We first talked to this team back in 2012 about WRC in Czech, then before going to Brazil for WRC R4 in 2014, and after that before WRC 2016 in Al Ain. This time we asked them about their preparation for IRF WRC 2017 in Japan:
“Jenita Göbel, we’re interested in how you got into this team? – “Forward Motion started as a friends team 5 years ago. Every year this team is changing because everyone who likes rafting and wants to come and train with us is welcome. We are always hoping to make the sport bigger with this system but because of this system we have to start over every time to teach people how to paddle. That`s why Marleen and Jenita decided to also join a ladies team 2 years ago, to get more training, more techniques and to get a step further ahead.
Forward Motion normally just ends below the more experienced teams at the final result. With new members every race it’s hard to get better as a team and perform good at races. This year we ended on a 3th place in the qualification race. Luckily for us the winning team decided just a few days before closing the entry not to go to the WRC and apparently the 2nd team couldn’t organize this trip anymore at this short notice. We were number 3 on the list and tried everything to find people with money and time to still make it possible for The Netherlands to send a team to the WRC.
Paul and Jenita did start Forward Motion in 2012, Thijmen joined us in 2014 when he was actually still too young. Marleen did respond on our call for extra people in the R6 for the national championships and went afterwards to the youth WRC in 2014. Mark just started rafting last winter with us and Pauline we stole from the ladies team where Marleen and Jenita were training with. And our newest member Marcus did start rafting in Mai this year because we needed someone extra at the qualification and we thought he would might like it plus already had some kayak experience.”
Do you train on the DWD artificial course and how often? – “Unfortunately this course has been closed for the last few years. We were lucky to have our qualifications on this course and one training this year. But we only have trainings on flat water at the moment. Because it’s a last minute decision to go to the WRC people still need to work and can’t take too many days off. We try to be on the water at least 1 day and where possible four times a week.”
Are you able to arrive in Japan earlier to help with your preparations? – “We will arrive two days earlier in Osaka to relax and get used to Japan and the time difference.”
Meet the team:
Competitor: Mark de Wit
Position: Left front
How long have you been in rafting? – I did started with this team last winter
What do you like about rafting? – The freedom which you have on the water and working together as a team.
Favorite discipline? – Slalom, because it`s working together as a team and using the stream. That`s what is making it my favorite.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – We didn’t had that much time to prepare ourselves. So I don’t really have high expectations. I just want to have the experience of being part of a WRC, and hopefully use that experience in the future to participate in more WRCs
The craziest moment in rafting? – None yet, otherwise hearing that we got the chance to go to the WRC this year after not expecting this.
Competitor: Jenita Göbel
Position: Right back
How long have you been in rafting? – 7 years, but the last 5 years it has been competition rafting.
What do you like about rafting? – I like the challenge of working together as a team on white water. All looking to the same line, thinking about what would work the best and then making that all happen.
Favorite discipline? – Slalom, but I like downriver as well if the river is technical and has a beautiful environment.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – My expectations related to the results are not that much. We didn’t expect that we had a chance to go to Japan. So everyone in our team had different plans in summer and by the time we found out that we got this opportunity we had to organize so much like money and finding out which team members could get off from school or work. That we only had 1,5 month to train together and make this look and paddle like a team. I hope that with the experience we already have and a little bit of luck, that we will surprise ourselves and others of course. In general I think Yoshino river is beautiful and powerful and will make this a tough race and definitely worth to travel for.
The craziest moment in rafting? – I have had so many crazy moments. Every competition has something special to remember. But what I will never forget is the downriver at the youth WRC in 2014. Such a short downriver, but we had to start in a strong eddy with multiple teams. After one minute of paddling you had to be in the right line on the other side of the river. We did miss this line by 2 meters and did hit a wave in a wrong angle. I remember myself trying to dive to the high side of the boat and getting launched. We flipped… after 3 strokes of swimming back up I was at the water surface and saw one person holding on to the boat while another trying to re-flip the boat. The 3th one was swimming to the wrong direction trying to rescue his paddle and shoes. In less than a minute we were back in the boat and paddling harder than before, but of course with a minute of swimming you can’t keep up with the other teams.
Competitor: Paul Ligtenberg
Position: Right front
How long have you been in rafting? – 5 years
What do you like about rafting? – I like the teamwork during a race or training. And the experience of going to places where you would never go to if I wasn’t rafting.
Favorite discipline? – Slalom
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – I don’t really have high expectations about the WRC but I want to paddle as hard as possible. And look back at the WRC and be able to say: this was our best race ever!
The craziest moment in rafting? – During a H2H training at the youth WRC in 2012 we did paddle against another Dutch team. We were leading and at that moment the Italian team came out from a eddy, which did led to that we decided to stop paddling. But our captain screamed: Go on! So we went on paddling with the result that we went over the Italian team. But the most important thing was that we won.
Competitor: Marcus Jaken
Position: Right middle
How long have you been in rafting? – Been rafting for 1 year now.
What do you like about rafting? – As a kayaker there is a teamspirit on the water in terms of safety. The team spirit in rafting is pushing you to your limits, you’ll give everything you`ve got in a game.
Favorite discipline? – Head to Head; The adrenaline in the heat of the battle is fantastic.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – Safety comes first for the team and i hope we can make our sponsors proud!
The craziest moment in rafting? – During the qualifications this year I got a foot in my face from someone in the team ahead of us during the downriver (down the track six times). So I did one run without feeling a thing in my face, it was completely numb.
Competitor: Pauline Gispen
Position: Left back
How long have you been in rafting? – Since 2006.
What do you like about rafting? – The teamwork, the live on the river, the way you have to be one as a team, to be outside on lovely places.
Favorite discipline? – Slalom and downriver.
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – Not specified. We have too little time to prepare, so make the best of our team is the best result we can get.
The craziest moment in rafting? – While we were training in Amsterdam (no white water for us) the police told us that we were not allowed to paddle behind central station, because… we need a motor to keep a speed of 6 km per hour… Well our answer was… We can paddle that and we know for sure that our motor will keep on going….. unfortunately, that was not the right answer and we had to paddle outside the fairway. So if you ever want to train in the canals of Amsterdam. Please contact me, I know where and where not you can paddle, and know what light to bring.
Competitor: Marleen de Goede
Position: Left and right middle
How long have you been in rafting? – 3 years
What do you like about rafting? – I think rafting is exciting and that makes it fun. You have to work together and It’s always fun in a team.
Favorite discipline? – Slalom
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – I expect to have lots of fun and to get down the river safely.
The craziest moment in rafting? – Paddling and flipped on a river where it could be 60 meters deep and crocodiles are swimming
Competitor: Thijmen de Vree
Position: Left middle
How long have you been in rafting? – 2 years now
What do you like about rafting? – I like the enthusiasm of all teams
Favorite discipline? – Head to head
Do you have any expectations related to the result and what your expectations are generally? – I just hope it will be a lot of fun during the races.
The craziest moment in rafting? – Last year the Youth WRC was the craziest. Great experience and my first WRC ever.
Sponsors that you want to thank?
We would like to thank everyone who sent us money on the crowdfunding GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/fundtheNLraftteam) And also: Marco Swier (www.tuinwerkzaamheden.nl) for helping us out with t-shirts, GOPEP (www.gopep.nl) water experience & events for sponsoring our sweaters, the NRB for the invitation and helping us out making this all happen last minute: www.raftbond.nl
It was nice to chat with you again. We wish you a good stroke and enjoy the WRC :)