Basing himself in the southern nations of the African continent, Andrew Kellett is no stranger to action and adventure on the amazing rivers of the world. Andrew’s enthusiasm for rafting, especially with regard to training, stems from the ultimate goal of being safe on the water before any other outcome. When he first started rafting, there was very little regulation and control on the river. Since then the market has changed and the industry has had to become more professional.
Continue reading We are river family – meet Andrew Kellett
We continue our River Family series, by meeting Fieke Reijntjes, captain of the Great Britain Open Women’s team (current R4 European Champions and defending R4 World Champions) and member of the IRF Athletes’ Committee. In this series we meet members of our River Family – you! We find out how people got involved, what keeps them motivated and why they stick with it.
We asked Fieke how she got involved in rafting: I worked as a raft guide for a dutch company in the French Alps. Pieter Bekkers, the owner of the company started a women’s raft team I was lucky enough to be part of! I paddled my first international competition with the Dutch team in 2007 in Korea. We were overwhelmed by the experience and the quality of the other women’s rafting teams and that motivated us to push on for the next competitions!
Continue reading We are river family – meet Fieke Reijntjes
With an international background and upbringing worthy of a UN Ambassador, Yann Coppen shares his passion for rafting with us. African born with French, Indonesian and Dutch blood, Yann began his journey in the northern part of Japan. After years of travelling and guiding abroad, he discovered the High Atlas Mountains and started to run trips on the most pristine rivers of Morocco. From here he runs his successful company Berber Rafting Adventures.
How did you get started in rafting?
I was studying Japanese in Tokyo for 5 months and had had enough of city life and decided to move back to nature where I belong. I was born in Ivory Coast and grew up like Mowgli which didn’t make sense to live in the city. I was living in internet cafes and one day I applied for a raft guide course and started to live the dream of a raft guide, traveling in remote places.
Continue reading We are river family – meet Yann Coppen
Raft guide, raft racer, kayak instructor, environmentalist and river conservationist – there isn’t much that stops Georgina “Georgie” Preston. This is part one of a two part interview as Georgie sets off on a new adventure – we’ll catch up with her on her return. In part one, we find out what motivates her and how we can all get involved.
How long have you been rafting and how did you get into it?
I have been guiding for a shocking 18 years now and racing for 12 of those. I started guiding whilst studying at uni to help pay for my course. I was already a kayaker so it made sense to earn a bit of money by messing about on the water!
Continue reading We are river family – meet Georgina Preston
By Shannon Farley
Commending his decades of involvement, achievements, and integral role in the formation and development of the International Rafting Federation (IRF), Rafael Gallo has been nominated as the first Honourary President of the IRF.
The new position was proposed by the current IRF President Joe Willis Jones, and approved by the IRF Board of Directors as an annex to the IRF Bylaws. The annex states that “The (IRF) Congress may bestow the title of ‘Honorary President’, or ‘Honorary Member’, respectively, upon any former President or member of the Executive Committee for meritorious service to rafting and the IRF … Honorary Presidents shall primarily serve as an IRF Ambassador.” The nomination of Mr. Gallo will be considered for ratification at the IRF Congress in March 2019 in Australia during the next World Rafting Championships.
Tajikistan. Photo – Glenna Anderson
President Jones is pleased to have the honour of nominating Mr. Gallo in recognition for his years of commitment and service. “Everyone who takes part in rafting sport today is beholden to the dedication and effort of those that worked to create it. Rafa’s years of service to rafting and to the IRF put us all in his debt. Without Rafa, it is likely that the IRF would not exist.”
Gallo is one of the original founders of the IRF. He served as the IRF’s first Vice-president, alongside President Peter Micheler, from 1997 to 2006, and then took over the IRF presidency from 2006 to 2013. Gallo has helped improve rafting safety rules and guide training around the world. He was also one of the first assessors for the IRF, which is the Continue reading Rafael Gallo Named Honourary President of International Rafting Federation
In the first of our River Family series, we meet Ine Skjørten, kayaker, raft guide, and raft race competitor with the most number of IRF championships under her belt and an ever smiling face on the raft race circuit.
Throughout this series, we interview the people that make rafting around the globe what it is – you! And so we start with Ine…
How did you get started in raft racing?
In 1990, working on the Sjoa river here in Norway, a Costa Rican guide told about the Project RAFT 1991 pre world event in Costa Rica. We were at the time 7 female river guides working and two of us (Sølvi still on the team) thought it was a great idea to go. So we wrote to the women guides in Norway and asked who would like to go. We met up, trained in a pool in Oslo over the winter, did gym training and off we went together with a team from the company we worked in; NWR including the two owners Grethe Høstaker and Kjell Fladen.
Continue reading We are river family – meet Ine Skjørten
Nada Matic has been a big and important part of the IRF’s rafting world since the start of 2012. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to her as she steps back from the IRF’s media position.
Nada became a part of the IRF’s media team purely through her love of the sport. Sue Liell-Cock describes how it came about. “I started receiving great recommendations of pictures to post on our Facebook page, and this then grew into a lasting working relationship with Nada with her eventually becoming the IRF Media Representative. Our Facebook following would not be where it is now if it hadn’t been for her dedication to rafting!”
As a past competitor she knew what it was like from the paddlers’ side. Many of you will be familiar with her presence at events, particularly the events in Europe. Armed with camera and a purposeful stride, Nada would capture the action with photos and video, and ensure these were shared far and wide for all to enjoy. She worked tirelessly with teams to write about them for our website. And she was always there in the background sharing the crucial information that we all needed.
Nada sums up her time with the IRF: Continue reading Nada bows out for a break
The International Rafting Federation would like to extend a warm welcome to the Rafting Sports Association of Pakistan (RSA) as a new member.
Pakistan has many amazing rivers and there is plenty of potential to promote rafting in Pakistan especially on the Sindh, Jehlum, Neelum and Kunhar Rivers. Right now only one river is being used by the companies for rafting and that is River Kunha River, but soon there will be rafting on the Sindh as well. Continue reading Pakistan joins the IRF
Most of you are aware that the newly created World Rafting Federation (WRF) and certain people in the International Canoe Federation (ICF) signed a cooperative agreement shortly after we (the IRF) filed our application for GAISF/Sport Accord membership. Although the details have been kept secret, the IRF is happy to comment on the agreement should those responsible release it publicly.
The ultimate goal of Olympic inclusion for rafting remains a top objective of the IRF. The first step to Olympic inclusion is membership of GAISF/SportAccord. Our submission for membership is acknowledged and progressing through the application process.
GAISF/SportAccord and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) require that only one internationally recognised body may represent a sport. By creating a second international body, the leaders of the WRF have delayed IOC recognition of rafting and therefore delayed rafting’s introduction into the Olympic Programme.
Continue reading Rafting and the Olympics: The Road Ahead