We are river family – meet R.E.D.

This week we meet R.E.D. (Retired, Extremely Dangerous), the GB1 Masters Men team hoping to make their mark at their first IRF World Rafting Championship. The team came together to compete in the British Rafting selections in March 2016 as Lee Valley Paddlesports Club Masters Men. They didn’t make GB status that time so trained hard and got selected as GB2 for the IRF R6 European Rafting Championship in Georgia 2017.

Maybe their name change to R.E.D. (Retired Extremely Dangerous) helped with their determination to win but also the delivery of a British Rafting Bull Raft made it so much easier to train regularly. You may have seen them compete last year in the IRF R4 European Champs in Slovakia. This year they return having conquered the selection event and now compete in R6 as GB1 Masters Men for 2019.

Now you’ve been selected as GB1, how has it affected your training plan?
We train every Wednesday evening with Lee Valley Paddlesports Club on the Legacy Course at Lee Valley. We’re also now training at weekends to prepare for Australia 2019. We have a new team member for 2019 who is also our new fitness trainer – Jane Barraclough. She is putting the team through our paces to work to prepare for Australia.

This will be your first IRF World Rafting Championship – will people recognise you?
Yes – in Georgia, we all purchased “Georgian Traditional Head Ware” from the market in Borjomi and became very easily recognisable as a team on the banks of the Mtkvari River.

We always dreamed of being GB1 Masters and the possibility of representing Great Britain and British Rafting on the world stage was something we have worked hard to achieve. We have received a lot of support from our colleagues in the GB Masters category and remain good friends on and off the water.

How else are you involved in the rafting community?
Our team is based at Lee Valley with Lee Valley Paddlesports Club and we volunteer with the club as committee members and coaches for our regular Wednesday evening sessions. We have added several new members to our Masters group and fielded two R6 Teams for GB selections this year. We also strive to showcase rafting to new audiences and have run rafting introductions for Junior freestyle kayak paddlers at the Hurley Classic freestyle event.

So who’s in the team?

  • Front Right: Aaron Dempsey
  • Front Left: Ian Whitcombe
  • Mid Right: Ian Bowditch
  • Min Left: Adam Knight
  • Back Right: Dan McGaley
  • Back Left: Paul kettle
  • Reserve/Fitness Trainer: Jane Barraclough

R.E.D. 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.