If you thought getting your team together was tough for training, try getting everyone together when it’s not just one side of the country to the other but from three countries! This week we meet the team from Costa Rica looking to bring home medals at this year’s IRF World Rafting Championship in Tully, Australia. Those in Costa Rica have been getting together and training with a coach and competing in the national eliminations for R4. Others have been doing individual training to get ready physically… if not able to get on the water then on bended knee next to the bathtub paddling!! The plan is to meet in April in Costa Rica and train together on the river.
What projects have the team been working on?
Las Machacas is an organisation created by Carol Vargas and promoted by all team members and dedicated to teach and promote rafting among women of any age in Costa Rica. Our goal is to empower women to take risk and work together as a team. Machacas has been around for 20 years
being the first women’s ambassadors throughout the world representing Costa Rica.
As happens everywhere in the world, the building of hydroelectric dams on the rivers, we are working on raising awareness in Turrialba, Costa Rica regarding the latest proposed project of two privately owned hydroelectric dams on the Bonilla River by the company H. Solis, the brother of a former president of Costa Rica. The area is part of a national park system and no permits have been issued by the local municipality of Turrialba. We are hoping to raise enough awareness to stop it as we did with stopping the new dam proposal on the Pacuare a few years ago.
So who is in the team for Australia?
Carol Vargas: Born in Turrialba, Costa Rica. Worked as a raft guide since 1991. Mother of two. Participated in 1991 Project Raft, Reventazon River. Competitions include: 2000 Camel White Water Challenge, Futaleufú River. 2009 World Rafting Championship, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2010 Pan-American Championship, Itaipú/Iguazú, Brazil. 2011 World Rafting Championship, Pacuare River, Costa Rica. 2013 World Rafting Championship, Okere Falls, New Zealand. 2015 World Rafting Championship, Citarik River, Indonesia. 2016 R2 Rafting Cup, Chengdu, China. 2016 World Rafting Plateau, Yushu, China. 2017 World Rafting Championship, Yoshino River, Japan. 2018 World Rafting
Cup, Ziyuan, China. 2018 World Rafting Plateau, Yushu, China.
Diana Taneva: Born in Bulgaria. Started rafting in 1998 and competed with Bulgaria’s Women’s Open team in Brazilian national championships 2007, Kashmir Cup, India 2009, Pan American Championships 2010, Brazil, World Championships, Costa Rica 2011. Competed in Canadian National Championships 2009, 2010, 2011. Returned to Costa Rica, married and began competing in Costa Rican National Championships with Women’s Open R6 & R4 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015. World Cup R6 Canada 2012, World Cup R4 China 2018.
Melida Barbee: Born in Guatemala, and moved shortly thereafter to Costa Rica. Owner and operator of Adventures Under the Sun, offering wilderness adventure programs to youth ages 13-18 in Costa Rica since 2001. Competitions include: National Whitewater Rafting Championships Costa Rica 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 • Whitewater Rafting World Cup in Yushu, Tibet with National Costa Rica Women’s Team 2016: Gold in Downriver and Bronze overall • Whitewater Rafting World Championships in Indonesia 2015, Dubai 2016, Japan 2017, Argentina 2018 with the National Open Female Rafting Team • Adventure Racing World Series: Expedition South Africa 2014 (15th place of 48 teams) • Captain of Toyota Adventure Racing Team in: Adventure Racing World Championship Costa Rica 2013: (11th place of 88 teams). Adventure Racing World Series: Ecomotion Pro Brazil 2013 (12th place of 45 teams). Adventure Racing World Series: Costa Rica 2012 (4th place of 30 teams). Adventure Racing World Series: Costa Rica 2011 (7th place of 35 teams) • Adventure Racing World Championship Tazmania, Australia 2011 • Maraton de Sables, Morocco 2013 • Various ultramarathons, including Coastal Challenge Costa Rica 2010 – 3rd place • EcoChallenge Fiji 2002 – Team Costa Rica Pura Vida • Coast to Coast Adventure Racing Series of Costa Rica 2002 • CAMDEX, RetoHuatulco Adventure Race, Huatulco, Mexico 2000 (4th place) • Nine Trails Run, 35 miler, Santa Barbara, California 2000 (2nd place female) • Half Marathon, Santa Barbara, California 2000 (3rd place age category) • National Triathlon Championship, Costa Rica 1997, 98 (2nd place Elite Female) • Maratón Internacional, Costa Rica 1997 (4th place Elite Female) • Maratón Maxi Malta, Costa Rica 1997 (9th place Elite Female) • CAMDEX, RetoMaya Adventure Race, Riviera Maya, Mexico 2001 • Open Water Half Marathon Swim Costa Rica 1999, 00 (Female record holder) • Ruta de los Conquistadores Mountain Bike Race 2012, 2000, 1999, 1998 • Top finisher in various 3-4 k open ocean swims, Costa Rica 1997-2002 • Top finisher in numerable triathlons, marathons, ultramarathons, trail runs in Costa Rica and abroad 1997 to present
Inger Quesada: Currently residing in California working as medical interpreter and going to school to become registered nurse. Mother of three. Born in Turriabla, Costa Rica Competitions include: New Zealand 1999 World Whitewater Rodeo Kayaking Championships. Waikatu river Japan 2017, World White Water Championship Costa Rica 2018, National White Water Championships. My years of experience were spent in Costa Rica and in many other places Safety kayaking for all the different adventure whitewater kayaking. Kayaking USA Colorado / California/ Washington/ Idaho/ South Carolina/ Pennsylvania 1993-1995. Whistler, Canada 1995-1997
Tara Palubicki: Born in MN, USA, moved to Costa Rica in 1991. Started paddling and working as river guide in Costa Rica in 1993. Currently residing in Charleston, SC, USA. Mother of two teenagers. Competitions include: R6 Open Mens Costa Rican team in Camel Whitewater Challenge 1996, Zambezi River. R6 Open Women’s Costa Rican team in Camel Whitewater Challenge 2000 Futaleufu River. R6 Open Women’s Costa Rica national eliminations 2016 Chorro, Pejivalle and Pacuare Rivers. R6 Master Women’s Costa Rica national eliminations 2018 Pacuare River. Multiple 5k and 10K races in USA.
Blanca Luz: In Swimming events Endurance Challenge 2017, Open sea Costa Rica Punta Leona 1500m 2016, Open Water Costa Rica Manzanillo 2015, Open Water Costa Rica Isla Choro Samara Beach 2015, Open Water Costa Rica Caribe 2014. In 2018 started rafting. R4 Master Women’s Costa Rica national elimination 2018-2019 Pejivalle River. R6 Master Women’s Costa Rica national elimination 2018 Pacuare River.
Costa Rica Masters Women are our River Family. Are You?
#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #RiverFamily #StrongerTogether #WeAreIRF
We’re looking for more stories of River Family – if you have a story to tell, email Sean with your story and photos.