When a team that is only assembled four months before the World Rafting Championships wins their national champs and then goes on to the World Champs in Brazil and wins third place in the slalom, beating defending champions Japan, it leaves you speechless and asking yourself what kind of extraordinary talent is working here?! We decided to talk with them about their success in Brazil and to get to know them better.
My job is to spy out new teams before our big events so as to bring them to the attention of our followers and write articles about them. But this team snuck past me totally. But now I have the honour to present to you and welcome this rookie team.
This new and amazing team consists of: Felipe Cervilla (Captain) and Pro Rafting Costa Rica company owner, Jonathan Mora, Ronny Mora, Juan Jose Molina, William Molina, Roberto Mendoza and coach: Alex Segura.
“The idea all started with a small association that a few of us paddlers belong to, it’s called Asosciacion de Aventura y Aguas Rapidas de Quepos. Our main goal is to promote many outdoors sports in the area and also the conservation of our rivers. We put together a few events like rafting and kayaking competitions and festivals. Later we were asked to put together the R4 National Championship for 2014 in our local Naranjo River with the help of the Federacion Costarricense de Rafting. Our goal then was to get a few competitive teams to support this event and to represent our rafting communities. Winning this was again a big surprise.“
Felipe, how long has your team been in rafting? –
“For most of us the Savegre River and Naranjo in the Central Pacific have been our backyards. We all started young and come from rafting parents or water fanatical families. Professionally we’ve been safety kayaking and guiding for over 10 years in most cases.“
Perfect background and base for this sport.
“We all work in local rafting companies, so we tried to fit training around work and somehow we managed to train 6 times a week for 3 months before Brazil, sometimes morning and afternoon training and multiple rafting trips in one day. We paddled mostly in the Naranjo River, also the Paquita River and we also trained flat water on the beaches of Quepos and Manuel Antonio.”
Felipe, had any of you been to Itaipu before? –
“We had never been to Brazil and for many of our members this was their first time on a plane and first time out of the country.”
“We had the most fun on Slalom since we kayak and guide very technical and small volume rivers. In other disciplines we know we have to improve, and Brasil was a great learning experience.”
– WRC is a grate place for that.
Paddling techniques can practically be divided by continent, the way of strokes even by schools and countries; so the WRC is a large international display of all the different techniques and styles of paddling. By mixing these styles it breaks up the monotony in certain regions and improved techniques or new solutions in different disciplines provide a great opportunity for the teams and for them to compare how their paddling styles rate in the world.
“We knew we would be up against many top teams and our goal was to finish in the top 10. Getting a medal was more than we ever expected, all the training paid off in the end. This was only our second rafting competition ever and our first WRC “
Man, just incredible.
You won third place in the Slalom, what did this mean to you?
“This was great motivation! Especially for us to keep moving forward as a team and hopefully motivations to the many other Costa Rican river athletes that all we need is the whitewater organizations to start working together for the best of this sport and us, the athletes.
Anything is possible and we have the talent.“
This is absolutely true. Costa Rica has beautiful rivers, technically excellent, the right set up for training and development of the sport.
Will we see you in Indonesia next year on R6 category?
“We will start working soon on our next goal – Indonesia. The Costa Rican championship starts in December. For Indonesia we will have much more time to train and we hope to have representation of our Open Women, Masters and Junior teams.“
This is great news and it can be seen how this award from Brazil was the wind in the wings for motivation and desire for the development of the sport. Love it. I’m happy for you because I feel your positive attitude all the way from this other continent. Keep it up and I can not wait to see your next result.
Are there sponsors which you would like to thank? –
“We would like to specially say thanks to the people of “Quepos” and “Manuel Antonio Area” for supporting us and keeping us positive because getting to Brasil was not an easy task.
The local tourist industry for coming together and helped us in many ways…… quepos quepos Pura Vida!
Also to: Municipalidad de Aquirre – Comite Cantonal de deporte y recreacion Quepos- Avianca- 2 Costa Rica real state- Asociacion de aguas rapidas y aventure de Quepos- Hotel California- Barba Roja restaurant- Ronnys Place – Hidden Bay Realty – Amigos del rio-Savegre sin represas – Iguana Tours- Rafiki Safari lodge- Wave expeditions – H2O Adventures – Tropical Expeditions – Quepoa Expeditions- Canopy Safary – Las Machas rafting team.” – Thank you all for helping these guys. This team has great potential, for sure and proved it with great success in Brasil.
It was a pleasure to meet you, to find out more about your beginning and plans for the future. I’ll follow your work and I hope to have the opportunity to watch you live once in a competition. Until then, keep moving forward in the realization of your plans. Congratulations!
If you want to follow their work, you can do it on Facebook.com/pages/PRO-Rafting-Team-Costa-Rica/657962840966706