Pre WRC Argentina: 28 teams, 7 countries, 4 continents, 1 objective: Taming the Aluminé and Ruca Choroi rivers
28 international and local teams from the Czech Republic, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Japan, and Brazil will test their energy against the spirited Aluminé and Ruca Choroi rivers.
The opening ceremony of the 2017-Villa Pehuenia was held in the city hall facilities with the presence of all 28teams, Joe Willie Jones – IRF President, Omar Gutierrez – Governor of Neuquén province and the event organisers Gabriel Alamo and Sandro Badilla. Speeches and words of appreciation opened the competition. The highlight of the evening was the dance ensemble that had everyone up and dancing .
“Live the strength of the river”
Teams have travelled from across the globe to compete at the Pre WRC Argentina: Mexico is represented by their Open Men; Chile will cross the mountain range with its Open and Mens and Womens teams from the neighbouring city of Pucón. Australia’s Open Women are showing off their new sparkly helmets here in the sun! The Japanese (hosts of the recent 2017 IRF World Championship, are represented by their Open Men’s and Women’s teams. Czech Republic have sent their Open Men team. Brazil are showing their strength with two Under 23 Women teams and their top three Open Men’s teams, among whom you will find the current world champions! And last but by no means least, host nation Argentina are using the event as their second event in the year’s race calendar!
The Patagonian mountain range, its climate and its rivers
The biggest surprise for the Brazilian competitors was the crudeness of the Andean climate due to the cold winds that characterize it, especially considering that temperatures in Brazil range from 38º to 40º Celsius.
The first training session on the Ruca Choroi river, saw the Brazilians train Slalom followed by an afternoon Down River on the river Aluminé. Lucas Paulino Da Silva, one of the Brazilian competitors, speaks fluent Spanish so he could express with ease how they are living these first days in Argentine lands. Da Silva commented that they are going to spend “every day to cross the small parts of the rivers to know their particularities and thus to be able to obtain a good position in the competition.” He also expressed that he hopes that their team is “good and healthy and that of course they want to win.” In addition, he explained that for the next year world championship the Brazilian team is determined to arrive several days before “especially to prepare better for the weather.” Finally, Da Silva emphasised the “greatness of the rivers”, the landscapes that surround them and took advantage to thank all “people who are ready to help and are constantly on call. ”