WRC 2017 – Costa Rican Open Women’s Team

We are always pleased to present the national teams before the start of the World Championship, at this time we’re presenting to you the Costa Rican Open Women’s team.

“We are Machacas, the team created by Asociación Machacas (Women Rafting Association), proud to represent Costa Rica as the Open Women Rafting Team in Japan 2017.  

Our team name, Machacas, was inspired in this kind of fish, relative of the piranha, found in our home rivers.  They are known to live and look for their prey always in groups.  They are stronger when working together.

Our team will be represented by 7 members. Carol, Lil and Omara, are the pillars, they have been competing together for over 10 years.  Maria and Johanna are our youngest, looking forward this new experience.  Melida and Inger, are new members but have already been in the competitive world.  We all have different lives and scenarios, but we are united by the passion for rafting.

Our Association, was found originally by a group of passionate people, with the mission to empower women to reach their dreams through the practice of rafting and paddle sports.  We encourage young girls, mums, students, workers and women in general, to grow a passion, to be healthy, to be confident, to get out of the square and to feel supported by all the members of our community.  

We are looking forward to representing Costa Rica as Women Master Team and Women U19 Team, for the next Championships. We welcome new people that want simply to come share, help, have fun with us, or to commit to training with us for greater performance.

We are the perfect mix, really excited for the beauty and challenge that Japan World’s will have. We have made a big effort to get there and we are ready to give the best of ourselves in every competition, we are ready to have fun, to learn, to experience new cultures, rivers, people and moments”.

Meet the team:

Competitor: Lil Castro Pacheco
Position: on the right
How long have you been in the rafting? 20 years in rafting
What do you like about rafting? The challenge in a natural environment and the friendship and trust we develop with our team mates is what I appreciate the most.
Favorite discipline: Downriver is my favorite discipline.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general?  I personally always do as best as I can, and i always want to win. We know that we will be competing against very experienced and strong teams, but I trust my team mates and I know we have the potential to do an excellent competition.
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? Japan is known for its culture, mitic temples and courteous people.  I would love to see that and obviously enjoy every minute of the competition.

Competitor: Mélida Barbee
Position: Varies, front or center, either side.
How long racing rafting competitively? 3 years but a life time recreationally
What do you like about rafting? The rawness of it. The wildness. It’s you, the river and beauty of its course and trail. Sharing that energy with others is incomparably rewarding.
Favorite discipline: Downriver and slalom
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general? To have a great time, experience new things, and hopefully finish strong and in a better position than the last two years
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? Nature, culture, heritage, gastronomy…

Competitor: Omara Fuks (captain)
Position: Back left
How long have you been in rafting?  10 years
What do you like about rafting? The places I get to see and how you train your reaction
Favorite discipline? Slalom
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally?  I do wish to take home some medals, I love to win and I effort myself to most for it. We know the teams that are going are super experience and strong, but if we focus and trust ourselves we will get nice results. Hope to climb on the ranking as much as possible and to grow a lot as a team. And everyday mission, have fun!
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? Super excited to see the rivers and the culture, we are from the opposite side of the world, would love to experiment new food and make new friends .

Competitor: Johanna Pereira Rojas
Position: Front Left, Center Left
How Long have you been in the rafting? I lowered the Pacuare river for the first time six years ago and it was really an exquisite experience, but it was three years ago that I started rafting on a daily basis, accompanying my boyfriend rafting guide to his office,  until this year , in January the team Machacas gave me the opportunity to do it for competition, and the experience has been very enriching, to understand techniques and to make essential movements have complemented my passion.
What do you like about Rafting? Contact with nature, feel the adrenaline, feel when the paddle enters the water and make you move the raft. Meet people with the same passion, known that I have the guts to do it, it is a sport of strong people
Favorite discipline? Downriver
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general? My expectations for this world championship, is to go give everything, everything I know and what I have learned, and also to learn a lot more from the other teams, this is just the beginning, I want to achieve my medals, and I am very confident to do it because the team that I adopt is very strong both in work and in the union of group, are women intense and fighters like me.
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? I would like to know a lot about this mystic culture, and to have that natural contact with the roots of this fantastic country

Competitor: Carol Vargas Sánchez (coach)
Position: Front right
How long have you been in the rafting? I have rafted for about 27 years. I started on the Project Raft in 1991 with an international team called Youth Unlimited. Since then, I invite women to join me on running rivers and representing the female gender on this sport.
What do you like about Rafting? I like the lifestyle that rafting brings along. It develops many important values in everyone’s life such as tolerance, respect, loyalty, humbleness, gratitude and love for nature and for your team members. It is a very noble sport, that challenges people not only physically but also emotionally.
Favorite discipline? I consider Slalom the most challenging competition. It is the event in which you have to listen, feel and understand the river. It measures all your river skills, team work capacity and team endurance in a very graceful way. I call it “Dancing with the River”. And I love Dancing.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general? We have good river techniques. I hope we can get well positioned at Slalom.  We expect to become better paddlers as a team. So in this championship we want to see a team work improvement and to enjoy this competition the most.
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? I’m just very grateful for this opportunity to visit Japan. I’m looking forward to meet local people, live the local life, live the culture and language. Eat the local food and to see whatever there is to see. Thank you Japan. Pura vida!

Competitor: Maria Del Mar Vargas Sojo
Position: Left Center
How long have you been in the rafting? I began to practice rafting in 2008, it was there that I met an excellent person Carol Vargas is currently Athlete and coach of the team, thanks to her that taught me everything I know about rafting to this day. It is now 9 years of practicing and knowing Rafting as a sport and as a passion. I retired from the rafting a time for reasons of study and maternity since I am mother of two small children. I regroup again in the beginning of 2016 to compete in December in the National Competition R6, in which we qualify for the World Rafting Japan 2017. At the moment I am proud to belong to a team as beautiful as Machacas.
What do you like about Rafting? Sometimes I talk to some people about my sport they do not know what it is, at that moment I think: How is it possible that these people do not know that there is something as wonderful as Rafting. LOL!!!
Personally, what I like most about Rafting is the rivers, I love it, and the atmosphere of nature. I can walk through the white water, clinging to my oar and our raft. Every time I enter the raft I feel like the adrenaline runs through our veins and I think of how lucky I am to practice a sport as extreme and as beautiful as Rafting. Something very important that I like about Rafting is that thanks to it and known incredible people that have left a mark on me, the Rafting taught me that if I fall I get up, that although the waters are high and there is our storm boat will always be afloat. Rafting I like because it makes us feel safe women of us, it teaches us that the teamwork that is done is really big and important
Favorite discipline? Head to head. I like all disciplines but my favorite is the H2H, in this discipline you deliver soul, body and heart to fulfill the goal that is to reach the goal before your opponent! It is at that moment that you remember how hard you are trained to give the best you have.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general? Only our team and I know how hard we have tried to get here, so my expectations regarding the result are quite good and positive, I feel very sure of myself and of all my teammates, I am aware that it will be one tough competition but we will give the best we have. I know we are able to get what we set out.
In general I wish the best to each of the participating teams of all categories and win the best. Paddle Hard!!
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? In relation to the competition I am anxious to see the river and the place where the event and its beautiful nature, to go to travel the Yoshino River is a huge pride. I am very excited to experience a competition as big as this world and in a place as magical as Japan. In reference to the country itself, I would like to know its ancient and mystical temples and observe its developed city. In Japan I want to experience the taste of their exotic and daring meals. Pura Vidaaa to CRC !!!

Competitor: Inger Quesada Granados
Position: Front Left
How long have you been in the rafting? 25 years of experience as a raft guide. 26 years as a Whitewater Safety Kayaker.
What do you like about Rafting? I love what a Strong and Experienced Team can accomplish. How we complement each other and trust our skills. Weader we are all together or not, our minds are pointing towards our best roll in this amazing White Water  World Championships,  as do all the other competitors who have great experience and techniques.
Favorite discipline? My favorite discipline it’s Slalom, I enjoy the technically of the Competition  “a raft and six participants making timely precised moves to fit through a still obstacle in the middle of fast moving whitewater.” Pretty Challenging and skilled part of the Competition where you see everyone’s endurance and command of the sport.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what are your expectations in general? Participating being in the rushing white water, sharing this amazing time with my teammates . Take home a thousand memories knowing we did our best, AND see those results. Enjoy each part of this Whitewater World Rafting Celebration.  OUR efforts have been met , we are here, we trained, we worked hard and we are here in Osaka, Japan 2017.  One of my dreams come true.  Japan, rich in 1000’s of years of culture, unique places, beautiful and smart people with new ways of seeing what we see…
What would you like to see and experience in Japan? Can’t wait to stroll the streets, of course fest in some delicious local food sharing life in this amazing country with great friends!! I love the White Water World. See you all in Japan!

You can follow them via: www.facebook.com/MachacasCR

See you in Japan, girls!