Get to know your IRF BOD – Eric Boudreau

Eric Boudreau has been Chair of the Sport & Competition Committee / First Vice-President since the IRF’s Congress in Japan in 2017. Before that Eric chaired the Judges Committee for many years, setting up the Judges Handbook and getting the Judging processes and documents into better order. Eric has also been appointed as the Head Judge for many of our World Rafting Championships (WRC) and will be Head Judge at our upcoming WRC 2022 in May in Banja Luka. Teams can get more information about this event here, and follow the event on our dedicated World Rafting Champs Instagram here.

We asked Eric some questions to get to know him better.

Can you give us a short history of your rafting experience?
I started as a raft guide in 1989. And I started to do raft races in 1995. I’ve organized many white water festivals and raft races. I was Team Canada coach, paddler, captain and manager from 1999 to 2008. Since then I have been an international Race Judge.

Why did you get involved with rafting?
I always loved whitewater since my experience in summer camps doing canoe trips and also I did lots of boogie boarding before rafting.

What do you hope to achieve in your time on the BOD in the next few years?
I’d like to review the bidding procedure for our big events, secure sponsorship for events, include Para Rafting in the race calendar, put into place an individual membership fee, review the National Federation (NF) membership fees and push to get 40 NF with their official status.

Are there any other activities / sports you are involved with? How does this influence / impact on your time with rafting?
I practice many sports but right now only as an athlete. But I have been a rugby referee, bike race commissioner, bike team manager, rugby player manager and coach, ice canoe racer, team captain and president of the race circuit. All this has given me a better overview of all aspects that go into racing, and to understand racers and competitions better.

What is your favourite rafting destination and why?
Zambezi River stays my top memory!! Such a beautiful river, destination and gold medal still on the wall of my man cave!

Which is your favourite WRC or ERC and why?
2001 CWWC Zambezi…

What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?

What TV series did you binge watch during the pandemic?
Nothing. Rather play outdoors as not a TV fan, except for international rugby tournaments.

If you could host a celebrity dinner party, which five guests would you invite and why (they can be living or deceased)?
Nelson Mandela – such an incredible life story. Jonah Lomu – my favorite rugby player of all time. The Rock – to make my kids happy. Barack Obama – someone I respect so much, just finished his book! Madonna – she must have lots of good stories!!