Red Rose Raft Team – heading to ERC

The effort that paid off – Red Rose Raft Team on their way to the Euro Rafting Champs

GBR2Jess Evans, Sarah-Jayne Evans, Alison St John Claire, Tori Jones, Molly Mckenzie, Bex Faragher are heading to the R6 Euro Rafting Champs 2015 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the River Vrbas, Banja Luka, as the women’s GBR 2 team.

They started rafting in 2009 at an event created by the English Rafting Committee (ERC) to raise the profile of rafting and help them raise funds. Since they all liked it and the enjoyed it so much, they decided to start their own team. It wasn’t until 2011 that they really got started through competing in the British raft race series organised by the ERC. All the effort in recent years has paid off and now they will be able to defend the colours of the flag of England on the most prestigious competition in Europe.​

GBR1The majority of the team have been rafting together ​from 2011 with new paddlers joining them this past year. Previous to joining the team none of them had ever rafted before. This group is fairly active both on and off the water with climbing, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, football and swimming, but they have found a common love – rafting.

Since we now have the opportunity to watch them ​at the ERC 2015 we were interested to hear about their plans and expectations for the coming months, so we ​spoke with Sarah-Jayne and Jess Evans, the 2 sisters in the team​.

GBR3What are your plans for this year and which competitions will you attend?

“At the moment all our focus is on the Euro Champs in Bosnia but we hope that this could help us push forward and look at further competitions and opportunities.”

At the last national competition you won the chance to represent GBR at the ERC in Bosnia as the GBR women’s second team. How do you see this success and what does it mean to you? Also, do you have any expectations from this competition?

“Achieving GBR2 was a fantastic achievement of which we are all proud of. As this is not only our first international competition but our first representing our country we want to perform to the best of our ability. Facing the best rafters in Europe, we are going with self confidence and the belief that nothing is impossible.” – Excellent attitude.

How have you been preparing for this competition, and what is your training looking like​?

“We are all focusing on our individual, personal fitness, increasing our strength and stamina. We have been training together in the raft, concentrating on our endurance training and synchronicity in the raft. We have been training on local canals, lakes and artificial courses.” – That’s perfect. Keep it up.

When are you planning to arrive at the competition?

“​​We are planning on arriving on Mon 18th late evening and we are hoping to get  a chance to familiarise ourselves with the river.​”​

Have you heard about the place? Is there something in particular you want to see and experience? GBR was at the 2009 WRC and achieved great success – have you had any advice from those teams as to what to eat, see and some technical advice on the river?

​”We are really looking forward to the whole experience, being surrounded by like minded rafters and getting some experience of competitions. The 2009 rafters have been very supportive and it is with their training advice and tips that we have been able to progress.​” ​

Since Slalom is your favourite discipline, the River Vrbas will provide you with all the technical demands to enjoy it, especially in that it will be a night ride. I’ve wanted to watch your team live in action, so my wish will be coming true. And going to the ERC is the fulfilment of your wishes.

Any sponsors you want to thank?

  • Steve Mason at Boulderfit – for Personal fitness training
  • Ashley St John Claire @ Outdoor Resources
  • Bury Motor services
  • Rossendale Borough Council
  • Yamba UK Canoe and Kayak shop
  • We would also like to thank friends and family for their sponsorship and support!

Thanks as well from us for your support to this wonderful team.

If you want to find out more about them, hang out and watch their work, you can do so via their facebook page – RedRoseRafting

And one more wish to end from us: We wish you good paddling strokes  :)