Six continents in Ziyuan

Six continents in Ziyuan

Six continents in Ziyuan were represented at this prestigious IRF World Cup. Brazil, Czech Republic, New Zealand and Norway dominated the podium at the 2018 IRF Ziyuan Rafting Festival. A broad spectrum of IRF member nation’s teams attended the event with thrills, two spills and no definitely no chills.

Representative teams from six continents attended the rafting festival this year. We had teams ranging in age from U19 to Masters all fiercely competing in what can only be described as amazing race conditions on the ZiJiang and Wupai Rivers. We had teams from Argentina, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Serbia, USA and Zimbabwe. Just to spice it up, some teams also had team mates from other IRF member nations including Netherlands and Slovenia – this was truly a World Cup!

Ziyuan 2018On the training day, a rafting forum was hosted to bring together Ziyuan and Guilin government representatives with leading water sports leaders to look to the future about how rafting and a river culture can develop a community and bring in a vibrant tourism industry. IRF President – Joe Willis Jones, New Zealand Rafting Association Chair – Tim WD Marshall, and Romania Rafting Association Chair – Mihai Mares all gave engaging presentations.
Sprint and Head-to-Head were held on the Zijiang River upstream of the section used last year. Slightly longer and with a challenging rapid in the middle to test the nerves of all, no one came away without a smile on this river.

Head-to-Head followed the new race format and had nothing but very positive feedback – tactics came into play on every run. Other than two buoys having minds of their own in the current and needing to be reset, it made for engaging and nail biting viewing.

Final results for the Sprint:
Open Men: 1st – CZE 🇨🇿, 2nd – NZL 🇳🇿, 3rd – BRA 🇧🇷
Open Women: 1st – CZE 🇨🇿, 2nd – NZL 🇳🇿, 3rd – NOR 🇳🇴

Final results for the Head-to-Head:
Open Men: 1st – BRA 🇧🇷, 2nd – NZL 🇳🇿, 3rd – CZE 🇨🇿
Open Women: 1st – NZL 🇳🇿, 2nd – NOR 🇳🇴, 3rd – CZE 🇨🇿

Downriver was held on 8kms of the Wupai River. To say this river is one of the most suited for downriver is an understatement. It starts with a slide over a weir and straight into grade 2 before warming up to grade 3 rapids interspersed with quick grade 2 sections before entering the canyon with a fast and furious rapid not for the faint of heart.

There was much rejoicing and celebrating together at the finish line. This event brought together the teams into one common international fraternity.

The day after downriver, a Stand Up Paddleboard contest was held with 28 raft racers taking part with varying degrees of success. Who knew we had so many keen competitive SUP racers within our rafting family!

Final results for the Downriver:
Open Men: 1st – BRA 🇧🇷, 2nd – CZE 🇨🇿, 3rd – NZL 🇳🇿
Open Women: 1st – CZE 🇨🇿, 2nd – NZL 🇳🇿, 3rd – NOR 🇳🇴

Final results for Overall:
Open Men: 1st – BRA 🇧🇷, 2nd – CZE 🇨🇿, 3rd – NZL 🇳🇿
Open Women: 1st – CZE 🇨🇿, 2nd – NZL 🇳🇿, 3rd – NOR 🇳🇴

With six nations in Ziyuan, friends new and old raced together and celebrated hard at the end. The closing ceremony featured a lot of singing, dancing and jumping around the stage by all teams, organisers, safety team and SUP competitors.

Thanks to everyone who took part and/or helped out. A massive shout out to Tim Marshall and Paul Eames for taking the time to run a safety course with the Chinese Safety team prior to the event.

#RaftingFamily #StrongerTogether #WeAreIRF #RaftersAreAwesome