It gives us great pleasure to officially announce that in March 2020 the IRF will once again pack our bags and travel to the legendary whitewater of Chile’s Futaleufú river to host an historic 20th anniversary rafting event – the 2020 IRF Invitational World Rafting Cup!
In 2000, the IRF organised the historic Camel White Water Challenge on the Futaleufú river in Patagonia Chile – a race that stands out in the minds of all who attended as one of the greatest race events in the history of rafting sport. Since that time, rafting athletes from all corners of the globe have placed the Futaleufú near the top of their ‘wish list’ for where they would most like the IRF to organise our next world-class rafting event.
In 2017, the IRF Administration began discussing plans with the Municipality of Futaleufú for a repeat visit. We are now very excited to announce that the IRF President recently met on the riverbanks of the Futaleufú with all relevant bodies to sign an historic partnership agreement. The agreement boasts the signatures of the Futaleufú Municipality, the Los Lagos Regional Government, the Chilean Ministry of Sport, the Chilean Ministry of Tourism, and the Chilean Ministry of Economy, among others; all pledged to make the Futaleufú dream a reality.
Shortly after the meeting successfully concluded, the Los Lagos Region Intendant, Mr. Harry Jürgensen noted that “we have a fantastic river, the Futaleufú, and today we have joined forces to support the municipality of Futaleufú and host a World Rafting Cup on this wonderful river, and to show the world what we have; our heritage and nature”. Furthermore, he added that this type of initiative helps to generate integral development, which “is also based on making our heritage profitable without destroying it. Occupy it and develop it, but also take care of it – that is what we have to do in all these corners. The Futaleufú river deserves our support for an IRF World Rafting Cup.”
Echoing the Intendant’s sentiments, the Mayor of Futaleufú Mr. Fernando Grandón, said he was satisfied to see that there is the desire, the intent and the opportunity to work with the various authorities. “It is great to have so many government representatives here to agree to this initiative, and the President of the International Rafting Federation (IRF), which will provide the technical resources and experience to develop a World Cup here in Futaleufú”. For the Mayor, this is the opportunity to open a door to the world as a country, a province of the Los Lagos Region, the Patagonia territory, and as the community of Futaleufú. “With the support of the Regional Government, the Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Tourism, and the International Rafting Federation, we are in a spectacular position to launch ourselves into the world,” he added.
IRF President Jones, said: “The IRF is very excited to fulfill our dream to hold a World Cup competition here. The Futaleufú river is famous among our athletes. It is an iconic rafting river, and among the top ten rivers in the world for our sport”.
What can be expected from the event?
Upon arrival, the raw beauty of the region with its sweeping landscapes will be the first welcome that impresses upon each person. Second is the warm welcome extended by the peoples of Futaleufú including their world renowned hospitality. Not only will this event feature the world-class raft racing you expect from an IRF event, but the community of Futaleufú will be opening its doors to welcome you to the gastronomic, archaeologic and jaw dropping photographic delights that are second to none.
Teams and supporters attending the event can expect nothing less than a world-class, challenging and exciting competition on the demanding yet picturesque turquoise waters of the Futaleufú. Racing will follow the globally recognised IRF Race Rules in the R6 format. All four disciplines will be conducted, likely with a twist that endears itself to the big volume water. You can expect big, bold and beautiful.
What does this mean for teams?
Whilst the respective bodies work together to confirm plans for the competition, the IRF has been tasked with selecting the best teams in the world to compete at this historic event. The IRF recognises determination, hard work and the prestige of representing your own nation and as such, and at the request of the bodies who will come together to host the event, the top fifteen teams competing at the IRF World Rafting Championship in Tully, Australia will receive a special invitation to compete in this prestigious and historic event in Futaleufú, Chile.
The rapids of the Futaleufú are not for the feint of heart. This river has been chosen for its raw power, and as a suitable venue for teams to showcase their skills as the best-of-the-best in the rafting world. It’s not just the local Futaleufú community who will bear witness to this epic racing – the IRF will be working with a renowned international company to broadcast this event across the globe!
With all relevant government ministries supporting the initiative, Futaleufú expects to receive funding to fully cover all team expenses, including round trip airfare from their home country, ground transportation, lodging and food during the event.
National teams who want to be one of the few who are invited to participate in this ground breaking event, must be sure to register on time for the upcoming 2019 IRF World Rafting Championships in Australia, and compete to the best of their abilities – again, only the top 15 national teams competing in Australia will be invited.
Be sure to subscribe to the the IRF newsletter, and visit our website and social media pages for more information as this story progresses!