Rafting training and competing indoors anyone?

Rafters doing training and competitions indoors?! If you think this sounds unusual and impossible, then read on ….

Serbia have recently come up with the idea of a rafting ergometer (exercise machine which can measure the amount of work performed when exercising on it) and they have added competitions to it as well. In an interview with Boris Purjakov, President of the Rafting Federation of Serbia, we learn more about the project on which they have been working, and are keen to hear your opinions on this.

Boris, tell us about this project and what plans you have for it?
Our work and research has been conducted over the last two years. In the first year, with an eminent manufacturer of treadmills (cycling, rowing, kayaking and canoeing), we worked on the construction of the mechanical components and software parameters for a machine specific for rafters. In the second year, after the Congress of IRF in Costa Rica where we got the support of all delegates, we set out to test and perfect the rafting ergometer. Now we have a standard type of rafting ergometer that has quality and parameters that meet our needs and is made in serial production. Given the above, we can start with indoor rafting competitions.”
So, the teams will be able to compete?
” Yes. The first ergometer rafting competition will be held on the 19 of January 2013, in Belgrade. It will be open and will therefore provide the opportunity for teams from all countries to compete. As this is the first competition, we have to think very meticulously about all regulations and requirements of this specific contest, which will lead to our athletes attaining physical condition and continuity in the competition. As for the rules, we are keen on the public’s suggestions so that it can help us bring this kind of competition to perfection.”
How do you see a competition like this working?
“As our sport is a team sport, we would put four competitors (two right and two left) as in the raft for R4. For now, we would have two disciplines, Sprint & H2H. In the Sprint four competitors would be sitting side by side on their own ergometers and paddle. Every athlete has an individual display on his ergometer and can observe his performance in paddling. In addition, a large video beam ahead of all competitors is set and the computer adds all the parameters of a team and shows their current position on the track with the time and the distance to the target.
After the race, coaches can take the information from the computer and study each part of the race, each competitor’s individual performance and the entire team. This is done with many parameters such as strength, speed, frequency, etc. Competitions on the big screen video beam, which is observed during the race by competitors and audience, can be seen easily by others from their homes via the internet streaming. We are sure that the rafting ergometer will allow our sport to develop faster and our athletes and coaches to achieve the highest goals in their sport.”
That’s a lot of good ideas and opportunities arising from this equipment! If you have ideas about this or would like to know more, contact Boris directly or take a look at their website.
Article by Nada