Chengdu is the city we arrived in after a crazy, night train ride. We had four days of rest here before the second race. This beautiful city of 15 million people, with many historical, religious and natural curiosities is a city to be on the list for sight seeing just as much as Paris and Barcelona in Europe. It was also a great opportunity for the international teams to get to know each other a little better.
After those rest days came 2014 Dujiangyan (Hongkou) – the 6th International Competition Natural Water Rafting in 2014, China. Hongkou Rafting Centre of Dujiangyan, Sichuan, is where we were staying and was excellent as it has all that is needed for tourists to enjoy several days of variety of tourist activities. Surrounded by beautiful, green mountains, the clean river are a real Mecca for lovers of the sport of rafting and recreation. In this centre you can find probably the only museum in the world devoted to rafting.
After a beautiful opening ceremony and practises on the river the race started normally, but the outcome was unexpected. The trail was not too demanding for the competitors, but another broken paddle for Serbia sees them totally out them of the competition. The borrowed paddles were not adequate for a competition. Better luck next time girls.
In training the Canadians usually let others in front of them, for us it was not very clear what their tactics were, but this time they were utterly determined to get a better position than in the previous competition. Such determination and preparation paid off in a first place in this competition. Only seconds behind ,the USA team had to settle for second place again. What was a surprise is that team “Beijing” from China won third place showing the standard is definitely improving. Congratulations go to the winners, and to the other participants – we wish upi more luck next time.
All the teams that attended would like to thank the following who enabled us to participate in this competition.
- Sponsor: China Water Sports Administration Center, Sichuan Provincial Sports Bureau and Tourists.
- Organizer: Chengdu Municipal Sports and Tourist Bureau, Dujiangyan Municipal People’s Government.
- Co organizer: Dujiangyan Hongkou Scenic Sport Administration Center, Chengdu Feilaifeng Tourism Development Company Ltd.
This competition gave us a chance to see some amazing places which had historical and cultural significance for China. All in all, this trip was beautiful, heavenly for all of us. China is a beautiful country, the people are friendly, hospitable, the organizers produced a competition that will stay in our memories and will be recounted for years to come. Thanks to everyone who enabled us to come and be a part of this. We are left to hope that one day we will again be able to go to China. Thank you China for everything.
And what are the teams’ impressions of the trip once they were home:
Hungary: “Our journey to China was a perfect two weeks, some strange things which are usually annoying for foreigners were no problem for us. So we could enjoy the whole beauty of the country. We extremely loved the rivers and painting-like environment. As if we visited world of Kung Fu Panda.”
Canada: Andy Hill – “I was so fortunate to experience ten days in China, everything was completely beyond my expectations. Everything from the quality of the rivers, excellent organization and wonderful venues made the trip an amazing experience. As an international team we felt very welcomed to be in China and appreciated the hospitality. We felt very honoured to be invited to China and would be more then pleased to return In the future.”
Serbia: Milica Tanasijevic – “I feel so blessed and lucky for having a chance to be a participant on this wonderful competition. I had a whale of a time paddling on exciting rivers in China. Actually, it was more than a rafting competition, it was a real journey through China. An experience I don’t think I will forget. Many thanks to our Chinese hosts and organizers for extraordinary hospitality. It is difficult to say what was the highlight of this trip. And many thanks to other teams that we enjoyed sharing this adventure with. Hope to see you all again, guys.”