Bali must be wondering about the sudden influx of fit looking athletes, some with funny tans, many wearing T-shirts proclaiming WRC 2015 Indonesia!
As we all come down off the high of another WRC we can look back at a great event held on the Citarik River. For many it started with a feeling of chaos – the drive from Jakarta airport out to the Citarik River was quite an eye opener! Never have I seen a two lane freeway convert into a 5 lane freeway so quickly! The latter half of the drive, with the motor bikes whizzing past us in all directions and it being at night, felt a little like we were inside a computer game. For the majority of us it was an entertaining 6 to 7 hour drive.
Arriving at camp and being led along narrow walk ways between houses, along slippery path ways next to the river and often over hanging pedestrian bridges to get to one’s ethnic accommodation in the middle of the night added to the feeling of the big adventure.
But the feeling of chaos quickly dissipated as the event itself got under way and the races started happening. Soon everyone was buried in the moment of racing, training, scouting and preparing for the next race. Rain was wished for then the wishes were for it to slow down! Every day saw mid afternoon thunderstorms and the river fluctuating accordingly making it impossible to be sure of the right lines.
A very good indicator as to how an event has gone is to count the number of complaints. And so we were delighted as to how happy the teams were with the races. A huge thank you needs to go to Yuni (Amalia Yunita), the backbone of every aspect of the event. And another thank you must go to Pieter (Bekkers) who was her right hand for the racing side. Behind these two were a formidable team, including the marines, who made everything happen, from getting everyone moved from Jakarta airport to the event location, to handing out water to those working on the race days, to many other tiny details.
And soon we were once again congratulating new R6 World Champions:
Russia, the U19 World Champions in both the Men’s and Women’s categories!
The men’s team were also defending World Champions. The efforts Russia are putting in to their Youth is certainly paying off and will certainly also show benefits in the years to come.
Both teams were thwarted from making clean sweeps of all disciplines – U23 Men by Indonesia who took advantage of being on home ground and won the Downriver; and in the U23 Women the Czechs took the Gold for Slalom. The U23 Men successfully defended their title to remain the World Champions.
Brazil, Open Men World Champions, again!
This team were R6 World Champions in 2007, 2009 and 2013 as well as being runners up in R4 in 2010 and the champions last year! A very successful team!
Czech first won the Open Women World Championship in 2001 and then again in 2005, 2007 and 2011 as well as being on the podium for Overall in 2003, 2009 and 2013. The Czechs definitely produce strong teams, this team have been going since 2009.
New Zealand – World Champions of the Masters in Men’s and Women’s categories!
The Master’s Women also defended their title, this time with stiffer competition as this category sees some good growth.
Congratulations to all these World Champions! And to all the teams who won medals in each discipline.
Special mentions must go to:
- Indonesia who walked away with a good collection of medals, the first time they’ve won any at a WRC and we can be sure it won’t be their last.
- Malaysia who competed for the first time at an IRF World Rafting Champs – welcome and we hope to see you at all the futures ones!
- Argentina Open Men – a new flag on the Overall podium!
- an amazing effort by Paul Roozendaal who came down with the dreaded tummy bug the night before the Downriver, but he still climbed into the raft, led his team to a Downriver victory over the formidable Brazil Open Men’s team, and then had to spend the next 24 hours in the medical tent on a drip!
- the GBR U19 Women’s team who are a netball team that started rafting for the first time a year ago! Well done!
- the talented singers and guitarists in the Dutch Women’s team and Argentinian Men’s team that often entertained us in the evenings at Caldera!
- Rafa for taking time out to present some talks to us, important locals and at the nearby schools about the history of the World Champs, the importance of the first ever carbon neutral World Champs and the reasons why we need to make a positive impact on our world.
- Garrick Cameron who could be seen with his long lensed camera, wading on the edge of the river to get the amazing shots we have all been enjoying and using via our Facebook page.
- Frans and Parki for all the videographer work they did and which we could watch at Caldera in the evenings and will soon be seeing on social media as well.
- Nada, who kept things ticking over for the IRF from way back in Serbia
U19 and U23:
Open and Masters:
- Training Day;
- Opening Ceremony & Training;
- U19/U23 SP & H2H;
- U19/U23 – Slalom AND Open/Masters Sprint;
- U19/23 DR;
- Open/Masters Slalom;
- Medal Ceremonies and Training;
- Open Downriver;
- Masters Downriver;