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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!

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?

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

Czechia have a golden day on the Alumine

The IRF’s 2018 World Rafting Champs came to a spectacular close today with the arduous Downriver. The rain and sprinkles of snow on the surrounding mountains did nothing to dampen the teams’ enjoyment of the awesome white water that the Aluminé offers.

The day definitely belonged to the Czechia teams. Their Open Men halted Brazil’s seven year streak of being World Champions, and all of their other teams medalled as well. Czechia are now the new World Champions in the Open Men’s and Women’s categories, as well as U23 Men, and Masters Men! They also took Bronze in U19 Men, Silver in U19 Women and silver in U23 Women – a great haul!

Continue reading Czechia have a golden day on the Alumine

Skills, spills and thrills – Slalom on the Ruca Choroi

The teams gathered along the banks of the River Ruca Choroi, to test their skills against the hard slalom course set for them. The river is an innocuous, narrow, Class 2 with 1 Class 3 rapid on it, normally simple to negotiate. But today the course was set to challenge the best rafters in the world – and so it did.

The fastest run of the day was Czech Open Men. They also achieved the lowest number of penalties – 5 seconds in each run. Argentina U19 Men won their category with an incredible run with only 10 seconds in penalties in their fastest run and a time that would have placed them in 7th in the Open Men’s Continue reading Skills, spills and thrills – Slalom on the Ruca Choroi

Gold medal clashes in Head-to-head

The first race of the day was a great illustration of the excitement that the new format with buoys has brought to the Head-to-Head (H2H). Netherlands Open Women came down the last part of the course needing to round the final buoy and as they rounded it and headed to the line Chile Open Women came surging past in the faster water to take the win right on the line.

It was not the only race that was so close at the finishing line. Unfortunately Continue reading Gold medal clashes in Head-to-head

Stunning day for WRC Sprints on the Alumine

The day got off to a crispy start as the temperatures had dropped below zero during the night – frost gave the terrain a ghostly appearance as the participants arrived for the day’s races.

As the day warmed up so did the competition – the teams are loving the river and the continuous Class 3 rapids that keep coming at you making it essential that you stay sharp throughout. It also provides different lines to choose ensuring great discussions on the river banks. Continue reading Stunning day for WRC Sprints on the Alumine

We are river family – meet Pas Blackwell

Current manager at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, team captain for the GB Open Men’s team, avid freestyle kayaker (when he gets the chance) and recent convert to the world of Triathlons, this week we meet Pas Blackwell. Pas started getting heavily into freestyle kayaking after university so moved to Nottingham to be able to train more regularly. After working a few different jobs and struggling to find time to get to the river he decided to simply work on the river and loved it.

What motivates you to keep paddling/rafting?
I don’t think there is any better way to see different countries than from the river. You are off the normal tourist routes and you get to meet the people and experience the culture properly. Rafting and paddling has taken me to so many amazing places I would never have seen or possibly even heard about, so this sport and hobby has opened so many doors. Although I am coming to the end of my competitive career I will always be following the river to some great spots around the world and I am really looking forward to getting back in touch with the social side of things.

Continue reading We are river family – meet Pas Blackwell