Russia certainly dominated this Euro Championship as they came away as the new Euro Rafting Champions in U19 Men and Women, U23 Women, and Master Women – well done Russia! Slovenia, the home nation, can be very proud of their U23 Men and Open Men as they are the new Euro Champions in those categories. Czech are the new Champions in the Masters Men and Great Britain in the Open Women.
There are always some stories that are worth mentioning – one of them is the story of one young man, Trninić Djordje, among friends known as Đoka, a passionate fan of Dayak rafting team from Banja Luka, who hitched a ride all the way so as to cheer on his team. Where there is a will, there is a way.
The number of mothers in the Open Women category is growing, we have a real baby boom! It was nice to see roles reversed with Dad holding the baby while Mum paddled.
On Slalom day the the weather finally began to improve, more and more sun. Then there was an almighty downpour, with thunder and lightening, luckily in between the two Slalom runs, and quickly it was gone.
In the stands, we could see the fans from the primary school in Straza, family and friends of local athletes, teams that had supported each other gathered around their flags, so in the stands it was fun and lively. As many of you are familiar, Slovenia loves its “cheering” tools, the ones that make a LOT of noise! An entire stand of them is quite something, quite deafening! Beautiful atmosphere!
It was a difficult Slalom course, causing one flip and a few swims. A good challenge that some, like the Czech Open Men, were very much up for, getting such a fast time and clear! The Danish Open Women must be mentioned – a Silver amongst these top teams is a great achievement and is the first medal of this type for their country.
There are plenty of photos and videos to be seen on our IRF Euro Rafting Champs Facebook Page.
Thanks must go to Andrej Petkovič for overseeing the entire running of the event, Simon Bobnar for race directorship, Uroš Lovrenčič and Janko Tavčar for their work with the judging and judges, Samo Jakljič for the work on the varied accommodation, Aljosa Horvat and his safety team, the timing team, Goran Lolic as Head Judge, his jury and judging team, and the other people behind all these leaders who worked hard to make this event run as smoothly and efficiently as it did. Thanks also need to go to town of Straza, Dušan Krštinc – their Mayor, Rafting Club Gimpex Straza, the Slovenian Rafting Federation, and last, but not least, all the sponsors that committed to this event and so made it happen.