Successful meetings for Rafting development in Armenia

On 17th February the President of the World Rafting Federation Danilo Barmaz met the deputy president of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Grigoryan, in presence of the President of Armenian National Rafting Federation, Mr. Sedrak Zakaryan, the executive director of Armenian National Rafting federation, Mr. Karen Mkrtchyan, and the president of the rafting club "Noy", Mr. Vazgen Khachikyan. In the town of Alaverdi, in the northeastern part of Alaverdi the rafting development opportunities were discussed, including the opening of a new rafting center on the shores of Debed river canyon 1000 meters above sea level, surrounded by high mountains and green forests. The local authorities really appreciated our movement and the mayor of Alaverdi, Mr. Sasun Khechumyan, is considering the foundation of a rafting school there, in the future.
The good river level, surrounded by churches and historical buildings, led Mr Barmaz to a discussion about organising international competitions on Debed. 

In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the WRF President, the Armenian Federation President Sedrak Zakaryan and the members of the board Vazgen Khachikyan and Suren Danielyan visited the Armenian University of Physical Culture and Sport, welcomed by the Rector, Mr. David Khitaryan, the Vice-rector, Mr. Gagik Sargsyan, who also represented the Armenian Ski Federation. 

The recently opened “Sport Tourism” speciality of the University started considering the possibility to include our sport, including lectures and seminars, and the opportunity to teach rafting to rescuers, that would be a mutually beneficial offer.
“I am very thankful for the warm hospitality everyone I met in Armenia offered me and I am amazed by the enormous potential of this beautiful country”.


Photo courtesy of © SPUTNIK / ARAM NERSESYAN

A major breakthrough in the training of children in Ukraine

A major project of the Ukrainian Rafting Federation was launched in the beginning of the new 2020. The main objective of the project is to promote the sport rafting among children by providing year-round training. It covers 8 cities and many schools, said Oleksandr Bakanychev, the President of the federation.

With the support of the Ministry of Education, more than 450 pupils between the ages of 10 and 15 start training rafting in physical education classes. In Kiev, 139 children train three times a week in swimming pools. Boys are 75% of those willing. Project funding of around € 50.000 is provided by sponsors. The bulk of it is for pool fees and coaches as 50% of the coaches are volunteers.

The pupils in the countryside will start training by the end of February. In a year, the state will get also involved in financing the big project. It was hard to find sponsors and convinced the people from the Ministry of education to change their programs for years because of the advantages of the sport rafting, but we managed, shared the President.

By Pavlina Michailova

Balkans are calling: Bulgaria Grand Prix, straight after Slunj

Whitewater is already calling from the Balkans: 2 months and we’ll be back in the water!

From 20th to 22th March Croatia will open the WRF season with the Euro Cup in Slunj, where Korana river flows straight into the Slunjčica, drawing the amazing waterfalls we fell in love with 2 years ago, at the first WRF event in 2018.

The beginning of the season will not stop there for many rafters: Bulgarian teams will go straight from Slunj to their National Champs, but not alone.

The Struma river will host the first Grand Prix of the World Rafting year: from 27th to 29th March Slalom, RX and Downriver will not only decide the Bulgaria's names you will meet in Solkan at the World Champs, but also inaugurate the international season for the National teams who will join the event. Every National team is warmly invited to paddle in the Kresna Gorge, where the whitewater flows from the Vitosha mountains into the 3rd level rapids of a 18 kms green natural scenario.

Continental Champs: Himachal Pradesh, India 2020

Yesterday, on 13th November 2019 the WRF President Danilo Barmaz and the Indian Rafting Federation President Shaukat Sikand, in presence of the WRF General Secretary Matteo Benciolini, signed the agreement that officially designated India as the host organizer of WRF 2020 Asian Rafting Championship. 

From 7 to 11 October 2020 the small town of Manali, in the Himachal Pradesh state, will welcome the Senior national teams of Asia for the Continental title. The Beas river will be in flood after the summer rain, guaranteeing a 3rd/4rd level of whitewater, that in autumn runs fast down the green Kullu valley. 

Shaukat Pal Singh Sikand discovered rafting in December 1984, paddling on Gange during a historical expedition on the Indian sacred river. Since then he travelled around the world, starting from Oregon (USA), becoming the first Indian to be certified as a rafter, on Rouge river, to more than 50 countries visited exploring and competing in whitewater. Mr Sikand took part to a National Geographic project in South America and since 2017 is the Race Coordinator and Director of Expedition India, an adventure racing that challenges athletes from all over the world including mountain biking, trekking, rafting, rope work and orienteering. He is now the experienced President of the Indian Rafting Federation and is already working hard for a great whitewater event, in October 2020.

Vamos Chile! National Champs on Rio Teno

Vamos Chile! Yesterday was the first day of the National Championship at Los Quenes, Romeral, in the Maule Region, concurrently the Los Quenes River Fest: from 7 to 10 November the whitewater of Rìo Teno is selecting the rafters who will carry the flag of Chile in the 2020 international agonistic season.

The Silver team at the last WRF World Champs in Tunceli confirmed the National Gold in the Sprint, Men category: 1.19,75 seconds for Araucanos Rafting team formed by Christian Huenchuleo, Matias De Ferrari, Anand Heredia Valdes and Lorenzo Gomez.

1.25,60 for Chilean Adventures (second place) and 1.26,38 for Tricahue team (bronze).

With a gap of 2 seconds to Raitrai Team, Las Loicas team posted the best time of 1.31,87 in the Women category: Nicole Plagemann, Tabata Araya, Cony Molina, Yarela Munoz and Camila Ortega.

The unexpected and surprising best time overall of 1.18,28 seconds has been registered by Los Galacticos, the first Mix Team: Christian Huenchuleo, Matias De Ferrari, Yarela Munoz and Nicole Plagemann.

After the Sprint phase, the knock out confirmed Araucanos (men), Loicas (women) and Los Galacticos (Mix) the RX National Champions.

The athletes on the First step of the podium didn’t change for the second discipline in Rìo Teno that crowned Araucanos and Loicas also in the Slalom.

The Downriver is starting tomorrow, whose faces from Chile will we see at the 2020 WRF events? Stay tuned to read the names of the Overall Champions!

Always Moving Forward!

The World Champs of Para-Rafting are over: the RX discipline decided the first Overall Champions in history.

Iarysh Denis, Potanin Viktor (RUS), Salvatore Cutaia (ITA) and Igor Bondar (UKR) confirmed the 1st place in the Amputee category: the 120 points of RX gold guaranteed to them the Overall victory in the final against the Italians Giandinoto Massimo, Montagna Marco, Novella Riccardo and Sperandini Rosario (1.30-1.32.77 seconds).

The Open Category's RX final B was taken by Plotnikov Dmitry (RUS), Pavlovic Andjela, Ivanovic Marina (SRB) and Bedokurov Gled (UKR) (Bronze Overall). The final A confirmed the Overall results: gold for Romanenko Oleg, Konovalov Denis, Galdin Andrei (RUS) and Chemeris Yuriy (UKR); silver for Burakov Eduard (RUS), Ivanovic Marco, Ilic Milos (SRB) and Markovsky Illy (UKR).

Giandinoto Massimo, Sperandini Rosario (ITA), Konovalov Denis and Galdin Andrei (RUS) are the Overall Champions of the Mix category, winning the 3 different disciplines. The only two girls of the competition (Pavlovic Andjela and Ivanovic Marina) are on the second step of the podium (RX and Overall) with Iarysh Denis and Potanin Viktor (RUS). The RX bronze confirmed the Overall 3rd place for Novella Riccardo, Montagna Marco (ITA), Ivanovic Marco and Ilic Milos (SRB) who won the final B against Salvatore Cutaia (ITA), Igor Bondar, Markovsky Illy and Bedokurov Gleb (UKR).

Most of the athletes are competitors in other sports.

"My left foot has been amputated when I was 9" explains Massimo Giandinoto (winner of the Mix Category) "and since then I have been considering every day of my life as a challenge. At 26 years old I started running and filling my days with sport (He is a 100m and 200m athlete). 3, then 4, then 5 days a week until, training every day, I won the Italian title of 60m and 200m dashes. I first tried Rafting for fun but then the same happened: wearing the National flag is a dream come true; doing it with a team is something unique, paddling together literally in the same boat is priceless."

"And it is only the beginning" declares the WRF President Danilo Barmaz "These athletes are THE example of what "Always moving forward" means. A warm thanks to every person who paddled on Dnieper river and has been a part of this historic race, directed by the judges Mr Vladmir Petukhov from Russia and the WRF Vice-President Boris Purjakov".

It is definitely the beginning for the deaf team from Serbia: Andjela Pavlovic writes "Last July we first paddled in a river, we trained for 2 months and competed in Zubin Potok at the World Cup and we are happy about the results here. We are a volleyball team and we often participate in international tournment: now we train out of the water focusing on a match in Poland on 26 October, but we are looking forward to see what Rafting will show us."

Stay informed about upcoming events all the time!

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