Rafting Klub “Dajak” are travelling to New Zealand to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the men’s Open category at the 2013 World Rafting Championships (WRC). The competition starts in a few days, and the honour to defend the colours of BiH is up to: Dragan Babic (captain), Igor Kuzmanovic, Andrej Zamolo, Dejan Markovic, Drasko Ubiparip and Nebojsa Tadic.
“Dajak” team grew up on the river Vrbas (the river used for WRC 2009, Euro Champs 2005 and future R6 Euro Champs 2014), so they have had excellent opportunities for training and preparations for the upcoming competition. These guys have played water related sports through kayaking, canoeing, rafting and dajak for more than fifteen years. I had the opportunity to watch these boys competing and my first impression is that they are incredibly strong, coordinated, technically proficient and most of all – very friendly and funny :)
Dragan Babic has helped us to get to know the team by answering some of our questions.
“Our club is named “Dajak” Klub where dajak (English – dayak) refers to a boat which is unique in the world because of the way it is propelled and because it is the only boat of that size that can manually overcome strong river streams by going up the river. To operate this vessel professionally requires high level of skill and years of training. All members of our rafting team are very good in this traditional boat discipline and this skill helped us a lot in understanding the mountain river and its tricks. All information about this extraordinary boat can be found at www.dajak.org “
What does your team do to prepare for the WRC and on which rivers are you preparing?
“The team is currently preparing on river Vrbas ; training consists of conditional training and training on water which includes slalom training and speed training.”
How well do you know your competition that will be at the WRC? Do you ensure you are informed about the quality of teams that are coming to the WRC?
“We have seen some of the teams live during WRC 2009 on the Vrbas and we are very familiar with the teams of Croatia and Slovenia who were our biggest rivals at the Euro Cups, and of course internet is the greatest resource of any kind of information.” – Yeah, I completely agree.
Do you have any expectations related to the result?
“As for the expectations – we only expect to do our best and then we shall be satisfied with any result.”
Is there something in particular you want to experience in New Zealand?
“Experience that everyone is looking forward to is the biggest commercial waterfall which is 7 meters high if I’m not wrong, and of course New Zealand is famous for its many natural beauties and magical landscapes which we would like to see. And there is also the famous Manuku honey which Novak Djokovic says is the best in the world – that we would like to try.”
Which discipline does your team like the most?
“There isn’t a particular discipline that we like, however current results in sprint and downriver during Euro Cups showed that these disciplines are maybe our favourites.”
Going to the WRC will give this team a chance to learn from others and to perfect what they are already good at, a good recipe for improvement. Next year’s Euro Champs will be on their river, the Vrbas.
At this WRC you will have the opportunity to compete with and evaluate the teams that will come to the Euro Champs next year; do you see yourselves as having an advantage as hosts?
“Our team is relatively inexperienced and in my opinion the real result is yet to come. I mean that we will use this WRC in order to gather more experience and on the next Euro Champs we will show our real strength and hopefully we will achieve some good results.”
Are there some sponsors that you would like to thank?
“There are no particular sponsors we would like to thank, we would only like to thank all members of Dajak Klub for their great support.”
Many companies usual use this opportunity to advertise themselves over this great contest. To not take that opportunity by having a team linked to them is a great pity and a huge marketing opportunity lost for BiH and Banja Luka. There will be many people in that region and country following this team as there is a huge following of this WRC from there, and because of the quality of this team, they have certainly attracted a lot of attention to themselves. It is not yet too late to take advantage of this great opportunity to advertise through them.
We look forward to watching this teams progress and wish them good strokes and a good time in New Zealand.