The recent IRF Euro Cup (EC) event in Wildalpen, Austria was the second in the 2018 EC series, the first being the Dracula Race in Romania. And it was the first in the 2018 World Cup series, with the second event being the Pre-Worlds in Australia (9 – 13 May).
The Euro Cup and World Cup Series were the brainchild of Stan Hajeks – he wanted a series of races which were open to all clubs no matter their experience, where they could come improve their skills and enjoy the social aspect of rafting, which – let’s face it – is the key ingredient in a great event!
Nearly 50 teams from 12 nations competed in the largest white water event in Austria in Wildalpen recently. The IRF’s Rafting World Cup, European Cup and the Austrian Championships were again able to offer top athletic performances in fantastic conditions on the Salza.
Getting through a big hit
In addition to the 4 Sprint, H2H, Slalom and Downhill competitions, an extensive supporting program was also offered: “The volunteers are crucial to the success of this event. The whole place helps.” says Anton Graf from the organisation team. From the fire brigade to the numerous club members of the association “Rafting Sport Salzatal“, everyone joins in to ensure that the high standard can be maintained. “We are the World Cup race with the highest starting field,” he explains proudly. For the Styrian Salzatal, the rafting World Cup is the biggest event with an enormous advertising impact in the annual cycle.
From a sporting point of view, the Czech national team, followed by the teams from Germany and Slovenia, were able to win the men’s championship. In the women’s category, the Dutch team beat Denmark and the Czech Republic.
The current national team “Rafting Sport Salzatal 1” achieved the great sensation of the weekend with the World Cup victory in the Sprint. The second team of the performing club was able to move into the final in Head2Head and reach 2nd place.
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At the Austrian Championships “Rafting Sport Salzatal 1” succeeded a great defence of their state championship title. “A complete success,” summarises team captain Arnold Baumann. “The next goals are the participation in further international races, as well as the IRF European Championship in Slovakia”. The silver medal went to “Rafting Sport Salztal 2”, also from Wildalpen. The team “Pub o Cino” from Leoben completes the podium with third place.