New Euro Rafting Champions!!!

Downriver group start
Downriver group start

What a beautiful competition. 71 teams, 18 European countries, Čunovo – Divoka water, Slovakia, the sun as much as we wanted, well organized competition – what more could we ask for!


Day Four of the competition (see Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3started with Slalom for the U19, U23 and Masters divisions, and then it was the Downriver for the Open division.

Running rafts in DR
Running rafts in DR

The slalom course was only slightly modified for the U19, U23 and Master divisions, but was still very demanding technically. It was not easy for the younger teams and there were two flips, one after the other. Safety on the track was great, so contestants only had short swims but gained more experience. ;) In the same part of the track one youth team lost their paddle. They took a replacement paddle from the shore, which is why they were disqualified for that round, but they needed it to get to the end of the track. It was the upstream gates that gave the trouble and the teams that improved their tactics on them in their second round gained places. The final results were:

  • U19 Men: RUS1 achieved Gold with SVK1 getting Silver and SLO1 Bronze

    Slide re-entry
    Slide re-entry for DR
  • U19 Women: CZE1 followed by RUS1
  • U23 Men: SVK1, CZE2, and SLO1
  • U23 Women: SVK1, RUS1, CZE1
  • Masters Men: CZE1, CZE2, SVK1
  • Masters Women: RUS1, SVK1

Whoops!Downriver for the Open division followed immediately after. The start was in large groups of about 8, so getting to the first buoy the fight was worse than in H2H – more like H8H :) It was great for the spectators but extremely exhausting for the contestants because you never know which side the other teams are going to come at you from.

Open Men Overall
Open Men Overall

Once past the second buoy the order crystallized more and teams could chase across the flat water to the exit ramp where they then had to pick up the raft and run up to the top where there was a short slide down the bank back into flat water. Entering into the water after running and carrying the raft up the hill was fun but having a good entry was crucial to maintain your place and so making a slight mistake here could cost you a position or even two. As the day was too hot, the safety team was spraying water over the heads of the overheated competitors.

Open W Overall
Open Women Overall

There was a lot of overtaking throughout the run, and some of the most notable fights were ITA1 leading for quite some time in the Men’s but then fading and being overtaken by RUS1 and CZE1. In the women’s there was an excellent tussle between GBR1 who led the event until the take out of the last lap. Here SVK1 accelerated to get in front and maintained that lead to the end. The medals went to: Open Men: RUS1, CEZ1, ITA1. Women: SVK1, GBR1, NED1

Y M Overall
Youth Men Overall

And so now we could calculate who were the new IRF R4 Euro Rafting Champions!

  • Open Men: CZE1, CZE2, RUS1;
  • Open Women: SVK1, GBR1, NED1
  • U 19 Men: RUS1, SLO1, TUR1
  • U19 Women: CZE1, RUS1
  • U 23 Men: CZE2, CZE1, SVK1;
  • U23 Women: SVK1, RUS1, CZE1
  • Masters Men: CZE1, CZE2, SVK1
  • Masters Women: RUS1, SVK1

Congratulations to all the new Euro Champions!

Y W Overall
Youth Women Overall

CZE1 Open Men’s team defended their title from 2012 – well done guys! The difference between second and third was only one point! The competition amongst the Open Women’s teams was very close and hard fought. SVK1 did their country proud and showed that they are the queens of the Čunovo course. GBR1 and NED1 deserve praise for showing great skill and determination to take away Silver and Bronze respectively.

Russia came with strong teams and they have a great future ahead – they achieved 1st in U19 men’s,  2nd in U19 Women, 2nd in U23 Women, 3rd in the Open Men and 1st in Masters women despite having an injured member.

J M Overall
Junior Men Overall

The Slovenian U19 team took home two golds, three silver and four bronze medals. Impressive!

Czech Republic and Slovakia came well prepared to this competition and both took home a large bunch of medals.

Turkish U19 team claimed the bronze medal overall. It can be seen that Turkey is one of the countries that is paying a lot of attention to the young generation. We expect them to be presenting the world with a women’s team soon. They have a great young generation coming through.

J W Overall
Junior Women Overall

The Italian rafting group was impressive throughout the competition, and they were the sweetest during meals – sitting gathered at the big table, like a real family, Robert Schifferle as the head – everyone had a great example of how a federation should operate at a competition. And they left with many medals – a great performance!

I would personally like to compliment GBR2 men’s team on their success in the H2H and the most beautiful uniforms in the competition.

Masters Men Overall
Masters Men Overall

I would like to thank not only the organizers and Rado Orokocky, but also all the people who helped to make this a great competition. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful, friendly people with whom I collaborated through these days, as well as many new competitors, teams, team leaders, etc. And thanks too, to the Safety Team for doing an excellent job.

Masters W Overall
Masters Women Overall

We will remember this competition not only for 500 medals being distributed at the event, but also for the excellent performance of competitors, the excellent organization of the competition, the beautiful place “Divoka voda”, very hot days and that beautiful opportunity – to meet everyone again and hang out. The European Championship is actually one large gathering of the rafting family.

See you at the next European Championships in Banja Luka, BiH in R6 category 2015​!

Article by Nada