Race Results

WC 2019 Series
Results: OWOM

WC Silokek 
Results: MM, U19M, OM, OW, U23M, U23W

Ibar, Serbia 2019
Results; Video; Photos

EC 2019 Series
Results: R6 Overall; R4 Overall

EC Devil’s Stream
Results; Photos; Video;

EC British Open
Results; Photos

Canada Nationals
Results; Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-. Video H2H.

Pre-WRC, Ziyuan
Results: Men, Women; Photos: Trng, SP/OC, SL, H2H, DR; Videos: D1, D2, D3, D4;

ERC Vrbas, Bosnia
Results and media

EC Results so far
R6: OM; OW. R4: OM; OW.

EC Trnavka
Results: Sprint; Slalom. Photos.

WRC 2019, Tully
Results, Photos, press releases, etc

EC Wildalpen
Results: OM, U23M, OW; Photos

EC Priboj, Serbia
Results; Photos

EC Nottingham
Results, Photos: -1-, -2-, -3-. H2H Video

EC Romania, Dracula Race
Results; Photos

WRC 2018
All results

more archived Race Results

Guidelines for a safe re-entry into rafting

As parts of the world start easing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and other restrictions the big question in rafting operators’ minds is – how to start getting back onto the river and running trips safely? Outdoor activities are among the safest activities to engage in as the outdoor environment presents fewer opportunities for the virus to spread than indoor activities if managed properly.  Rafting is one of the more challenging adventure activities to manage during this pandemic. (PDF version of this article for printing and sharing. Will be updated when needed. This version is 20200525.)

The IRF has solicited ideas and advice from our Guide Training and Education (GTE) Committee and various rafting tour companies around the world to help raft tour operators, and even recreational rafters and racers, to negotiate this first descent towards the ‘new normal’ of running river trips:

  • Get familiar with the RIGHT information:
    • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and your local and national health authorities.
    • To protect yourself and others from infection, we recommend that operators follow WHO guidelines and recommendations, even if they are stricter than your local requirements. Recommended reading: Getting your workplace ready during COVID-19 (very worth the read) and Protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19 (essential).
    • In addition to following WHO guidelines, it is also essential to follow your local legal restrictions that govern activities of this nature (which any operator, guide and trip leader must familiarise themselves with before offering a trip).
  • Pre-trip:
    • Check with your personal liability insurance providers of any changes to liability insurance policies as a result of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Create or edit your liability release waivers to include any social distancing guidelines that should be highlighted to the participants prior to the commencement of a trip.
    • Develop a plan for what to do if someone becomes ill with suspected COVID-19 at any stage of the trip.
    • Ensure that any participants planning to join your trip are confident that they have no symptoms such as dry cough, headache or fever, and that they have not been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person within the last 14 days.  We recommend that you obtain a signed statement (release) from participants that specifically states this.
    • Keep a register of the details of all the participants on the trip in order to assist investigations should a COVID-19 outbreak be traced back to the trip. If possible, it is best to collect this online when they make their booking:
      • Full name
      • Residential address
      • Date of birth
      • Email address
      • Telephone number
    • Take the temperatures of staff each day, as well as checking participants on arrival. Infrared thermometers should be used for this.  Temperature readings will not reveal those persons with COVID-19 that are asymptomatic, but help prevent the spread of the virus by those who do have abnormal temperatures but do not present the other symptoms.
    • Keep trip participant numbers as low as reasonably possible. The less people together the easier it is to manage and the less risk of spreading the virus.
  • Ensure there are no potential COVID-19 infected surfaces anywhere in the area the trip is being held.  The latest evidence suggests that the virus is not spread easily by surface contact, however best practices dictate that surfaces should be sanitised as well as possible. This involves:
    • Sanitise equipment after each use – see below for more details.
    • Sanitise toilet areas thoroughly, as well as any changing rooms.
    • Sanitise vehicles if used: disinfect the seat belts, door handles and any other areas that may be touched.
    • Participants should bring their own face masks, and possibly their own river gear if is suitable and safe for the trip. (All river gear must be suitable and compliant with any local regulations.) Face masks need to be used correctly to be effective – WHO advice on how to wear masks.
    • It is advised to have participants provide their own food (if possible) as long as it can be suitably packed and stowed by the guide.
    • Ziplocks bags should be provided to each individual for their personal items to avoid surface contact with other person’s items before they are packed and stowed.
  • Three of the most important things you must continually remind participants and staff to do:

    • Regularly and thoroughly clean their hands with soap and water (at least 20 seconds) or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol alcohol. Ensure soap and water or hand sanitizer are easily available at all times.  Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up and transfer viruses.
    • They must avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Contaminated hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth where it can enter your body and infect you.
    • They must practise good respiratory hygiene. This means they must cover their mouth and nose with their bent elbow when they cough or sneeze. Why? Droplets from coughing and sneezing are known to be the most common way that respiratory viruses are transmitted. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
    • An additional suggestion is encourage everyone to breath through their noses instead of their mouths as much as possible. Why? Fewer droplets are released through nose-breathing and are not expelled as far.
  • Social distancing – ensure everyone maintains at minimum 1 metre (3 feet) distance between themselves and others. WHO recommends a minimum 1 meter apart, however some authorities recommend 1,5 meters or 2 meters. Do what is required in the region you are running your trip. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets or aerosols from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets. Here are some pointers:
    • Participants should wear masks during all off-water activities. Wearing masks on the water is not advisable as they can become a hazard for breathing if the person falls in the water and evidence suggest that masks are not effective once they are wet.
    • Ensure plenty of space for participants to achieve proper social distancing when safety and other talks are being made, or standing around at any time.
    • Try avoiding using indoor spaces. Why?  Evidence suggests that prolonged exposure to infected individuals indoors will increase the likelihood that you will inhale enough virus particles to become infected yourself.  Outdoor environments tend to dilute the exposure due to the open space, wind and air currents.  If you must use indoor spaces, we suggest that you open windows and doors to the outside air if possible.
    • Ensure there is plenty of space between individuals when loading or off-loading passengers or packing up or loading equipment.
    • Checking equipment – where possible, group the participants within their own “bubble” (participants that have already been spending time together through stay-at-home restrictions such as partners and family members) to check each other’s equipment while the guide watches. And when finally ready – the guide then can quickly check the equipment of each person in each “bubble” and sterilizes their hands in between “bubbles”.
    • In rafts – spread participants out in crafts accordingly. This is likely to be the second hardest part to manage:
      • Guides should distance themselves from passengers by sitting at the back of the raft and placing passengers further forward.
      • Place a family or “”bubble” together in one raft.
      • Use larger rafts where possible to keep bigger spaces between passengers for non “bubble” groups.
      • For participants who are not part of a large enough “bubble” then a 6-man raft at 1 meter means 4 per raft, whereas 1,5 meters or 2 meters apart means 2 per raft, or maybe 3. However, in Class 3 and above rapids this may need to be adjusted so that the participants will not accidentally end up closer than the limited distance. For instance, if the “get down” command needs to be used, or if it is likely the passengers may be thrown together in the rapids.
      • Consider using in-line rafts (inflatable kayaks, duckies) for couples or individuals.
    • If a rescue becomes necessary, make close contact as brief as possible and, if possible, the rescuer should try to hold their breath during the close contact.
    • Transport – this is probably the hardest to accomplish as participants often must travel close together and in a closed environment:
      • Have participants drive their own vehicle where possible.
      • Provide hand sanitiser for everyone to use as they get into vehicles.
      • Passenger buses and vans should be loaded from the back seat forward, and exited from the front seat to the back.
      • Masks should be worn at all times in shared vehicles.
      • Maintain social distancing between those in different “bubbles”.
      • Have windows open at all times to ensure plenty of fresh air circulation.
      • If transportation is for a short distance, bikes are a possible option.
  • Getting going:
    • Do test runs with in-house people.
    • Start with Class 1 or maybe Class 2 depending on the type of river, and get familiar with what is and isn’t possible, and where improvements are needed.
    • Focus on family and “bubble” groups so as to fill a raft with participants who can be near each other.
    • Initially focus on running safe trips, building the business back up will come in time.
  • Sanitizing equipment after each use, like lifejackets, helmets, wet suits and other gear: NRS says “For cleaning, soap and water has proven to be both basically safe for the product and effective in killing viruses due to the amphiphiles (fats) in the soap. No need to overspend—any inexpensive non-detergent soap can stop a virus (which is why hand washing is the number one way to stop the spread). The fats in soap dissolve the protein of the virus outer layer and destroy the bond it has with the host, rendering it harmless.” It is also a good confidence booster for participants to see you doing this.

If you have solutions to any of the problems that rafting operators are facing in getting people back on the water please do let us know.

Here’s a statement everyone could use as it sums it all up well –

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are ready to evolve with it and change our practices accordingly. But we want you to know that we are taking this situation very seriously and adjusting as necessary. The only thing we care about more than getting out on the river is making sure we are doing so safely for all involved.” – Tongariro River Rafting

Stay safe, and enjoy getting back on the river!

#StaySafe #EcoRafting #RaftersAreAwesome #AreYouReady #InternationalRafting #StrongerTogether #WeAreIrf

Saving tourism in unprecedented and challenging times

In these testing times we find ourselves and our loved ones in situations we would likely never have considered. Many of us in the rafting industry are under increasing pressure with not just personal situations but tourist operations and employees affected by lockdowns and vast swathes of people cancelling their holidays and travel plans. It’s times like these that we need to come together as the #RaftingFamily and continue to support the rafting and tourism communities.

Many adventure tourism businesses are looking at bleak seasons ahead, if you have or had plans to travel and take part in tourist activities, or own a tourism business here’s a list of some ideas to consider: Continue reading Saving tourism in unprecedented and challenging times

Reviewed, refreshed and renewed – IRF GTE Instructor resources

Reviewed, refreshed and renewed – IRF Instructor documentation and resources (in English and now also in Spanish)

There is now a wealth of resources that the IRF provides to our certified Instructors and Assessors which are all aimed at assisting them to simplify the processes, administration and implementation of assessing Guides, Trip Leaders and Instructors.

The updated and new documentation includes:

  • IRF GTE Award System – the overarching document the system is based on
  • Assessment Guidelines for Workshops – setting out what and how Instructors / Assessors are to assess for each certification
  • A detailed letter for all Instructors and Assessors explaining the administration processes of the IRF GTE System so that it is clear how it works and can be referred to at any time
  • A template to create a PDF or poster to advertise courses / workshops
  • A standard letter Instructors can adjust and send to candidates before they attend their workshops so as to ensure the candidate knows what to expect, what to bring, and how the IRF GTE System works
  • Templates for recording the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate, whether they are being assessed as a Guide, Trip Leader, Safety Kayaker, Safety Rafter, Site Specific or Instructor certificate
  • A throwbag test to use during assessments
  • The minimum content for an IRF GTE compliant Guide Training Program
  • The IRF GTE award level overview as a Power Point presentation, or as a flow chart
  • Guide’s log sheets for recording their rafting trips – in pdf format and in excel format
  • CLAP = Communication, Line of Sight, Avoidance and Positioning and is a tactic used to have a structured river running best practise. This is in a Power Point version, Word doc version and a printable pdf version
  • IRF Youtube videos on common knots including hitches and prusiks

IRF Instructors and Assessors are continually working to add to the resources available – we thank all those who have translated documents in to other languages, who offer us their instructional videos, and who continually assist us in improving the IRF GTE System in general.

IRF Instructor resources are available on a password protected page on the IRF website. Certified Instructors and Assessors can request access: gte@internationalrafting,com

#RaftersAreAwesome #AreYouReady #internationalrafting

We’re all paddling a first descent with the Coronavirus

The world finds itself in uncharted territory in the turbulent crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. Longtime river adventurer, and IRF Honorary President, Rafael Gallo gives some words of comfort for how to navigate through to calmer waters ahead.

by Shannon Farley

We find ourselves in uncharted territory with the coronavirus pandemic. The world’s borders closed. Airlines grounded. Streets empty. Beaches, parks, and recreation areas with hardly a soul to be found. Businesses shuttered. The scene is surreal.

“It’s like the first descent of a river,” said longtime river adventurer Rafael Gallo. “We’ve never navigated this before. Our map is very vague, only giving us comparative scenarios from other similar experiences, and a little advance information from those a bit ahead of us.”

Like rafting or kayaking a river for the first time, what the future holds for the world with the global health and economy crises is a mystery. This has never before happened on this scale and no one can predict for certain what is coming.

“Running a river is like life. From its start in the mountains all the way to the ocean, along the way there are obstacles, calm pools, beautiful spots, and places that scare you and surge your adrenaline,” said Gallo, CEO of Rios Tropicales in Costa Rica and co-founder and honorary president of the International Rafting Federation.

Continue reading We’re all paddling a first descent with the Coronavirus

Coronavirus COVID-19 Impacts to IRF Events (Update 3)

Contrary to rumours being released by IRF detractors, the IRF is still actively pursuing our WRC, ERC, ECs and WCs this year along with our GTE activities.  The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the worldwide international sporting calendar, and the IRF calendar is no exception.  Our immediate concern is for events coming up in the next 8 weeks as government and health authorities react in various ways to contain or mitigate the spread of the virus with protective measures.  The situation is changing daily. Nobody today can say what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, and certainly not several months into the future. The IRF will not be making irresponsible decisions to change our competition calendar based on speculation.  We urge all competitors to stay in touch with their National Federation and to keep watch for updates to this post and to our published calendar.

  • Balkan White Water Safety Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina – still proceeding according to plans.
  • WRC 2020 in Guilin, Ziyuan China – China (population 1.4 billion) is typically reporting less than 20 new COVID-19 cases a day (all from travelers from abroad). Chinese authorities are now more concerned about infected foreigners entering the country than community spread cases within China.  Ziyuan County, site of the IRF World Rafting Championship (WRC) event, has told us they have zero infections because the virus has never entered their county, making it one of the safest rafting event locations in the world.  We are considering different contingency scenarios, but the IRF WRC is unlike our other events and many other sport championships in that it is scheduled five months away. Local officials in Ziyuan report that they are moving forward at full speed to prepare for the competition as planned!
  • ERC 2020 in Czech Republic – is scheduled for June, when the peak number of COVID-19 cases in Europe are expected to be past.  We will be monitoring the situation carefully, in concert with event organisers and local health authorities.

Continue reading Coronavirus COVID-19 Impacts to IRF Events (Update 3)

A New Member Joins the IRF Family – Ukrainian Rafting Federation

Recognising that we are stronger together, the Ukrainian Rafting Federation (URF), founded in 2009, are the most recent member to join the IRF rafting family. The URF joins the All Ukraine Rafting Federation (AURF) as our second provisional member federation from Ukraine.  The IRF will be working with the two rafting federations to help unify rafting in Ukraine as we continue to unify rafting worldwide. We wholeheartedly welcome URF to the IRF Family!

The URF now conducts National Championships each year in the categories of Juniors, Open and Masters and have been competing in international competitions for a number of years.  In preparation for meeting IRF membership requirements, the URF has added clauses to its organisation statutes, which among other additions, states that the URF recognises, “the International Rafting Federation (“IRF”) as the world governing body of rafting”.

Ukraine has a great range of rivers and rafting locations along with a fast developing tourism industry. Internationally recognised and respected IRF GTE Workshops have been run in Ukraine since 2016, increasing the standard of river safety for all.

However, the forefront and leading work URF are best known for is their pioneering work in para-rafting. They started developing para-rafting in 2017 and in 2018 and 2019 they organised an international Para-Rafting competition in Kiev, Ukraine.  Among the IRF’s core objectives enshrined in our Bylaws, is to promote rafting as a Paralympic sport.  For the past two years the IRF has been working closely with para-athletes and other international sport federations involved in para-sports, to create a well designed and carefully crafted management plan for whitewater para-rafting competitions.  Our objective is to roll out a safe para-rafting structure that incorporates a wide range of disabilities, conforms to International Paralympic Commitee (IPC) guidelines, and stays true to rafting’s origins and history as a thrilling sport conducted on whitewater.  We are delighted to include the URF among our body of experts working on this ambitious project, and welcome their experience and advice as these plans continue to develop.

Ukraine team racing at IRF Kashmir Cup, India in 2008

Oleksandr Bakanychev, President of the federation, tells us the development priorities of the URF are:

  • Strong preparation for the IRF World and European Championships;
  • The reform of rafting;
  • Providing a qualitative and clear system of sporting equipment purchase;
  • Building modern sporting infrastructures for conducting international competitions and involving rafting athletes;
  • Building new sporting facilities in the places that are suitable for conducting rafting competitions;
  • Creation and implementation of the competition system of school children’s and student’s leagues;
  • Realisation of the pilot project  “Money walks after a child” at children’s and youthful sporting school in Scole, Lviv region, Ukraine;
  • Digitisation of sporting sphere: creation of unified electronic registers of competitions, coaches, athletes and sporting facilities;
  • Development of tourist rafting in Ukraine;
  • Training for guides and instructors
  • Training for coaches and judges

We will report more soon about their recent project of developing rafting amongst children aged 10 to 15 years old.

We look forward to meeting all the Ukrainian teams at our upcoming European Champs, World Champs, as well as Euro Cups and World Cups.

Welcome Greece, the most recent country to join the IRF

In an historic announcement, the Hellenic Canoe-Kayak Federation (HCKF) is the most recent national federation to join the IRF. The HCKF identified the IRF as being the only legitimate and globally recognised rafting federation to truly and honestly represent all rafting interests around the world. With HCKF having been recognised by the Minister of Sport to develop the sport of rafting since 2004, the recent growing interest in rafting amongst their 56 clubs and the IRF’s recent approval as a GAISF Observer prompted them to join the IRF family of rafting nations.

The HCKF plan to run their first National races this year during their National Slalom event, as a demonstration of what rafting is about. They also plan to send teams to IRF events this year, in particular the World Rafting Champs in China in August.

Greece has been a long time participant in the IRF’s Guide Training & Education program and we look forward to growth in this area as well.

HCKF are also looking at contacting non-sporting organisations to grow the interest of rafting as a sport, as well as for fun, plus using the sport for team building and encouraging water safety. They are also working on coaching/ trainer’s educational courses.

Their vision is to create the appropriate conditions for international participation for their athletes, and to safe guard the high level of rafting events in Greece.

Greece has a number of beautiful rivers to go rafting on. One of the clearest rivers in Europe, Voidomatis lies amidst a scenery of breathtaking beauty and is ideal for beginners, as the 5 km route presents no particular difficulties.

If you’re looking for something more challenging then try the Arachthos which is one of the most popular spots for river rafting. Entering into the narrow gorge of Arachthos, you will come across breathtaking scenery with vertical steep slopes reaching 700m. In the middle of the route, you have the opportunity to make a stop and walk to the Glyfki waterfall.

We look forward to welcoming Greece to our international events in 2020.

More info:

 

IRF granted GAISF Observer status

GAISF Council grants the IRF Observer Status

To our IRF Member organisations, rafting clubs, athletes, associates, officials, coaches, and friends:

I am delighted to announce the momentous and historic news that the International Rafting Federation (IRF) was officially granted Observer Status by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council when it convened 27 October 2019.  The IRF recently received a certificate from GAISF commemorating this achievement.

Read the official announcement from GAISF here.

GAISF is the umbrella organisation for International Sport Federations.  GAISF Observer Status will open opportunities to network with the GAISF family and open important doors for the IRF in the world of international sports.  It may also help our national federation members obtain the critical funding they need to support and grow their national organisations.  GAISF states that “The GAISF Observer Status aims to assist and accelerate the International Rafting Federation (IRF) efforts to become a GAISF member, in particular by helping to develop the number of National Federations recognized by National Olympic Committees (NOCs) or by the Highest National Sport Authorities (NSAs).”

GAISF Observer Status is a milestone for the IRF and for the sport of rafting.  It has been a long road to achieve this goal, and those of us involved in the process want to extend our sincere appreciation for your patience and continued support throughout this journey. With this achievement behind us, the IRF is in an excellent position to quickly and proudly take rafting to even greater heights.

As part of our commitment to rafting sport, the IRF Board of Directors and I are adamant in our desire to share our success with all members of the worldwide rafting family regardless of their current loyalties.  It is natural that passionate rafting enthusiasts will have differences of opinions on how to best advance our goals.  However, despite these differences, I believe we all share the same core goals, ambitions, and love of rafting.   A renewed effort will be made in the coming weeks and months to reach out to those who have held differing views so that we remain united, and all of us may move forward together to benefit from this exciting, positive future for rafting.

From those of us who spearheaded the GAISF Observer Status request process – I want to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the many IRF member NF’s and individuals who stood firmly by us with loyalty and commitment.  This support was key for keeping us motivated to complete this task. Your loyalty will not be forgotten as we continue to move forward in the years ahead.

I am, you are, we are IRF!  Congratulations to all!!

Sincerely and with respect,

Joseph Willis Jones

International Rafting Federation – President

#RaftersAreAwesome #strongertogether #weareirf #gaisf #internationalrafting

New GTE Committee appointed

With the IRF’s Guide Training and Education System growing so strongly at the moment a new committee has recently been appointed to help take the system to even higher standards.

This new committee is being led by Gaspar Goncz who is the Chair of the GTE Com and has been driving the system since May 2009 and is based in Hungary. New energy has recently come into the system from Mark Hirst who is an IRF Assessor, an advanced Rescue 3 training provider and First Aid Instructor. Mark has taken up the role as Secretary of the GTE and is uniquely positioned in that he travels far and wide therefore gaining knowledge of the rafting industry in all corners of the world which is necessary when working with a system like the IRF’s. He is based in Finland.

The other committee members are Joe Willie Jones who is also the IRF President and based in Chile, Pieter Bekkers who is on the IRF BOD and based in the Netherlands, Andrew Kellett based in South Africa, Gabriel Cote Vailquette based in Canada, Eneko Yarza based in the Basque region, Neil Newton Taylor based in Austria, Alex (Pongo) Baker based in Costa Rica, Nim Bahadur Magar based in Nepal, Tim Marshall based in New Zealand, and Graham (Fredi) Maifredi based in Australia. Behind the scenes we have Raewyn Larcombe who has been administrator to the system for many years (contact).

The new energy in the GTE System has taken it to new levels and we expect it to become even more dominant world wide and we hope to see it being accepted by even more governments as the official system for all river guides.

Ken Streater aims to empower the rafting community at the IRF World White Water Rafting Summit

International author, social entrepreneur and raft guide, Ken Streater, will discuss how raft guides and adventure travel outfitters can transform their community and the world to inspire trust, ensure safety, and better the environment.

How raft guides and adventure travel outfitters can transform their communities and the world will be the discussion presented by keynote speaker Ken Streater during the first World White Water Rafting Summit of the International Rafting Federation (IRF) from October 8 to 13, 2019 in Costa Rica.

Streater, who is an international speaker, author, social entrepreneur and adventure travel outfitter from the U.S., is one of many international specialists who will lead powerful, engaging and interactive workshops at the Summit to be held at the Costa Rica Convention Center and the world-renowned Pacuare River. With the purpose of building on safety foundations in the adventure travel and sports industries, the Summit is backed by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT). Over 250 participants from 25 countries are expected to attend.

“I am pleased to speak to a powerful group of rafting guides and outfitters about their capacity to transform their community and the world. River guides have a unique opportunity and obligation to Continue reading Ken Streater aims to empower the rafting community at the IRF World White Water Rafting Summit