Crew from Augsburg love being new R6 Euro Champions!!

GER 1 team with Fabian Bär, Ludwig Wöhrl, René Mühlmann, Christian Lechlmayr, Sebastian Schüssler, Max Remmele and Leonhard Anzinger are new R6 champions on the old continent.

They have surprised themselves and all of us by finishing first in the R6 category. By the very end of the competition the fight was intense, uncertain. Czechs, Italians, Slovenians and Slovakians have a chance and are pushing them for the podium. Silver in the Sprint, gold in H2H, bronze in Slalom was the basis for their good achievement. Downriver, the queen among disciplines brought the Germans a silver and gold in the overall standings, setting them up as European Champions for the next two years.

The crew is from the Augsburg artificial course, all come from the canoe slalom sport, most of them are even former national team canoe slalom paddlers. But what brings them into rafting? We asked Sebastian Schüssler.

-” I guess the main thing is, that rafting is a team sport and in canoe slalom you’re always alone in your kayak, training hours and hours on your own.” – explained Sebastian – “In rafting you always motivate each other, you’re a team, and that’s something new for slalom paddlers, maybe that’s one of the reasons…you have to work together, because otherwise the raft won’t move like you want it to, you need the force of all members concentrated together to move the heavy raft. And of course the basics are familiar, all kinds of paddling are similar, so paddlers have fun in most kinds of paddling ;)”

Picture by Yanne Golev

Yes it is true, there are no individuals in rafting, your team is your family, in most cases the “crazy family”. You really are all surprised with winning. When you went to contest, what was your expectations and goals?

“Well, no matter what our expectations were, our goals were of course to give our best and paddle as well as we know we can. But of course we didn’t expect that much success, but which team expects to win…that wouldn’t be good for sports ;)” Yeah, in the desire to succeed many burn before the contest.

But, maybe this is an example of some new, future strategies in rafting: Surprise! Although we did not have the live broadcasts for the downriver, we did have live results.. Can you describe for us what the track and the race were like, and how much influence the result of the race had on you?

– “Before the Downriver start we knew that we had a good position in the R6 Overall score, so we knew we had to give it all in the Downriver, to get an overall medal. And that’s what we did.


Picture by Yanne Golev

Groups of four boats started at once, and in our group we won the start, but the first Czech team overtook us at the first lake, after a long and exhausting fight :) There are different parts on the Downriver, you start at the Slalom course, then some easier whitewater coming to the first little lake, where the water is just standing still. Then after some easy rapids there’s another lake and then some heavier rapids, and then after another little dam, the Devil streams start. They start with a big wave/hole going down the dam, and then there is one rapid after another, the most famous is the Bloody Hand. The other famous one is The Stairs, there you have to make like an S from the left side of the river to the right, to be on the fastest line”- Right river for such an event. The Devil’s stream is one big crazy drop, water-coaster.

The Germans came with two strong teams to the Euro Championship, GER 2 R4, or, as they are called the Olympic Team, with an incredible mix of members: twins Gabriel and Merlin Holzapfel – junior members of the team winning bronze medals in Slalom at R4 Youth WRC 2012 a week before; Peter Michael – IRF 1st Vice President and one of its founding members and Siders Tasiadis the C1 Slalom silver medals at Olympics 2012 London. And this Augsburg team won another Bronze in Slalom!

Augsburg school is no longer a surprise, it is the rule, especially in a Slalom. But from now on, many will watch and will be ready for some of their new surprises.

Rafting-Team-Germany’s facebook page

Article Nada