The picturesque Kresna Gorge in Bulgaria has long been a site of ecological importance and a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly the rafting community. However, a recent proposal to build a highway...
In a heartwarming display of sharing and environmental awareness, athletes from around the world came together during a recent WRF World Rafting Championships 2023 Valtellina, Italy to support the World...
Asian Rafting Championships on the go! A thrilling new adventure will bring together all the rafting lovers from across the continent to race for the title of Asian Champion celebrating the spirit of river...
The last RX on Adda river was on fire at the World Rafting Championships 2023.On friday the knock out of Mix, Women and Men went on until the finals at night, with the fireworks that lit up the 400 athletes,...
Gates on Adda river awarded the points of the second day at the World Rafting Championships in Valtellina, Italy. Red gates were paired (4 5 7 8 11 12 ) and forced the 30 nations to paddle challenging...
The picturesque Kresna Gorge in Bulgaria has long been a site of ecological importance and a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly the rafting community. However, a recent proposal to build a highway through this pristine natural landscape has raised concerns from environmentalists and the rafting community.
Protecting a Biodiverse Oasis
Kresna Gorge is a biodiversity hotspot, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The proposed highway construction could lead to habitat fragmentation and loss, potentially endangering several species. Environmentalists argue that it may disrupt migration routes, harm local populations, and damage the overall ecological balance in the region. The pristine natural environment of Kresna Gorge is a precious asset, and many argue that its conservation should take precedence over development.
The site is situated along the riverbanks of the Struma River in Southeast Bulgaria and passes between the Pirin and Malashevska Mountains. The unique site provides a home for an extraordinarily high number of rare and endemic species protected according to the EU “Habitats” Directive, including 4 types of habitats, 23 types of birds, 17 species of bats, and 31 species of reptiles and amphibians.
This is the most important place for the breeding, migration and hibernation of a great number of species. The River Struma is also a very important corridor for the seasonal and the long-term migrations of plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, bats and mammals in the South – North direction. This migration, however, is concentrated in the lower reaches of the gorge nearby the river. Thus, the location of the current road there is often fatal for them. Thousands of insects, birds and bats crash into the trucks barreling down the road every day. Road traffic also kills those animals that live permanently in the gorge and periodically move upwards the slopes: tortoises, snakes, lizards, frogs, voles, dormouses, hedgehogs, etc. The nesting birds and the bats in the region, with their colonies extremely close to the road, are also threatened. The stone-martens, foxes and otters also faced grave peril as they feed on the killed animals during the night. If a motorway is constructed through the gorge that will increase the animal slaughter many times causing nearly a 100% death rate of the non-flying animals in the valley.
Navigating the Rapids of Change
The rafting community has a vested interest in preserving the natural beauty of Kresna Gorge, as it is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Rafting through the picturesque gorges and pristine rivers is not only a source of revenue but also a way to connect with nature and promote a sustainable outdoor lifestyle. The federation advocates for responsible development that maintains the ecological integrity of the region.
The Need for Sustainable Infrastructure
In a world where infrastructure development is often essential for economic growth, finding a balance is critical. Environmentalists and organizations argue that a compromise can be reached. Mitigation measures, such as wildlife corridors and sustainable construction practices, can be implemented to minimize the environmental impact.
The debate over the proposed highway through Kresna Gorge encapsulates the broader struggle between development and conservation. It's imperative that all stakeholders, including environmentalists, local communities come together to seek a balanced solution.
The creation of the highway must prioritize sustainability, ensuring that Kresna Gorge remains a biodiverse oasis and a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. While challenges lie ahead, finding common ground and pursuing a path that harmonizes development with environmental preservation is essential for safeguarding this remarkable natural landscape and maintaining the world-class rafting experience that it offers.
Find out more on: https://kresna.org/en/home/
The last RX on Adda river was on fire at the World Rafting Championships 2023.
On friday the knock out of Mix, Women and Men went on until the finals at night, with the fireworks that lit up the 400 athletes, the teams' coaches and supporters and many local river enthusiasts cheering and running along the shores of the semi-artificial channel.
Awarding the 120 golden points RX podium confirmed the same results in the overall MEN. WRC men title goes to Japan 1 with 290 points, downriver and RX winners, silver in the slalom. Taro Hando, Tohru Kanaya, Akira Nakano, Satoshi Koizumi and Keita Yagisawa climbed the knock out phase, winning against Slovakia, Colombia, Argentina, landing at the semi-finals against the slalom winner Italy 1. They made it to the ultimated destination of final A, giving everything and prevailing against Brasil 1.
Brasil 1 got the RX silver: William Ferraz, Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo, Pedro Aversa and Thiago Saldanha Serra are the new Vice World Champions with 260 points.
Bronze for Italy 1 with Zeno Martini, Fabio Martini, Pietro Fratton and Lorenzo Mastella who won the final B against Japan 2, becoming third in the world with 256 points.
Japan 1 awarded by IOC member Ivo Ferriani
Also the WOMEN RX title lands in Asia: for the first time competing in this discipline abroad, Japan 1 Masayo Abe, Hiromi Asai, Hanako Ita and Machiko Nakahashi didn't hold back against Costa Rica 1, Czech Republic 1, Slovakia and won the final A against the locals of Italy 1 who got the RX silver.
RX third place goes to Nicole Plagemann, Camila Ortega Llancafilo, Yarela Munoz and Carla Barriento: Chile won the final B against Slovakia.
The 120-108-96 points of the RX decided everything: overall women gold goes to Sara Amonini, Francesca Leonardi, Francesca Fontanive and Silvia Venturini of Italy 1 with 288 points.
Silver overall for the RX winners Masayo Abe, Hiromi Asai, Hanako Ita and Machiko Nakahashi from Japan 1 who defended the steps of the podium with 282 points in total.
230 points for the third place: Chile gets the overall bronze thanks to Nicole Plagemann, Camila Ortega Llancafilo, Yarela Munoz and Carla Barriento.
Italy 1 in Sondrio, opening ceremony
7 rounds of knock out decided the MIX RX medals:
Gold to Italy 2 Lorenzo Mastella, Zeno Martini, Giada Debon and Maria Martini, silver to Italy 1 Fabio Martini, Dario Morandi, Francesca Leonardi and Sara Amonini and bronze to Slovakia 1 Jacub Chynoradsky, Dominic Chynoradsky, Hana Derkova and Nina Trstanova who who won the final B against Colombia 1.
The overall gold was confirmed by the RX: Italy 2 Lorenzo Mastella, Zeno Martini, Giada Debon and Maria Martini are World Rafting Champions with 292 points. Italy 1 takes also the second place overall: Fabio Martini, Dario Morandi, Francesca Leonardi and Sara Amonini with 278 points.
Overall bronze goes to Colombia 1 with 278 scored by William Delgado, Luswing Millan, Milyei Nunez and Milagros Morales.
Italy 2 mix during the knock out
The PARA-RAFTING disciline has also been dominated by the italian rafters overall: gold to Italy 1 (Marco Montagna, Riccardo Novella, Carlo Benciolini and Dario Morandi) with 292 points thanks to the victory in the RX, silver for Italy 2 (Rosario Sperandini, Paolo Bertello, Giordi Sarteur and Riccardo Colombo) with 278 and bronze to Chile 1 (Franco Gutierrez, Rodrigo Toledo, Matias Cavieres, Sebastian Acevedo and Lisa Farias) with 234 points, thanks to a fourth place in the RX.
Italy 2 during the national anthem as new world Para-Rafting Champions
WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared: "Congratulations to all the 400 athletes: the level was notable and the participation very active. WRF thanks everyone who paddled in Adda river during this unforgettable week."
We are in the middle of the Italian Alps, on the III class rapids of Adda river, that flows through the Lombardy region in northern Italy. It originates from the Alps near the border of Switzerland and runs eastward for approximately 313 kilometres before emptying into the Po river. During its course it flows through Valtellina, before creating the stunning Como Lake, and in this green valley the biggest event of the rafting year is starting today.
Boffetto, Sondrio province, North Italy - 327 above the sea level
Here the copious snowfalls of the past winter are guaranteeing a great water flow of 35/40 cubics, that will be run by 400 athletes from all over the world, during the week from 26th June to 2nd July. The stakes are high: the title of World Champions.
30 nations answered the call and arrived in Boffetto (Comune Piateda), that already hosted several international canoeing competitions, culminating in the 2014 World Canoeing Championship.
This time the boats are bigger with Aquadesign race rafts, and the numbers too. Yesterday the accreditation welcommed many new countries that joined our movement and already appreciated the lines during the first day of official training this afternoon.
Today, after the last chance to find the fastest line during the official training, the official ceremony will officially open the champs: we invite all the athletes to participate in Sondrio city in the historical center, 20.00 local time.
Buona settimana, enjoy the race week rafters!
In a heartwarming display of sharing and environmental awareness, athletes from around the world came together during a recent WRF World Rafting Championships 2023 Valtellina, Italy to support the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and contribute towards the adoption of a panda. Participating in the WRF athletes' lottery their collective efforts resulted in the adoption of a charming panda named Adda - like the marvelous river where the event took place that hosted the 400 athletes during the WRC week.
The World Champs, renowned for its global participation - served as an ideal platform to raise awareness about the pressing need for conservation. Recognizing this unique opportunity the World Rafting Federation collaborated with WWF to encourage athletes and spectators to make voluntary donations towards wildlife conservation initiatives. Recognizing the power of their influence, many athletes willingly contributed towards the adoption of a WWF panda.
WWF mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. From our experience as the world's leading independent conservation body, we know that the well-being of people, wildlife and the environment are closely linked. That's why we take an integrated approach to our work. WFF projects are innovative, collaborative and based on scientific evidence. WWF think big, running a number of Global initiatives focussing on the regions and challenges where they can make the biggest difference - from the Arctic and the Amazon to responsible fishing.
The adoption of Adda, the WWF panda, stands as a testament to the power of unity and compassion. The athletes' contributions have made a tangible difference in the conservation efforts of the WWF, reinforcing the belief that every individual, regardless of their background, has the potential to contribute towards safeguarding our environment. We hope that the adoption of Adda will continue to inspire future generations and serve as a reminder of the importance of nurturing a harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife.
Thanking our fantastic athletes once again - we remind you that is possible to support and adopt endangered species from your WWF National Website.
Check-out for more: www.wwf.org
Gates on Adda river awarded the points of the second day at the World Rafting Championships in Valtellina, Italy. Red gates were paired (4 5 7 8 11 12 ) and forced the 30 nations to paddle challenging ferries for the Slalom podium.
In the men category the game turned in favour of Italy 1: after a touch on the 1st manche, Lorenzo Mastella, Pietro Fratton, Fabio Martini and Zeno Martini closed a golden run in 132,30 seconds in the second.
Japan 1 follows with a clean run with a 2 seconds gap: Taro Hando, Tohru Kanaya, Akira Nakano, Satoshi Koizumi and Keita Yagisawa got the silver with 134,81 seconds.
Brazil 1 (William Ferraz, Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo, Pedro Aversa and Thiago Saldanha Serra) closes the podium with 135,32.
In Women category Italy 1 defends the highest step of the podium: the Downriver winners Sara Amonini, Francesca Leonardi, Francesca Fontanive and Silvia Venturini stopped the chrono at 169,18.
3 seconds later Japan 1 (Masayo Abe, Hiromi Asai, Hanako Ita and Machiko Nakahashi) follows with 172,59. Bronze Chile closes the podium with 174,97: Camila Ortega Llancafilo, Paloma Molina, Nicole Plagemann, Yarela Munoz and Carla Barrientos.
Italian dominance continues in the Para Rafting podium: despite 1 touch and a 5 second penalty Italy 1 (Carlo Benciolini, Marco Montagna, Riccardo Novella and Dario Morandi) leads with 168,47 seconds.
Slalom silver to Italy 2 with a clean run by Rosario Sperandini, Salvatore Cutaia, Giordi Sarteur and Riccardo Colombo: 170,64.
Franco Gutierrez, Rodrigo Toledo, Matias Cavieres and Sebastian Acevedo from Chile 1 close the podium with 316,43.
Home advantage prevails also in the Mix category. The only team to score a better result in the first run is Italy 2, who didn’t hold back in the first heat and took home a golden 146,67. Italy 1 on the second step of the podium with 147,89: Lorenzo Mastella, Zeno Martini, Giada Debon and Maria Martini.
Silver mix for Italy 1 with 147,89 seconds earned by Fabio Martini, Dario Morandi, Francesca Leonardi and Sara Amonini 147,89
Bronze medal to Colombia 1 150,28 William Delgado, Luswing Millan, Milyei Nunez and Milagros Morales.
Tomorrow the RX will decide everything starting at 9.30: follow the knock out that will crown the World Champions 2023 here:
Today the Sala Consiglio dell’Amministrazione provinciale di Sondrio hosted the Press Conference for the World Rafting Championship that will take place from 26th June to 2nd July in Valtellina, on the Adda river rapids.
Boffetto, the III+ Adda section, is ready to welcome the worldwide event, but it's not the first time that athletes from all over the world paddle in its rapids. We remember the European Canoeing Championship in 2008 and 2009, the World Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the World Championship in 2014.
The Province President Davide Menegola opened the meeting after the online greetings of BIM Adda President, FICK President Luciano Buonfiglio, CONI President Giovanni Malagó and Sport e Salute President Vito Cozzoli.
Mr Menegola expressed satisfaction about the local cohesion that is necessary not only for the organisation of a successful event, but also to preserve the territory managing tourism in an active way.
Simone Luca Marchesini, Mayor of Piateda, and the Province Assessors were present and are happy to promote an event that that raises awareness about the importance to preserve the river and the potential of rafting in that direction.
The biggest event of the year is sanctioned by World Rafting Federation and organised by Federazione Italian Rafting (FIRaft) and Adda Viva Indomita Valtellina RIver.
FIRaft President Benedetto Del Zoppo renews the invitation to the opening ceremony on the night of 27th June: the 400 athletes from 33 nations will be presented in Piazza Garibaldi, Sondrio.
WRF President Danilo Barmaz is happy to see a great participation in the Mix (26) and Para-Rafting (6) category, apart from the 44 men teams and 22 women teams.
For the first time WRF will welcome teams directly from Africa: in 2021 France saw the Moroccoan team (living in France) competing for the world title. This time Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Uganda will display men teams representing a great delegation from the African continent.
Also, for each athlete participating one tree will grow in Uganda, to prevent the deforestaion that is a concrete threat to the nowadays society, thanks to the collaboration with One Tree Planted.
Furthermore Peace and Sport will be present and the athletes will raise its symbol: as reference to the yellow and the red card in the sporting world, the #WhiteCard invites not to punish but to promote peace.
India and Japan men teams are already arrived and in these days are discovering the Boffetto rapids, where the Slalom and RX will take place. They are waiting for you!
Unleashing your inner Tiger: Get ready for the WRF Asian Rafting Championships 2023 Himachal Pradesh, India
Asian Rafting Championships on the go! A thrilling new adventure will bring together all the rafting lovers from across the continent to race for the title of Asian Champion celebrating the spirit of river sports.
The competition will be organized by the Indian Rafting Foundation and held from September 16th to 23rd on the river Satluj in Shimla District; Himachal Pradesh - India. With breathtaking landscapes and challenging III-IV level rapids the Sutlej is one of only three Trans Himalayan rivers originating in the high Tibetan Plateau that cuts across the mighty Himalayan ranges, its source lies in near the Mansarovar Lake at 18500 ft. .
The arrival is scheduled for september 16th - all the teams will be welcomed at the New Delhi airport and transported to Shimla. From september 19th to 22nd the teams will compete against one another in accordance with the WRF Sport Rules in the three disciplines: Downriver, Slalom and RX. Each discipline tests different aspects of the teams' abilities, requiring them to navigate treacherous rapids, maneuver through obstacles, and synchronize their movements to achieve maximum speed and control.
‘’I’m optimistic that the teams coming from various part of Asia will enjoy the scenic location chosen for the Asian Rafting Championships’’ says the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu ‘’This Championships will give a big boost to adventure sports and make Himachal Pradesh a preferred destination for both national and worldwide enthusiasts’’ and also aligning with the most recent projects ‘’Himachal Pradesh is a very eco sensitive state and I congratulate that the organizer for endeavoring to make it a PLASTIC FREE event.’’.
In addition to the continental event at Nadaun (Himachal Pradesh) will also take place the ‘’All India Rafting Marathon Series’’ open to all the teams from september 24th to 28th.
July 31st 2023 -Deadline Numerical entries (by e-mail)
August 31st 2023 - Deadline Nominal entries (via the WRF platform)
After Tuesday’s opening ceremony in Sondrio (Valtellina, Italy) the first race day displayed the 400 athletes at the World Champs in Boffetto for the Downriver: a section of 4.5 km in Adda river assigned the first golden points.
Japan made their debut in WRF competitions and it is an explosive start: after setting the best time in the RX qualification Japan men 1 spotted the first position with Taro hando, Tohru Kanaya, Akira Nakano, Satoshi Koizumi, Keita Yagisawa paddling with an excellent time of 20’52.27. “We came prepared, but we didn’t expect the WRF race rafts to be so aggressive, they have a smooth and exciting reaction to the flow.”
Japan 1 men - Downriver gold
With a gap of almost 27 seconds Brasil 1, the PanAmerican champions William Ferraz, Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo, Murilo Torres, Pedro Aversa and Thiago Saldanha Serra take the silver with 21’19.26.
Carlo Benciolini, Riccardo Colombo, Giordy Sarteur and Sabino Seka - Italy 2 secures third with 21’22.95.
In the women category the local team with 3 athletes from Valtellina, competing in their home run, brought home the gold: Italy 1 - Sara Amonini, Francesca Fontanive, Francesca Leonardi and Silvia Venturini stopped the chronometer at 22’36.02.
"Playing at home is strange, more pressure but the satisfacion is priceless: it is definitley better to win in our home run rather than abroad"
Italy 1 women
A gap of 13 seconds put Japan 1 women team in the second position: Masayo Abe, Hiromi Asai, Hanako Ita and Machiko Nakahashi on the silver step of the podium.
Third step of the podium, with 23'00.53 for Czech Republic Zdenka Fingrova, Anna Kasparova, Blanka Martinkova, Karolina Kocmanova annd Lenka Bauerova.
Also Para-Rafting teams are drawing smooth lines through the Adda rapids as the level keeps growing:
Downriver gold stays home thanks to Italy 2 of Italy with 2 22’20.88: Pietro Fratton, Riccardo Colombo, Rosario Sperandini and Paolo Bertello.
Italy 2 - Para-Rafting
Italy 1 22'47.27 , for only 2 seconds, gets the silver: Carlo Benciolini, Marco Montagna, Rosario Sperandini and Paolo Bertello.
Third place for Chile 1 25'27.51 Franco Rodriguez, Rodrigo Toledo, Matias Cavieres and Sebastian Acevedo.
Last but not least, with 23 teams, the mix category: the podium is all for the Azzurri, racing at home:
Italy 122'12.82 Fabio Martini, Dario Morandi, Francesca Leonardi and Sara Amonini
Italy 2 22'22.89 Lorenzo Mastella, Zeno Martini, Giada Debon and Maria Martini
Italy 3 22'35.50 Giulia Liuzzo, Luca Liuzzo, Giacomo Schettino and Alejandra Gazzola.
The World Championships is always been one of the most exciting events in the world of rafting. It is a moment of great emotion, in which the best athletes of each nation compete for glory and fame. But the World Championship isn't just a competition, it's also an opportunity to get to know new countries, teams and friends.
With each edition of the World Championship, new nations join the World Rafting Family, bringing with them new teams. This makes the race even more interesting and challenging, because every event becomes an opportunity to discover new tactics and new styles.
This year at the WRC 2023 we are expecting over 30 nations on the river Adda, in Valtellina (Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, North Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Peru, Slovenia, Serbia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela).
As with every World Championship, there are teams that have been mainstays in the movement for decades, and then there are teams that are making their first debut. The presence of both old and new teams will creating opportunities for upsets and surprises. We are very happy to welcome you all in this unique atmosphere of solidarity and friendship, where differences dissolve in the face of passion for the river.
Rafting is not just a sport but an opportunity to bring people together and we wish good luck everyone!