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Queensland Government boosts World Rafting Championships

Tully gears up to host world-class event in 2019

The Queensland Government has thrown its support behind the 2019 International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championships on the Tully River.

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) will be working in partnership with the Australian Rafting Federation on the world-class event which is forecast to bring hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators to tropical Far North Queensland in May next year.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announced the Queensland Government, via TEQ, would provide funding and support for the IRF World Rafting Championships.

“This event is a first for Australia and we are delighted to be hosting it right here in Tropical North Queensland,” Ms Jones said.

“Both locals and visitors will enjoy all the action of the World Rafting Championships against the beautiful backdrop of the Tully River.”

“Competitors and spectators from around the world will attend this event, providing a boost to local tourism industry and economy.”

The Australian Rafting Federation secured the world championship event last May in a first for Australia.

WRC 2019 event director, Tully rafter and cane farmer Graham Maifredi, said having the Queensland Government on board, through TEQ, was a major boost.

“This region has so much to offer – from white water rafting and scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef to sky-diving onto tropical beaches, island-hopping and hiking and mountain biking in world-heritage rainforest – and an event like the 2019 World Rafting Championships can shine an international spotlight on us and drive tourism,” Maifredi said.

“We also want this event to create local jobs and boost the economy by increasing visitors to our region.”

“We are honoured to have TEQ working with us.”

The IRF World Rafting Championships will be staged over eight days on the Tully River and is expected to bring up to 700 athletes and thousands of spectators to the region.  The event will feature downriver races and sprints as well as slalom racing and head-to-head race-offs, with national representatives from up to 90 countries ranging from open crew members to masters and youth teams.

The Australian Rafting Federation is also working with Stanwell Corporation, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and Raging Thunder Adventures as strategic partners and has support from the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Queensland National Parks, the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and traditional owners, Tropical Coast Tourism and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor John Kremastos said the council was dedicated to supporting major sporting events in the region and was proud to be a strategic partner for the event.

“We congratulate TEQ for supporting this first world rafting championship on the Tully River,’’ Mayor Kremastos said.

The World Rafting Championships are supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland’s It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, which is forecast to deliver $780 million in economic benefit to the state in 2018.

The World Rafting Championships website is at and more details can be seen on the IRF’s website and Facebook page.

This event will be preceded by a Pre-worlds and national rafting championships on the Tully River in May this year which is forecast to bring more than 100 paddlers to the Cassowary Coast region.