the last few weeks.

The IRF Executive Committee and WRC Organisers have discussed the realities of the situation, and supported by IRF BOD, the Athlete’s Commission and Sport & Competition Committee, have come to the conclusion that the IRF’s 2020 World Rafting Championship must be postponed to after 2020.

The main reasons that formed this decision are as follows:

  • The IRF believes that our sport must not in any way be a factor that could endanger the health and safety of our IRF family or their loved ones
  • Athletes in most countries are restricted in being able to train as a team, and some are so restricted that even keeping fit has become an issue. Therefore they are unable to prepare effectively
  • Many athletes and federations will be affected by economic slow down, loss of income and the volatility of exchange rates which will impact on team’s abilities to attend the WRC any time this year
  • The dynamics of international travel are uncertain which means the inability to effectively predict what travel restrictions may still be in force when flights must be bought and visas must be obtained is highly restrictive

The IRF are continuing to work with the WRC Organisers and IRF committees on potential options for the future.

We will announce our steps forward with this as soon as we have concluded them.

#weareirf #RaftersAreAwesome #irfwrc #Ziyuan #China

We’re all paddling a first descent with the Coronavirus

The world finds itself in uncharted territory in the turbulent crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Longtime river adventurer, and IRF Honorary President, Rafael Gallo gives some words of comfort for how to navigate through to calmer waters ahead.

by Shannon Farley

We find ourselves in uncharted territory with the coronavirus pandemic. The world’s borders closed. Airlines grounded. Streets empty. Beaches, parks, and recreation areas with hardly a soul to be found. Businesses shuttered. The scene is surreal.

“It’s like the first descent of a river,” said longtime river adventurer Rafael Gallo. “We’ve never navigated this before. Our map is very vague, only giving us comparative scenarios from other similar experiences, and a little advance information from those a bit ahead of us.”

Like rafting or kayaking a river for the first time, what the future holds for the world with the global health and economy crises is a mystery. This has never before happened on this scale and no one can predict for certain what is coming.

“Running a river is like life. From its start in the mountains all the way to the ocean, along the way there are obstacles, calm pools, beautiful spots, and places that scare you and surge your adrenaline,” said Gallo, CEO of Rios Tropicales in Costa Rica and co-founder and honorary president of the International Rafting Federation.

Continue reading We’re all paddling a first descent with the Coronavirus

Coronavirus COVID-19 Impacts to IRF Events (Update 4)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the international sporting world, and the IRF is no exception. With lockdowns being brought into play throughout the world, borders closing and extreme travel restrictions in place, it is evident that it will be a long while before the sporting world gets back on its feet.

How this impacts our upcoming IRF events and activities:

  • ERC 2020 in Czechia – with heavy hearts we have announced the cancellation of our ERC 2020
  • WRC 2020 in Ziyuan, Guilin, China – China has moved through the peak of the pandemic and practically eliminated community transmitted COVID-19 infections, and Ziyuan has experienced zero cases at anytime making it one of the safest venues for rafting on the globe. However, China has closed their borders to all foreigners to prevent the virus from entering the country and reestablishing itself. No date has been given for when this may change. The IRF Executive Committee and Athlete’s Commission have discussed the fact that COVID-19 travel restrictions, quarantines and curfews around the world have made it impossible for many of our athletes to safely train or make preparations to travel to China. The IRF further believes that our sport must not in any way be a factor that could endanger the health and safety of our IRF family or their loved ones. Therefore, the IRF and the WRC Organisers are discussing the very real likelihood that the WRC may be postponed. We are investigating all options at the moment. We will announce a joint decision as soon as we have found a path through this maze of uncertainty.
  • Balkan White Water Safety Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina – postponed to later in the year.
  • For all other IRF events and activities – please keep a close eye on the following two links which we will update as we receive information from the organisers and make joint decisions on the future of these activities and events:

As always, the health and safety of the IRF family remains our first priority. The IRF will continue to follow the information and guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as the United Nations agency that is leading the world on this issue.

The IRF will act according to the science-based evidence gathered by WHO.  We will not issue blanket proclamations or unilaterally suspend all IRF events.  We support all our event organisers and teams across the globe, and will continue to respond to the pandemic with appropriate measures – without misrepresentation, over-hype, or panic.  Government restrictions placed on event gatherings, which may or may not be based on WHO recommendations, will be followed in accordance to law.

We encourage everyone to keep healthy, get plenty of clean, fresh air, and closely follow the WHO COVID-19 advice for the public. If you are able and allowed to step outside to get onto rivers, please follow WHO’s advice on social distancing and any legal restrictions put in place by government officials.  Let’s remain positive while we focus on our health and safety – the world needs positivity to get us through this difficult time.

Coronavirus Update 4
Coronavirus Update 3
Coronavirus Update 2
Coronavirus Update 1

#RaftersAreAwesome #StrongerTogether #internationalrafting #oneloveoneriver #RiverFamily #WeAreIRF

Ropes for River Use

In this article Rafting Magazine takes a look at rope used for rafting specifically static line. For this article they reached out to both Sterling and BlueWater ropes to get some technical insight on what works best for river rescue use. There is a lot to know and a lot to understand about what rafters need on the river. If you are looking for throw ropes or throw bags you can find more info on that here. They also will be bringing you some of the top contenders for best ropes on the market.

Ropes are a pretty complex topic in the river community. Both static and dynamic ropes find their way into our gear. It’s Important to know what they are and when to use them if you are unfamiliar with the purpose of each type of rope. Another important piece of terminology is what the difference between rope and line is.

What is the Difference Between Rope vs. Line?

A rope is a rope right? Not exactly, as we increase our mastery over a topic, it requires greater degrees of specificity to accurately describe and understand the topic. So the best way to understand this is: a rope is a rope, unless it’s on a boat, then it’s a line. Throw ropes are used on shore, perimeter lines ring a raft, static lines pull a raft off of a wrap, flip lines (which generally aren’t even rope) flip the boat over, but a strap secures gear to the boat. Like any sport as the community has gained mastery we have borrowed some terms from sailing, kayaking, and oceanic navigation, as well as sprinkling in some other terms of our own. So a rope is a rope, until it’s not a rope, but does that make all rope equal?

Static Rope in Rafting

Now that we understand the difference between rope and line it is important to note that not all rope is equal or the same in rafting. There are two main uses for Static line in rafting: perimeter lines and static lines for rescue applications. When rigging perimeter lines some folks prefer ropes and some prefer webbing, largely it is a matter of preference, however Continue reading Ropes for River Use

European Rafting Championship 2020 in Czechia Cancelled

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread at an alarming pace, on 12 March, for the first time in its modern history the Czech government declared a state of emergency for the entire country.  On 16 March, Czechia closed its borders, forbid entry of foreigners and issued a nationwide curfew. Most European countries have also closed their borders and travel has ground to a halt.  As shown by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the situation has become severe.

Due to these unprecedented circumstances, and the uncertainty of how this will continue to affect Czechia and the rest of Europe, the Union of Boaters of the Czech Republic (IRF Member Organisation),  and the IRF have jointly agreed to cancel the European Rafting Championship (ERC) for this year.

Cancelling an event like the ERC is a difficult decision and should only be done if completely unavoidable.  It was right for everyone involved to give every possible chance for the ERC to proceed. While it was a tough decision to make, the IRF believes this to be the right decision given the current state of Europe. We’d like to thank the Czech organisers for stepping up and offering such a strong bid to host the ERC, and for their unwavering support of the IRF.  #strongertogether

We wish all of our member federations, athletes, coaches, judges and supporters around the world the best of health during this trying time. The rivers will be waiting for us when we get the chance to get out and enjoy them together again – all of them most likely looking a lot cleaner and healthier!

#weareirf #RaftersAreAwesome #irferc

Boating Business – Coronavirus and Economic Slowdowns

Boating Business - Coronavirus and Economic Slowdowns

How will Coronavirus affect hospitality?

Coronavirus is a hot topic at the moment and rightly so, after all, at the time of writing this piece we have seen a huge impact to stock markets and global supply chains. These effects will ripple across the market and especially impact the tourism and hospitality sector. Senator Joel Villanueva, chair of the USA senate labor committee said “We think the tourism sector will bear the brunt of our government’s travel ban due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The government should spur domestic tourism to assuage the impact of decline in foreign tourists,”

The senator’s statements show an interesting shift in the mentality of tourism during periods of economic uncertainty. Fears about pandemics and recessions create a situation where average spends on travel and tourism decrease dramatically due to financial uncertainty. Fears about a Coronavirus pandemic though are not just about the actual virus affecting people though. Coronavirus has silently begun to cause supply chain disruptions and investment income which have ripple effects on how much people can spend on non-essential activities like outdoor recreation.

Historical effects of financial uncertainty in tourism

To understand what happens during times of financial uncertainty the US Bureau of Labor produced several statistics on US average annual spend on travel during the last economic downturn. When we compare the year over year percentage change we can see a serious contraction in annual spending bottoming out in 2009

Tourism Trends.jpg

This trend is also mirrored in a Boston and Cambridge look at the average occupancy of hotel rooms during the last financial crisis.

B & C Study.jpg

All of this combined shows a major contraction across the tourism sector with leisure travel being the hardest hit. The bottom line is that during times of economic uncertainty more people are staying home.

Domestic tourism during financial uncertainty

One of the most reliable measures of demand in tourism is numbers of travelers. So clearly financial uncertainty has a negative relationship on the demand for tourism, but this approach only looks at the big picture of trends in the US using the above data. When we look at the rafting industry during times of uncertainty we actually see a counter intuitive pattern emerge. Here is the use data compiled by America outdoors on East Coast Rivers:

Continue Reading Boating Business – Coronavirus and Economic Slowdowns



Coronavirus COVID-19 Impacts to IRF Events (Update 3)

Contrary to rumours being released by IRF detractors, the IRF is still actively pursuing our WRC, ERC, ECs and WCs this year along with our GTE activities.  The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the worldwide international sporting calendar, and the IRF calendar is no exception.  Our immediate concern is for events coming up in the next 8 weeks as government and health authorities react in various ways to contain or mitigate the spread of the virus with protective measures.  The situation is changing daily. Nobody today can say what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, and certainly not several months into the future. The IRF will not be making irresponsible decisions to change our competition calendar based on speculation.  We urge all competitors to stay in touch with their National Federation and to keep watch for updates to this post and to our published calendar.

  • Balkan White Water Safety Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina – still proceeding according to plans.
  • WRC 2020 in Guilin, Ziyuan China – China (population 1.4 billion) is typically reporting less than 20 new COVID-19 cases a day (all from travelers from abroad). Chinese authorities are now more concerned about infected foreigners entering the country than community spread cases within China.  Ziyuan County, site of the IRF World Rafting Championship (WRC) event, has told us they have zero infections because the virus has never entered their county, making it one of the safest rafting event locations in the world.  We are considering different contingency scenarios, but the IRF WRC is unlike our other events and many other sport championships in that it is scheduled five months away. Local officials in Ziyuan report that they are moving forward at full speed to prepare for the competition as planned!
  • ERC 2020 in Czech Republic – is scheduled for June, when the peak number of COVID-19 cases in Europe are expected to be past.  We will be monitoring the situation carefully, in concert with event organisers and local health authorities.

Continue reading Coronavirus COVID-19 Impacts to IRF Events (Update 3)

Save the Karnali – Nepal’s last and most pristine free-flowing river

by Megh Ale and Karen Bennett

The mighty Karnali, Nepal’s longest, largest, and least known river system is in peril. Of the three major river basins emerging from the Nepal Himalaya—the Koshi, Kali Gandaki, and Karnali—the Karnali is the only river that remains free-flowing. All others have been dammed for hydropower generation reflecting an increasingly intensive pattern of hydropower development across Nepal. There are currently three mega hydropower dams planned for the Karnali River with 28 more sites being surveyed. Construction of any one of these dams will forever change the essence and flow of the Karnali River. The construction of all three will devastate the river system and the cultures, endangered species and economies that depend on it. A dedicated group of people are working to protect the free-flowing Karnali. In spring 2018, a group of scientists, river adventurists and a film crew undertook a 44-day expedition along its entire length. Together, they documented the river’s values and used what they learned to educate the public and decision-makers about the importance of protecting the Karnali – Nepal’s last and most pristine free-flowing river.

The Karnali River starts near Holy Mt. Kailash on the Tibetan Plateau as do three other great Holy Rivers of Asia, the Indus (Sutlej) into Pakistan, the Ganges through India and the Brahmaputra to Bangledesh. Hundreds of thousands of worshipers travel to Holy Mt. Kailash each year for a spiritual renewal.

Continue reading Save the Karnali – Nepal’s last and most pristine free-flowing river

2020 IRF Race Rules now available in Serbian

The 2020 edition of the IRF Race Rules is now available in Serbian.
Thanks to Jasmina Marčok for the invaluable assistance in translations and review.

Having the race rules translated into multiple languages allows us all to share the love of raft racing even further. You can view all current and recent versions of the race rules on our website here.

It would be great if we can get Czech, Russian, Spanish and Romanian versions this year. If you are able to assist in translating the current (2020) race rules into your language, get in touch and let Sean or Sue know if you are able to help: media@internationalrafting.com

#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #rafting #StrongerTogether #internationalrafting #RiverFamily #WeAreIRF

Should We Be Classifying Rafts?

This article is a reprint from our friends at ‘RAFTING MAGAZINE’

Kayaking has taken an interesting trend over the years by classifying boats. Given the crossover of many paddlers between these sports it is surprising that rafting hasn’t picked up the stratification of boat classes into broad categories. As we get more experienced with a topic we require greater degrees of specificity to describe similar yet functionally different concepts. So, we thought we would take a crack at some boat classification for rafts.

How does classifying rafts help?

We get a ton of questions about what boat to take out in which river. Different boats have very different performance characteristics. Everyone has their preference for style of boat and different regions will see greater popularity from different designs due to local conditions.

One of the more particular parts of our industry is that boat design and popularity varies regionally since rivers in different geological zones are slightly different despite the fact that water tends to create similarly predictable features in general. A good thing to pay particular attention to is how the locals boat and customize their boats.

Raft classifications

It’s important to note that not every raft fits perfectly in each category. While you can certainly get down a big water section of river in a play boat, it may not be the most enjoyable experience as something like that can leave you pretty exposed. Here are our thoughts on how to categorize rafts generally. You can click the links below to take you to the gear shed to see more about what’s out there on the market.

  • Play boats

  • Creek Boats

  • River Runners

  • Big water boats

  • Gear boats

Outside of these categories there are a few specialty categories that we haven’t covered like J-rigs and sweep boats as they tend to be less common, especially for the average boater. Also we are not covering catarafts in this piece as we would like to cover those crafts in a separate article.

Continue reading Should We Classify Rafts?