I am going to Japan! – meet NOR OW team for WRC 2017 Japan

We wrote about these beautiful women for the first time in 2013, they have since changed their composition, overcome many challenges, changed the category in which they compete… but they have not and will not give up and we will soon see them in Japan as they compete in the Open category. So, let’s meet them:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcz8Oar8F14&w=449&h=253]


Ine Skjørten Wilson 53- Team Captain, back left paddler, paddling since -87
Favorite river experience: Every day
Favorite rivers: Sjoa (N), Driva (N), Bio Bio (Ch.), Bua (N), Orange river (RSA), and many more, they are all pearls
Championships: Japan 2017 will be her 10’th WRC
Favorite discipline: H2H
Occupation: 40% psychologist, 60% river person, co-owner of Planet River

Experienced knowledge of the Norwegian & international river and competitive rafting scene via 30 years of being in the flow as a kayak instructor, photo boater, raft guide, expedition paddler & national raft team captain.
Balanced by yoga, practicing as a psychologist specialist, photography, art studies and a lovingly attended organic summer vegetable garden.
Ine started river rafting as a guide in 1987 opening up the path for more women in a small community of extreme recreational sports.
In 1991, she arranged with Sølvi Marie Fjeldstad the search to find enough women to put together a team for the Project Raft trial world championship being held in Costa Rica. Driven by a dream about meting other raft enthusiasts and guides in an international environment, where we could broaden our perspective on our jobs and sport- and help placing Norway on the rafting map. A happening with nature and rivers in focus where we meet head on with good fighting spirit, winning and losing with equal smiles.
This resulted in 7 women creating a team we called Ozonlaget (“The Ozone layer” – “Layer” in Norwegian means both: team and layer)
What really hit our nerve and hearts was the thoughts and spirit of the organizers, that we could be a force for good: They wrote:
“In an environment where competition and cooperation coexists in harmony, river runners and friends from different countries will gather together to celebrate their unity and diversity, and express their hopes, concerns and fears for our planet and her people. PURA VIDA! “



Sølvi Marie Fjeldstad 49- back right paddler, paddling since -89
Favorite river experience: Private 21 days trip down the Grand Canyon and going down the Sjoa wearing my wedding-dress in a ducky as part of my wedding
Favorite rivers: “Home river” Sjoa(N), Jori(N) and Jora(N)
Championships: Japan will be her 5th, Project Raft WRC -91 and -93, Camel WWC -95, WRC Indonesia 2015
Favorite discipline: H2H
Occupation: Interior architect and serial entrepreneur within start-ups on new job markets and nature conservation (Seacology Scandinavia)






Ella Camilla Dahle 42, front left paddler, paddling since -95
Favorite river experience: In my kayak down the river Sjoa in Norway during fall – pure magic.
Favorite rivers: My local little playground Klopp Foss, Numedalslågen (N), beautiful and loving Sjoa (N) and amazing Pacuare River (CR)
Championships: Japan will be her 5th, WRC Costa Rica 2011, WRC New Zealand 2013, WRC Indonesia 2015, WRC UAE 2016
Favorite discipline: Downriver, just keep on paddling all the way. Never give up
Occupation: Optician, nutritionist, ski and kayak instructor




Helena Elisabeth Löf Bergan 44, front right paddler, paddling since -97.
Favorite river experience: Corsica, paddling Holiday Easter 2013 on Corse. Looking back with a smile and a laugh. More recently first training run in Al Ain, the flipp, unexpectedly and lovely, fun woke us up and got our focus directed
Favorite rivers: Sjoa, Jori, Finna. (N)
Championships: Japan will be her 4th: WRC Costa Rica 2011, WRC Indonesia 2015, WRC UAE 2016
Favorite discipline: H2H
Occupation: Intensive care nurse
Background for training and inspiration towards this particular championship: “The team is spread out, living in different parts of our beautiful country. Beside raft we all paddle kayak, either on rivers, ocean or lakes. We try to meet up about once a month during season- mid May to October. This year we have gotten more training’s in than ever, also competed in the Danish White-Water Games as well as the Sjoa River Raft Race”


Katrine Granviken – center right paddler, paddling since 1990
Favorite river experience: on the Wairoa in 1992 rafting with Bill from GB and going down Driva in Kayak with my teammate Gyda
Favorite rivers: Driva (N) Maybe I could mention Shotover in NZ where I worked with a fun and crazy bunch of guides
Championships: WRC Indonesia 2015, WRC UAE 2016
Favorite discipline: Down river
Occupation: Police officer

This year started out rough for Katrine when she ended up in a long-lasting coma and a life-threatening situation in January. Katrine is a strong-willed and stubborn athlete, police officer and mother of 3. She gave the doctors quite a heavy answer when they asked why she thought she pulled through the coma – she pointed to the flowers from the team, and she said: “I am going to Japan”

Since January Katrine has followed the team in a private Facebook group where we have posted our personal and team trainings, and she has shared her progress with us. It’s been very emotional and extremely inspirational for us all, and it shows the true spirit of the strength in a team. Katrine`s love for life and respect for how fragile life and our planet can be set an even greater perspective to the essence of what we do, why we do it and how much you can actually set your mind to accomplish.
“Of course, we have practiced our technique, slalom and endurance as often and as best we can, and we feel prepared. We have wonderful rivers, but not many places to train with slalom gates in Norway though.”

Back in Open: Normally it’s a great thing to be able to jump into the master category, as we did 2 years ago when we finally had enough woman over 40 to choose from. We did good in R6 Worlds 2015 where we took gold in H2H, and in R4 in 2016 gold in H2H, silver in Downriver setting up for silver overall.
This year one team member puts us back in the Open class due to her young age. We are excited to see how well we can perform against all the strong and young ladies in Open. Maybe the Yoshino river suits us and maybe our experience can be our strong card. Time will tell…”



Marianne Lodvir Hemsing 28, center left paddler, paddling since 2011
Favorite river experience: That one first perfect spring trip every year. Sun, clear sky, some snow melting by the river bank, great friends, and a water level perfect for shaking of some winter rust …
Favorite rivers: Home river Jondalselva (N)
Championships: First Championship!!! Super excited!!!
Favorite discipline: Slalom
Occupation: Software engineer
“This year we are fortunate enough to have 2 extras on the team. They will be our helping hands, organizers and spare in case of injuries”



Wenche Pettersen 57, all-rounder
Favorite river experience: training on the Sjoa with the team
Championships: first attendee
Occupation: Network Manager @ DNB Norway






Kjersti Strømmen alder, all a rounder
Favorite river experience: Used to work the Sjoa back in the good old days , training dragon boat in China
Championships: First time attendee
Occupation: TV correspondent Asia for NRK Norway





“Masters or Open, it’s all the same for us, the most important thing is that we see them on the WRC in action”

Follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RaftingNMTladies) or on their website: norwegianmasters.wixsite.com/team