WRC 2017 – GB Open Womens Team aiming for more medals

Being crowned World Champions at the R4 WRC in Al Ain last year certainly adds pressure to the head game. These women have come through adversity this year (broken collar bone to name but one of the injuries) and found themselves fighting fit and ready to give it their all in Japan. This medal winning team has taken on board two members from last year’s GB U19W medal winning team to increase the odds in their favour. Here we meet the team as they prepare for their journey to Japan.

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Fieke Reijntjes – Team Captain, Back Right
Favourite River Experience: My first downriver in Korea. Scouting the river with all teams and then racing a river that no-one had actually seen before due to the increase of water level
Favourite River(s): Paquare, Kaituna, Devils stream, Wadi (Al Ain)
Championships (attended/competed in to date): All since Korea apart from Zoetermeer
Favourite discipline: Slalom
Occupation: Logistics Manager
Inspiration for this competition: Travel, new culture, sport, friends, challenge, nature


Victoria Richards – Front Left
Favourite River(s): Tryweryn
Experience: GB slalom kayaking (10 years), 1 year rafting
Championships (attended/competed in to date): IRF European Champs in Georgia
Favourite discipline: Slalom
Occupation: Editor
Inspiration for this competition: 1st world championships – most competitive and diverse start line to date


Lizzie Neave – Front Right
Favourite River Experience: racing 2012 Olympics slalom/ finishing the brutal Downriver in Al Ain and realising we were World Champions
Favourite River(s): Lee Valley White Water Centre, Kaituna, La Seu d’Urgell
Championships (attended/competed in to date): Al Ain, and Georgia
Favourite discipline: Slalom
Occupation: currently on a gap year!
Inspiration for this competition:  To race and compete in a strong team of friends


Kimberley Woods – Middle Left
Favourite River Experience: Taking a river trip down the Tryweryn and leading my grandad down Bala Mill Falls
Favourite River(s): Isère (Bourg St Maurice)
Championships (attended/competed in to date): Senior World Championships (canoe slalom) 13/15/17
Favourite discipline: Slalom
Occupation: Full time athlete (GB Slalom)
Inspiration for this competition: First time competing international in a raft alongside wonderful team mates!


Emily Evans – Back Left
Favourite River Experience: WRC last year – being crown World Champions
Favourite River(s): Devils Stream in Lipno… bouncy and narrow!
Championships (attended/competed in to date): Euros 2012, Worlds 2016
Favourite discipline: Slalom followed closely by Downriver
Occupation: Raft Guide / Massage Therapist
Inspiration for this competition: My team mates, they inspire me to paddle my best and to stay level headed – to work as a team


Amber Forrow – Middle Right
Favourite River Experience:  Al Ain last year and achieving podium in each discipline
Favourite River(s): 
Lee Valley White Water Centre
Championships (attended/competed in to date): Indonesia, UAE and Georgia
Favourite discipline: Head-to-Head
Inspiration for this competition: I would say my inspiration for this competition is my teammates and coaches, I want to perform well as I know how important it is to everyone and I want to make all the hours people have put in worthwhile


Molly Coull – Middle/Back Left
Favourite River Experience: The second run of slalom in Georgia. The course was a good set out of technical moves that took us some time to perfect as a team. When it came to the race, we done well on both runs. But our final run felt amazing. I did not care where we came overall because it was the best we had performed on that course. It obviously was a great bonus that we won gold by 9 seconds!
Favourite River(s): all of them, no matter the grade. Every river gives me a different experience
Championships (attended/competed in to date): Indonesia, Al Ain, Georgia
Favourite discipline: Downriver
Occupation: Raft Guide – currently finishing a season at Area47, Austria
Inspiration for this competition: This is my first year competing as part of the Open Women’s team. Being in a category two stages higher than my age range pushes me to train the hardest that I can


The team are supported by Team Manager and Coach, Sean Clarke and Head Coach, Tom Quinn


You can follow the team across their social media profiles throughout the competition:
@GBWomensRafting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Photo credits: Phil Hutchinson Photography and Sean Clarke