Following the initial decisions adopted by the WRF Executive Board and the WRF Board of Directors, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, WRF has approved a new delibeartion in response to...
At the last WRF World Rafting Championship in Tunceli (Turkey) Brazil got the over all gold, placing first in the downriver and the slalom.
We talked with one of its member about his river experience and the current worldwide situation.
Thiago, when was your first rafting experience? What other sports do you practice?
I practice slalom kayaking, extreme kayaking and mountain bike.
My city is divided by the homonymous river Piracicaba that hosted the Brazilian Rafting Championship in 2003.
I used to paddle there with a close-knit team of slalom kayaking, so we decided to venture out, train as a team and we finally participated in the National Champs. Rafting is a great part of my life since then.
Rafting is the only team sport you practice. What did you learn from paddling together? And from rafting in general?
The main reason for me to paddle in rafting is the team: you learn how to deal with people, physically and mentally; rafting reminds me that we cannot achieve anything in life alone. I gave a talk at a company about rafting and I realised how much you can apply the river principles on the ground, out of the river in the daily life. If we work together we can’t have different goals: the objective has to be common so the team can evolve. The river makes you feel part of something and when you paddle together this feeling is complete.
I learned to respect nature, thanks to the river. It is a part of my life and at the same time I am a part of nature: you can’t play with it, but in it. And while you are enjoying nature you understand how important is to preserve and protect it.
WRF World Rafting Championship in Turkey, June 2019
How did Covid-19 change your life? What is the goal for you now?
Covid-19 certainly changed the whole world. I personally learnt to take care of my self more often, considering both the body and the mind. I have a bicycle store and my business increased a lot since the sport is exponentially growing every day: people are more aware of what they can do now.
A concrete dream that the whole rafting community should think about is “Rafting at the Olympics”: I may be biased but our sport has much to give and offers so many opportunities and examples that are worthy of the Olympic recognition.
Personally, my biggest goal in 2021 is to win in France and reconfirm the title of World Champion with my teammates William Ferraz, Antônio José, Martins Salvati, Samuel Barbosa de Almeida and Fernando Tarcíso schamne Simões. We are training everyday with our coach Marcelo Ferreira and we are looking forward to compete there. See you in France!
FFCK is one of the biggest canoe federations worldwide and in 2017 officially welcomed the rafting sport under its umbrella, becoming a WRF member.
Rafting in France is a historical discipline from the recreational and commercial point of view, but the first National Championship was held in 2019.
Since then the agonistic field is exponentially growing: next June the World Rafting Championship will see 30 Countries paddling in L’Argentière-la-Bessée on the French river Durance.
We interviewed Mr Jean Zoungrana, FFCK President since 2016.
The entry of the FFCK in WRF has been an enormous result for our federation, since France has one of the most important canoe federations worldwide. What are the reasons that prompt the FFCK to focus and invest on rafting?
Our federation obtained the delegation of the Ministry of Sports for Rafting in 2017. It is also the moment when I was elected president of the French Canoe Kayak Federation by carrying a development project for our federation which aims to develop all of our paddle sports and not just the Olympic disciplines as some federations do. I also proposed to change the name of our federation which is now a French federation of canoeing and paddling sports. Canoeing and kayaking are our historical disciplines, but since then we have had many other disciplines that have developed, one of which is rafting, and which should be recognized. Our desire to develop rafting is therefore part of a broader desire to develop all of our paddle sports in calm water, white water and sea, with our 700 clubs and our nearly 70,000 members.
What is the approach of your federation in the development of our discipline, historical from the recreational and commercial point of view, but at the same time “new” in the institutional field?
Rafting has long been developed in France as part of leisure and tourism activities. We indeed have a lot of whitewater rivers. These activities are organized by a highly developed professional sector. Until now our federation was not very open towards these structures. Here too, we have changed the federal strategy by opening up to this professional sector. These structures can become certified members of our federation and thus benefit from all our services and the defense of their activities.
The delegation of the ministry for rafting led us to develop a new dimension, the sporting dimension with the organization of the French championships, the selection of a French team, the participation in the world championships.
44 teams attended the First National Champsionship of France, 19th May 2019
Despite the first National Championship in France was held recently, almost 2 years ago, many teams participated and the level was very good. How did our sport developed over the years in France? How do you think rafting will grow from now on?
We actually organised our first French Championship in 2018 with the Provence Alpes Cotes d'Azur regional committee and its President Bruno Carlier. The development of the discipline goes from our point of view through different axes and in particular:
The establishment of a commission in charge of the Raft and of executives and elected representatives for the discipline. For the moment the raft is associated with our Freestyle commission to pool organisations. Ultimately, when the discipline is sufficiently structured and developed, an autonomous commission will make it possible to build a calendar of regional and national events, to set up training courses for judges, to adapt sports regulations. Unfortunately the Covid-19 did not allow us to develop these sports events as we would have liked.
It’s also training. In this context we have the L'Argentière-la-Bessée regional training center with its Director Didier Lafay, which has been recognised as a center of excellence by the WRF. We also have a "EuroPAddle pass" training system with skills to be developed in terms of technique, safety and the environment. In this context we have defined a color paddle progression from the white paddle which corresponds to the beginner level to the black paddle which corresponds to the expert practitioner of the discipline.
Rafting developed all around the world over the years, connected to several territories with peculiar differences. What could be the result of a worldwide union? What are the benefits of the resulting structure?
At the international level, we note that in certain disciplines, there are several federations. This is the case in Dragon Boat with ICF and IDBF, Va'a with ICF and IVF, but also for Raft. The multiplicity of federations makes things less readable. It multiplies the titles, the championships, with economic consequences which can be important for the federations to participate in the various championships. A single federation makes it possible to reduce schedules and pool organizations as much as possible. These situations require reconciliation. These require time and strategies to share the vision of the future of the discipline, the steps in the rapprochement and the agreements to be negotiated between the parties. It is not always easy, each federation having its history and its vision.
FFCK President Jean Zoungrana and WRF President Danilo Barmaz
A new channel near Paris will be built on the occasion of the 2024 Olympics, and this facility will therefore become the new headquarter of the FFCK. Considering the fact that rafting is a great tool to approach the public and make people discover the river world, what do you think about a rafting event/initiative that brings people in the river to value the river visibility before and/or after the Olympic dates?
Since 2018 we have inaugurated the Olympic and Paralympic nautical stadium of Île-de-France located in Vaires-Sur-Marne. We have installed our French teams and our federal headquarters there. Our project is to build our canoe-kayak and paddle sports house which will house the future federal headquarters at the entrance to the site. This site is one of the largest in the world dedicated to the practice of paddle sports, with its two artificial rivers for training and competitions and its lake for calm water disciplines. We will host events in many different disciplines: Rafting, why not?
What is the way to develop a positive synergy between rafting and canoe?
During the phase of discovering our paddle sports, it is important to be able to allow practitioners to discover all the supports. It’s part of a comprehensive paddle sports education. Thereafter, the athletes are led to make choices according to their physical and technical capacities. To promote the development of the discipline, one of the solutions would be to consider, in particular, joint organizations. In 2017, we organized the Slalom and wildwater world championships on the same site in Pau. Why do not we consider a championship that combines wild water with Rafting? This will make the sport grow.
WRF promotes the Olympic agenda values of Tokyo 2020 every day: sustainability, legacy and gender equality. How can these three principles be achieved and further developed through and after the Olympics?
Our federation shares these values and these orientations. Thus our federal project has three orientations: to perform during the Games but also in all disciplines, to celebrate the Games and to build our Paris 2024 heritage for the future. A material heritage in terms of infrastructure, equipment, navigation sites but also immaterial by making paddle sports accessible to all, by training our practitioners and by offering quality sports and leisure activities.
Regarding gender equality, in the last election I presented a team with equal representation of both genders. We are currently working on the evolution of our statutes so that there are at least 40% of women or men in all the bodies of our federation.
Sustainable development issues are also part of our concerns. We must fight against global warming by intervening in all our sectors of activity: transport, food, the life cycle of our equipment, waste management, in the organization of our events, etc. it is also the protection actions of our practice sites with all the cleaning operations of our rivers that our clubs carry out. Finally, it is also the defense of access to our spaces, sites and navigation routes to ensure that our users can continue to navigate safely on all sites.
What is your message to the athletes who are preparing for the World Rafting Champs?
France awaits them for this championship and is doing everything possible to ensure that they are received in the best possible conditions. The Argentière La Bessée site is a remarkable site for the practice of Rafting and offers excellent reception conditions as well as quality whitewater navigation courses with the river and the whitewater stadium. We look forward to welcome you all!
World Earth Day is the biggest environmental event dedicated to the planet and has been celebrated every year for 51 years. Founded in 1970 to sensitize the world to the importance of conserving the Earth's natural resources, in recent years it has managed to mobilize over one billion people in the 193 countries involved.
Each edition has its own theme for this year’s #EarthDay is: “Restore Our Earth” because it is true that today we celebrate our great planet, but we also wanna start a new project for its protection from threats like climate change!
Soon we will publish news - stay tuned!
We’re happy to announce that we’ve partnered with One Tree Planted to plant trees!
The World Rafting Federation on the occasion of the WRF World Rafting and Para-Rafting Championships 2021, from june 28th - is honored to support reforestation with One Tree Planted as part of our commitment to sustainability.
1 ATHLETE = 1 TREE
1 Athlete = 1 Tree: this is the first goal of our collaboration that will only grow in the future!
Planting trees is one of the best ways to combat the damaging effects of climate change. Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Trees also provide tremendous social impacts by providing jobs to over 1.6 billion people, empowering women in underdeveloped nations, and supporting communities devastated by environmental damage.
During these weeks untill the Worlds our ambassadors will present you the project! Follow our media account for more and remember that every tree makes a positive impact for nature, wildlife and people!
2 days of selections officially opened the agonistic season in Italy: the 3rd level river Sesia, in the alpine valley Valsesia hosted the first stage of the National Rafting Championship 2021.
2 of the 5 disciplines that will select the athletes for the World Championship in France took place on 8th and 9th May.
Sesia gorges, Piedmont region, North Italy
The first day saw 14 gates for 2 challenging manches of Slalom: Pietro Fratton, Zeno Martini, Fabio Martini And Lorenzo Mastella of Rafting Team Verona won in the men category with 142.64 seconds, with only 3.65 seconds ahead of Sesia Rafting Team with Dario Morandi, Michele Pattoglio, Francesco Regina and Giordi Sarteur. Third place for the athletes of Tigerle - ASV Sterzing from Vipiteno with 158.55 seconds: Damiano Casazza, Robert Schifferle, Martin Unterthurner and Michael Zanella.
Rafting Team Verona
Downriver confirmed the men podium, with a close battle between the first three teams that concluded in the same position: gold for Rafting Team Verona with 24’32.30, silver for Sesia Rafting with 24’34.41 and bronze for Tigerle - ASV Sterzing with 24’43.13.
Also in the women category the steps of the two podiums saw the same teams in the same positions: Letizia Lauri, Elodie Lumignon, Gaia Mascarello and Carlotta Scalvino, Rafting Aventure Villeneuve, won the Slalom with 175.50 seconds. With 30 cents further back Martina Bonomi, Christa Gruber, Francesca Leonardi and Miriam Waldboth got the second place for Sesia Rafting-DRD4. Third place for Sara Amonini, Francesca Fontanive, Silvia Venturini and Valentina Volo, Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 188.79 seconds.
Rafting Aventure Villeneuve
Downriver gave another gold to Rafting Aventure Villeneuve who stopped the chronometer at 27’03.59, followed with almost a minute of advantage by Sesia Rafting-DRD4 with 28’00.56. Another bronze for Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina River with 28’57.82.
2 Para-Rafting teams, with athletes who already participated at the World Para-Rafting Championship in Kiev 2019, paddled in the same disciplines: gold for M&N Movimento e Natura - Asd Pescantina and silver for M&N Movimento e Natura - Adda Viva.
Now all the athletes keep their eyes on the next weekend of selection (5th and 6th June) on Avisio river that, with 3 other competitions on different disciplines, will confirm or overturn the National spots for France, 2 teams per category: men, women, para and mix. 1 month and 16 days to go!
To the start of the marathon are allowed maximum 1500 boats, the registratsion begins 1-st of january at 12:00:01 am (in Estonian time) Registration runs until the 31-st of march or until 1500 boats are filled.
If your desire is to see pristine nature and spend one athletic day paddling, this is the marathon for you. 100km in one day. Remember! "You Can Do More Than You Think". Every kilometer you recall later on the sauna deck is pure pleasure. You want it over and over, it may not be right now, but it won't give you peace anymore.
WE WILL MEET May 22, 2021 in Võru.
for more: click here!
June is close and the numbers are official: the 2021 WRF World Rafting Championship, in L’Argentière-Pays des Ecrins, will welcome 30 countries and 350 athletes in almost a month.
The limit for the teams’ number for each National Federation is 8, two teams per category: beside the historical 2 men and 2 women teams there will be 2 mix (2 men+2 women) and 2 Para-Rafting teams (2 LTA + 2 athletes).
For the first time mix teams will be full-fledged teams, competing in all 3 disciplines, giving birth to a definitive new dimension of rafting, with a different and challenging balance between strength and technique.
Another first time for the Para-Rafting teams: WRF organised the first Para-Rafting Championship in Kiev 2019, but this time the level of the river is higher (III WW) and athletes and para-athletes will compete in the same whitewater.
On 28th June 80 senior teams will arrive in France from all over the world and after the accreditation they will be able to train for the first time in the Durance river.
The following morning there will be the Downriver official training and the competitions will officially start with the RX qualifications in the afternoon, followed by the Opening Ceremony.
Check out the bulletin for the full programme: https://www.worldraftingfederation.com/events/wrf-world-rafting-championships-france-2021
After the opening race on Rio Pejibaye in February and the second stage on Rio Pacuare at the end of March, the National Championship of Costa Rica is finally over. Sarapiquì hosted the third and final stage on Rio Puerto Viejo.
In the women category the winners of the first two races confirmed the gold, with a first place in every discipline (300 points): Chicas del Pacuare are definitely ready for France.
The second women team, who will compete in France too, is Black Mambas (270 points, 2nd place in every discipline).
The bronze in the Downriver, RX and slalom gave a third place to Open Mambas (240 points).
The overall Men category saw a harsh exchange between the first teams. Quepos won the downriver, got the 2nd place in RX and the 3rd in Slalom, ripping the top step of the podium with 268 points, after a challenging race with Volcano.
Volcano won the final knock out stage of RX, got a silver in the downriver and a 5th place in Slalom, that gave them 262 points, an Overall silver and the ticket to the World Champs, shared with the winners.
The bronze went to Hijos del Volcán, with 250 points from a 3rd place in Downriver and RX and a 2nd place in Slalom.
The National Champions are already focusing on the next big challenge: the national title is a great result as well as a starting point for the international level: four teams from Costa Rica (one more team as mix) will paddle in Durance river in less than 2 months, for the world title in France.
The world is still struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and most of us are still locked home thinking on how nice would be to do some rafting with our team, friends or family.
Trying to give you some relief we decided to tiktok-ing a bit! Are you with us? We need your support!
We will start posting videos from all over the world to give you the possibility to take some imaginary worldwide journeys with us. Everyday a new spot to discover and add to your trip list for the moment when the pandemic will be over!
The wild Costa Rica, the high Croatian waterfalls, the Grand Canyon, the crystal clear Chilean waters... send us your videos on @worldrafting!
We solemnly promise you not to ruin any kind of song by overusing it... but we can’t wait to meet you all in person again and test the skills of our expert athletes! Only -73 days to the WRF World Rafting Championships - L'Argentière-La Bessée 2021!
Every cloud has a silver lining - see you soon rafters!