HIKO is a team with whom we have already worked (European R4 heavy machinery, HIKO rafting team), and they are generally well known, so we will skip the introductory part and move on to questions.
Ales, let’s start with your impressions from China, where you won first place. What composition was the team there and will it be the same for the UAE?
“WC Yushu, in the Tibetan region, was a wonderful experience for our team. We are happy for every event where we can paddle together and every race is the best practise. There weren’t all the best teams worldwide there, so we can´t compare our actual skills for WRC. We won that World Cup and got to spend a very nice week there and got to know Tibetan culture. The event was very well managed by the Chinese organisers and with prize money for winners. We will be looking out to see if any similar type of rafting event happens there again in the future!
We have the same composition of our team since 2008, and that is: Jan Havlicek, Ales Danek, Ondrrej Pinkava and Jan Stastny, but the only one changed compared to the China WC is fifth member, Ondrej Rolenc, specialist for Downriver who will be with us in Al Ain to be stronger and competitive :) ”
Congratulations on your success in China.
The artificial course in the UAE brings with it an interesting time during the Downriver, running with the raft – how have you been preparing for this challenge? ERC R4 2014 had similar and was very entertaining.
“Ouuuu, this is not something that we like. We need wild nature rivers as real downriver. This won´t be the first time in a WRC, we also had this in Netherlands 2010, it´s very crazy … we practise running separately, not with the raft. We will see exactly how it will be, what terrain, how many laps … “
Will you arrive early at the WRC for preparation?
“We will be there one day for training before. For acclimatisation – two days in Dubai”
Twice as many participants are at this than the previous R4 WRC competition, but you’re familiar with teh majority of teams, who do you see in the top 5?
“Brazilian, Russian, Bosnian, Britain, Slovenian … don´t know what about Japanese, didn’t see them registered….”
Yes, it’s a pity Japan Open Men are not coming.
After so many years in rafting what motivates you all this time?
“We are happy to be together at competitions, also with other teams worldwide, tension of races, visiting new exotic destination :) “
What would be your “dream come true” regarding the rafting?
“If possible, to compete on the Zambezi River or the Brahmaputra River”
I know you guys enjoy travelling, so what is it that you will particularly love to experience and see in the UAE?
“To compete in the desert, that´s something new that we will be doing :) “
Ales, thanks for the time that you set aside for the interview.
It is interesting to be in a team that all eyes are upon during the competition, but these guys deal well with this, and since mine are too I always enjoy watching their performance on the water. I am glad that I will again have the opportunity to watch them in the desert of the Middle East (www.wadiadventure.ae/wrc2016/), and the other teams from the Open Men’s category will, as usual, have a great opponent and motivation on the course.