The honour of representing Argentina in the Open Women’s category at the IRF 2016 World Rafting Champs in Al Ain, UAE, at the end of October this year goes to: Sofia Paso Viola, Denise Martinez, Valeria Cobos and Cris Anello. But this success was also due to their coaching staff: Matias Lopez, Marcelo Ruiz, Ariel Dominguez; and trainer: Totoras Arce Santiago.
What are your backgrounds for rafting?
“The team members do white water and flat water kayaking. Cris does mountain biking and is very good at it. Sofia and I have competed in kayaking on different rivers. For example on the Futaleufu River I achieved a second place in the kayak down river.”
That is a fantastic achievement.
“Denise has been 9 years on the river: as a kayaking and rafting guide. Sofia has seven years with another team – paddling, rafting and kayaking, and also guiding. Cris has been paddling in river rafting for three years now. It is 2 years since I started paddling in the municipal school of rafting, which is carried out by the men’s rafting team, Crabs Atuel.” – It’s a nice mix of experience. – “We have also gone to Chile to compete on the Futaleufu River, where we won first place in the Downriver.”
“We are preparing for the WRC with specific gym work carried out by our trainer Santiago Arce, and as our rivers are dammed, we trained in winter on an artificial lake, which is in the middle of the city of San Rafael, Mendoza. We train slalom, and different exercises. In July they release the water into the river, so we train there, too.”
“Our first aim is to participate and be at our best in Al Ain, and then to measure ourselves against the other teams to know what level we are, and keep working and improving.
And the WRC will be a good international competition to test our skills. We’ve been training a lot so as to represent our country in Al Ain at the WRC.”
Yes, it is hard to know how non-euro teams will compare with other teams as there are few opportunities to compete against them until the WRC. Often we are surprised by these unknown teams winning medals. We hope you will surprise us.
Is there anything in particular you want to see and experience in the UAE?
“The journey in itself for us will be a unique thing. We want to upgrade our knowledge in UAE and have our first experience out of Argentina.”
WRC competitions certainly do provide a unique experience and remain forever in ones memory.
“As it would be our first international experience and a WRC, we would like to thank the government of Mendoza for managing our tickets, to Freekky Clothing, AvalanchA, Ultrashifter, ASLEK and Kayak Center.”
And my last question for the end. What ice cream do you like?
“Definitely is dulce de leche granizado!”
You can follow them on their Facebook page.
It is a great honour to represent your country at a World competition. There is no doubt they will enjoy being amongst all those other countries that will be at Wadi Adventure. We wish them a good time and a good stroke.