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More 2019 raft races than you can shake a paddle at!

It’s only mid January and we have 18 raft race events already in the diary (at the time of publication). This number will increase in the coming weeks as organisers confirm dates for other events. 2019 is shaping up to be the year that your team get their name known on the IRF European and World Cup circuits (and of course the European and World Championships if eligible).

Euro Cup series
As it stands, this year’s Euro Cup series is already more than ten events across the continent from as far west as the United Kingdom to Georgia in the east. Popular favourites Wildalpen, Devil’s Stream and Trnavka feature again, as does the burgeoning new favourite Dracula Race in Romania (who can’t love a race where you need to wear garlic at night or dance the night away to stay safe!). We welcome back Georgia with a challenging R6 in late summer on the Tskhenitskali and newcomers Rafting Association of Serbia on the River Lim. No strangers to racing on the international circuit, Great Britain (United Kingdom) finally join us in hosting two Euro Cup events this year.

Each event in the series is a stand alone event with medals awarded as normal for Category C races. To make the series more exciting, teams will amass points scored at each event and at the end of the series, the teams with the most points will be awarded the title Euro Cup Champions! So even if you aren’t the national qualifying team, you still stand a chance at being crowned a Euro Cup Champion – just get out there and participate in as many of these events as you can!

We look forward to welcoming teams new and old to our IRF Euro Cups this year!

Continue reading More 2019 raft races than you can shake a paddle at!

We are river family – meet Dragan Babic

This week we meet larger than life, character of a thousand words and improvisations, and master of hilariously bad jokes (especially when he translates them from one language to another), Dragan Babic. Many will know him from racing in Bosnia and Herzegovina OM but also he’s quite often behind a whistle, stop watch or clipboard as part of one of the regular IRF timing teams. It would do no justice for me to write about him so here he is in his own words…

How did you get started in rafting?
First of all I am coming from a family of paddling people because my father and uncle are the one of the best canoe double paddlers in ex-Yugoslavia so I was meant to be a paddler before anything else. As many of you know my country had a big civil war and until 2000 we did not have much contact with sports and activities. So my first contact with paddling was in 2000. My friends Boris Potočnik and Srdjan Šušnica in 2002 formed a rafting club named “Argonaut” and invited me to join and start rafting. That was my first contact with rafting boat but bear in mind that in that time I was paddling canoe slalom and downriver and I did not have time to train seriously. In 2010 I formed my own club and named it Dayak club. Now you must think I made a spelling error but no Dayak is a traditional boat in Banja Luka and it is 7m long and it is completely made from wood and you drive it with wooden stick that is named Dayak. In that club we had 6 people that was in some part involved in paddling sport and then we decided to make rafting team and to go try competing in Bosnian rafting league. After that – all else is history 😀

How did you get into rafting?
My biggest motivation is my team and friendship we have between us. I think that is our biggest strength and key of our success. And of course traveling all-round world and doing that with my friends.

Continue reading We are river family – meet Dragan Babic

Will Tully give the Australian U19 Men team a home advantage?

Coach: Mark Miller
TR: Cooper Miller, Justin Baume, Lachlan Willmott
BR: Nathan Tibbs, Liam Stephen, Jacob McClarty

Not content to just compete in rugby, mountain biking and kayaking, the AUS CROCS are looking to win hearts, minds and medals in the IRF’s World Rafting Championship on the Tully River in May. This week we find out a little more about the team and how they’ve gotten to where they are. They can’t wait to show you their river and hospitality.

In September of 2017, Mark Miller was approached by the Australian Rafting Federation to become the team coach. It didn’t take long for Mark to decide – his own son Cooper was keen to join the team and overnight Mark took on the reigns as coach. However, at this point the team only had three teammates! And so the search to find the needed three more saw school friends and a family friend enticed by the thrills and spills of white water raft racing.

Continue reading Will Tully give the Australian U19 Men team a home advantage?

What do freestyle kayaking and rafting have in common?

All aboard the Big Air Ramp

For one thing, they now have a common festival to celebrate the joys of big white water. Since 2002 the Nile River Festival has showcased the Nile’s amazing rapids, Uganda’s friendly peoples and been home to some of the world’s best freestyle kayakers. From 2019, the Nile River Festival will also provide an opportunity for raft racers and raft enthusiasts to take part in the action.

Over the last 10 years, the White Nile (Lake Victoria down to the confluence with the Blue Nile) has seen the construction of two dams which has devastated much of the local microcosm of natural flora and fauna and drastically changed the lives of thousands of inhabitants, many of whom used to make their livings from the land which is now under the man-made lakes.

Continue reading What do freestyle kayaking and rafting have in common?

How to work out what age division you are in for competitions

Having trouble working out what age group you are in for our divisions? Here are a list of ways you can work it out to see if you are eligible for the 2019 year:

You are OLD ENOUGH to compete in the Open division in 2019 if you:

  • are 14 years or older on the 1st of January 2019
  • were born in 2004 or earlier

YOUTH – you are eligible to compete in the U19 division in 2019 if you:

  • are under 19 years old on the first of January 2019
  • were born in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004

JUNIOR – you are eligible to compete in the U23 division in 2019 if you: 

  • are under 23 years old on the 1st of January 2019
  • were born in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004

MASTERS – you are eligible to compete in the Masters (40+) division in 2019 if you:

  • are 39 years or older on the 1st of January 2019
  • were born in 1979 or earlier

Bidding farewell too soon to Cass Emary

With a heavy heart we share the untimely passing of Cassandra Emary or “Cass” as most people will fondly remember. Not one to let boundaries or challenges get in her way, Cass was an avid white water kayaker and adventurer. At only 23, her energy and voracity for life showed in all aspects of her life.

Despite only being a recent convert to raft racing, Cass competed in the Australian Open Women’s team at the recent IRF World Rafting Championship in Neuquén, Argentina where she brought smiles to everyone she met. Sat back right, she commanded the view and was an integral part of the team.

Our thoughts are with her family and team mates now. Paddle on sister, we’ll meet you in the big eddy in the sky.

 #RaftersAreAwesome #LikeAGirl #ThisGirlCan

We are river family – meet Chris “Mongo” Reeder

A love of the ocean and living nowhere near to it led Chris “Mongo” Reeder to discover his life passion for rafting. Not content with just rafting, he’s leading an Adventure Racing project to get kids into the competitive world of adventure racing.
Chris grew up near the ocean in Maine and later moved to Colorado to follow a love of skiing. Colorado is about as far away from the ocean as you can get so in the summer he was naturally drawn to the next best thing, the river! He’d rafted in Maine growing up so it was a natural fit and has been working on the river in Colorado ever since. Continue reading We are river family – meet Chris “Mongo” Reeder

A fond farewell to Uncle Vláďa

With a heavy heart we share the news of the passing of Vladimir Naděje. The legend of Czech and international judges, to all he was simply known as Uncle.
Uncle Vladimir is on the other bank …
At 73 years old, Vladimir left us on November 22. A long-time rafting judge, co-author of the first Czech rafting rules, and a truly dedicated sportsman. An honest and equal man, he never favoured any over others.
Share with us in honouring his memory. Uncle Vláďa is already on the other bank.
#RaftersAreAwesome #integrity #honesty #gonebutnotforgotten

We are river family – meet Stan Hájek

A very familiar face to the European Raft Race scene, with a paddling career spanning 53 years, Stan Hájek started paddling as a child, later meeting his girlfriend (now wife) whilst paddling in the Czech Republic and East & West Europe. At the time, sport expeditions were the only way to look outside the Iron Curtain until 1989.  After 1989, raft makers were established in the Czech Republic, his two sons grew up and he exchanged canoes for rafts. In 1991 Stan organised the first downriver raft race on the Kamenice River in CZE.

Continue reading We are river family – meet Stan Hájek

#AreYouReady to #TameTheTully

After the successful conclusion to the IRF World Rafting Championship (WRC) 2018 in Argentina, we now set our sights on the 2018 WRC in Tully, Australia. Teams have now started to register for the event – but most importantly now, all teams who want to stay in the Athletes’ Village need to book their accommodation by Friday, 14th December. This is to ensure that enough tents can be ordered and supplied in time for the competition.

Included in the accommodation package is the tent setup and take down, beds and bedding, power and lights within the tents themselves. There are toilets and showers located in the Athlete Village and the main heart of the entire event is co-located at the Tully Showgrounds so you won’t miss any of the entertainment. Buses to and from the competition site will pick up and drop off competitors right to the Athletes’ Village.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stay right in the heart of all the action. Book your team’s accommodation in the Athlete Village now:

#AreYouReady #TameTheTully #RaftersAreAwesome