Globally recognised and respected, the IRF’s Guide Training & Education system has seen massive growth in uptake over the last two years. In 2017 the number of courses held doubled from the previous year, and in 2018 we have already surpassed the 2017 number!
The Guide Training & Education (GTE) system is built on the foundation of ensuring consistent approaches, repeatable skills, feedback and improvement. Course feedback indicates that the recent growth in uptake is due to the improvement of standards throughout the system. Instructors are now required to attend a workshop run by an Assessor at least once every two years.
The other reason for the increased popularity is that a GTE Instructors Conference is held every year in different regions around the globe. By moving to different regions the conference gives Instructors in that region the chance to update their certification in accordance with current IRF standards, to discuss and find solutions for current challenges of the IRF GTE system, to share industry best practice and knowledge, and to socialise and network with leading providers of rafting education.
These steps have taken the IRF GTE system to a new level where it is now recognised as the global Gold Standard for guide education and training. Interest in the system is coming in from all corners across six continents and with more governments approving it as the official system required by all guides.
#RaftersAreAwesome #Guides #RaftGuides #GoldStandard
The annual IRF Instructors Conference is being held in Argentina this year – a great opportunity for the Instructors in this region to update their certificate according to IRF requirements.
Location: Argentina, River Alumine, Villa Pehuenia
Date: 1-2-3 November 2018
Host and Organizer: ARAFT, Mario Mateo: firstname.lastname@example.org
IRF Representatives: Joe Willie Jones – IRF President; Gaspar Goncz – IRF Vice President, Head of GTE
Total Cost: 270USD (120USD Organization + 150 USD Accommodation/meal)
Deposit: 50USD by paypal to email@example.com
Registration deadline: 10th of October 2018 Continue reading IRF Instructors Conference – Update
IRF Raft Guide Assessor, global traveller, raft guide, extreme kayaker and novice skier, we meet Mark Hirst. Mark started kayaking around 1988 when he was in primary school and continued until a trip to Nepal in 1998. He was asked to help a raft guide R2 (two-person raft) a raft down the Great Wall rapid on the Bhote Koski river. At that point Mark had a light bulb moment and figured becoming a raft guide was a way to keep him on the river and allow him to keep up his love of kayaking. That was 20 years ago… so what’s he been up to since then?
Continue reading We are river family – meet Mark Hirst
Former FARC-EP Combatants in Colombia Trade Guns for Paddles
By Shannon Farley
Former combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP in Spanish) might seem unlikely whitewater rafting guides.
Rafael Gallo helping train ex-FARC-EP combatants in river rafting in Colombia.
However, a project supported by the United Nations at the Miravalle Territorial Area for Training and Reincorporation (TATR) in the Municipality of San Vicente del Caguán, Caquetá Department, is encouraging ex-guerilla fighters to trade their guns for rafting paddles in a new sustainable ecotourism endeavor.
Rafael Gallo, honorary president of the International Rafting Federation (IRF), traveled to the Miravalle TATR at the beginning of August with a delegation of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to assess the viability of developing a commercial rafting operation on the Pato River.
“Going rafting in the Pato River is very symbolic because you are part of the peace process in Colombia,” said Gallo, CEO of the Costa Rica adventure tour operator, Rios Tropicales. “Thousands of armed fighters have put down their Continue reading River of Reconciliation in Colombia
Fliptastic rafting adventures in high water, “flushing” moments on commercial trips and learning from what life throws at you – this week we meet Alejandro (Alex) Cuéllar. Alex remembers when his brother in law said to him back in 1994 in México… “Alex, come with me next weekend to the mountains, I’ll show you what I’m doing for work, I think you’ll love it!”. And indeed, it became his passion since then. It all started by training in a inflatable single ducky, alone, flipping, wrapping, swimming and once he got to know the river up right and upside down, he jumped to the raft and started learning the guide strokes thanks to his Sensei Giovanni Lampedeccia, owner of Pápero Aventuras named in that time, Selva Azul these days.
Continue reading We are river family – meet Alejandro Cuéllar
We introduced the R3 Rescue for River Runners‘ video series in 2013 – but they are still really relevant today in the whitewater world of safety.
This is a series of videos showing river rescue techniques, combinations of skills, tips and tricks to make you a better river rescuer and safer paddler. Its aimed at river runners and people who want to run bigger and harder rivers as well as the necessary skills for rescue in event that something goes wrong.
This episode is called Team Strategy – smart teamwork and preparedness makes everyone safer on the river.
Getting Started is Episode 1 in the series and covers equipment – making sure you have the right equipment before you even start. Along the way through this series you will learn how to use all this equipment and maybe learn some neat tricks and tips as well as best practise.
To see the whole series – go to R3 Rescue for River Runners.
All our Articles on River Safety
This is a great opportunity to do an intensive workshop where you can obtain certifications from 3 different organisations that are recognised worldwide –
WRT – Pro: Whitewater Rescue Technician – Professional, Rescue 3 Europe
IRF GT&E: Guide Training & Education, International Rafting Federation
BLS: Basic Life Support, American Heart Association
Dates: the 31 September to the 7 October 2018, and is being run by the Slovenian Canyoning Federation.
Minimum numbers: The WRT-Pro and the IRF GT&E minimum number of participants is 4 people and for the (BLS) is minimum 8 people.
Miha Mihelič – Rescue 3 Instructor: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: +38640331195
Fabian Bonanno – IRF Instructor: e-mail: email@example.com. Phone: +38670674008
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