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News and views - September 2018
In this issue, we meet more of our River Family, get ready for the IRF's GTE Instructor Conference, look at the great locations for up and coming GTE courses and assessments, see how much the IRF GTE system has grown in the past year, look at how rafting is being used for reconciliation in Colombia, get some river safety tips and get ready for an up coming Judges course.
See you on a river soon, International Rafting Federation
Guide workshops offered in some great destinations
Wanting to get or upgrade your IRF Guiding certification, or become an IRF GTE Instructor?
There are some great locations to choose from ranging from Bosnia, to Mexico, Spain, Slovenia, Argentina, the Zambezi River, Ecuador, Futaleufu River, Scotland, Cardiff and Oregon, USA!
The playground of the mighty Zambezi is an incredible location to be training up to become a raft guide. And the stunning beauty of the Futaleufu is another bucket list item for many. Throw in other well known rivers such as the Tara, Mendoza, Hood, Gallego, and more and you are spoilt for choices.
Here is the summary – explore and find the right place for you!
Whitewater raft guide, kayaker and writer passionate about exploring new rivers and cultures, Juniper Rose has paddled in 15 states across the US and 9 countries around the globe. She loves sharing rivers with others whether its clients on a guided trip or good friends out for a kayaking run. When she was 12 years old Juniper convinced my dad to let her come along on a source to sea trip that started at the headwaters of the river where she was raised and ended in the ocean weeks later. Ever since that trip she’s been hooked on whitewater. By age 16 she was guiding commercially. Guiding then became a summer job during college and a means for traveling the world thereafter.
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 . . . → continue reading . . .IRF’s Guide Training system flying along!
Starting his paddling career in competitive rowing, Gunther Atem has since become a face synonymous with South American rafting – if you’ve been to an IRF World Rafting Championship in the last few years, you’ve definitely met him. You will certainly meet him in November this year as he has been key in the IRF 2018 World Rafting Championship being held in Aluminé, Argentina. Gunther started rafting in 2009 after eight years of competitive rowing. Rowing was a very exciting sport, but he really did not get the adrenaline rush. A friend invited him to go rafting and from the first day he felt the connection with the water in movement. It was really spectacular.
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?
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.
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 . . . → 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 . . . → continue reading . . .River safety – Team Strategy
A Judges course will be run during the 2018 World Rafting Championship in Argentina. Anyone keen to do the course should email
The details are:
Dates: 5 – 10 Nov (during WRC)
Place: Event Headquarters, Argentina
Cost: $US30 to be paid to Instructor on the first day of the course. This is a once off payment.
Schedule and what is expected of you:
5th Nov, 9am to 12am – attend Judges Orientation Workshop with all Judges and Jury 2pm to 5pm – attend Judges course run by Judge Instructors 6th Nov, 9am – 12am – work with Official Judges at the Sprint Race as an Assistant Judge Trainee 2pm – 5pm – attend Judges course run by Judge Instructors 7th – 10th Nov, all day: work with . . . → continue reading . . .Judges course at WRC 2018
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