Introducing Rafting Club Vidra who will be flying the Slovenian colours in the Open Men’s category at the upcoming World Rafting Champs at Wadi Adventure, Al Ain, in the UAE. And it’s members are: Dejan Kernc, Luka Bratuš, Leon Breznik, Domen Bistan and Matic Jug.
This is the first season that they are paddling together in a raft, but most of the team members come from either a canoe or kayak background. They’re all from Ljubljana or it’s vicinity so they mostly train on the Ljubljanica River or on the Tacen wild water course.
Matic, tell me, where do you train now that the Tacen course is closed?
“Yes, Tacen course is now closed due to renovations, so we must seek other training grounds for wild water, probably on the Solkan course.”
That’s too bad, a really hard situation since Solkan is not near Ljubljana, but it is still a great course.
“We don’t want to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, because we’ve not been together for a long time. But of course there are expectations when you’re going to this kind of event, maybe not loud ones, but there are. Generally we strive for the best possible result and we will see where our maximum effort will take us.”
Which discipline does your team like the most?
“We think that our strongest discipline is Sprint, so naturally it’s Sprint that we like the most :) “
Having to run with the raft will be very interesting for the audience to watch, how are you preparing for this, since, during similar performances in the 2014 ERC R4, many teams lost places to those who were more nimble in this task?
“It sure will be interesting. Well, we incorporated some running with the raft into our training regime and also on days when we aren’t paddling, we all do a lot of cardio, like mountaineering, trail running, cycling.”
Well, we now know that you all have a background of paddling experience and you’re still fresh as a team, but will we be able to watch you next year at some of the EC competitions or…?
How does your team relax after a hard training session?
“We all have full time jobs, so there is not a lot of time for relaxing between work and training. But when there is time, probably like other people, with a good movie or a book, hanging out with friends and talking mostly about rafting :) “
Since our competitions are generally in exotic places, I always ask if there is something in particular that you want to see or experience in the UAE?
“We are very excited to try the surf wave in Wadi Adventure, to see the desert and experience a new culture. All in all the whole trip will be a special experience.”
Thank you Matic for setting aside time to chat with us and help us to meet your SLO OM team before the competition. It is nice to have you guys on board for the WRC. That the competition will not be easy for you we know, so we wish you a good stroke and a lot of fun.