Brazil and Russia triumph in Tunceli


Brazil and Russia triumph at the Worlds titles. Chile and Italy make progress, but the revelation crew of 2019 is Kazakhstan.

On 11th June the Munzur river hosted the RX for women and men teams who paddled the Tunceli Venue on Time Trial rafts for the qualification in the morning.

In the women category the best 4 times had straight access to the quarter finals: Russia 1 with 64,74 seconds, Italy 1 with 67,13 seconds, Italy 2 with 68,17 seconds and Chile 1 with 70,27 seconds, while the other 8 teams started the knock out phase. The straight fights led Russia 1 and Italy 1 to the final A and Chile 1 and Turkey 1 to the final B. The bronze has been finally conquered by Tabata Araya, Nicole Plagemann, Camila Ortega, Yarela Munoz and Constanza Molina (Chile 1) while the dowriver winners from Russia confirmed the first position also in the RX discipline: Ekaterina Kozhanova, Valentina Kozhanova, Tamara Chugunova and Vera Malahova won the last run against the Italians Francesca Leonardi, Alessandra Massimino, Dorothea Oberhofer and Marianna Tedeschi who took the Silver medal.

In the men category the best 8 times of the morning qualification had straight access to the eight finals: Chile 1 (60,78 seconds), Brazil (60,80 seconds), Turkey 3 (61,71 seconds), Russia 2 (62,24 seconds), Kazakhstan 1 (62,87 sec), Slovakia 1 (63,19 seconds), Italy 2 (63,58 seconds), Italy 1 (63,73 seconds). After the knock out phase that lasted the whole evening Maxim Zimin, Almas Bekbolat, Vitaliy Drobizov, Aleksandr Salynoyy and Damir Savandykov (Kazakhstan 1) has been crowned the RX World Champions. The hosts team Turkey 1 and Turkey 2 took the second position (Fatih Ozkan, Yavuz Sleim Ozturk, Cihad Er, A. Dogukan Yldirim and Muhammet Hacibekiroglu) and the bronze medal (Ibrahim Kuk, Mert Alper Sari, Emre Yilmaz, Ahmet Umut Sargin and Doganay Cinar).

The mix category (2 men and 2 women) saw on RX podium the Gold of Russia 1, the Silver of the team composed of 2 Chilean women and 2 Brazilian men who raced under the WRF flag and the Bronze of Chile 1.

The 12th June has been the last race day: 2 manches through the 14 gates in the Venue (6 upstream and
8 green gates) gave the last 80, 90 and 100 points to the Slalom discipline winners. The bronze medal has been taken by Chile 1 in the men category (Matias De Ferrari, Lorenzo Gomez, Diego Venegas and the the Chilean Federation President Cristian Huenchuleo) and by Russia 2 in the women category (Aleksandra Bychkova, Ekaterina Klimkova, Nadezhda Zhiriakova and Aleksandra Vinokurova).

The second position went to Russia 2 men (Aleksey Shirokov, Vladimir Kazanksiy, Nikita Zhuravlev, Ilya Lukyatsev).

The gold slalom of Brazil crowned Thiago Saldanha Serra, Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo, Willian Ferraz, Pedro Henrique Avansi Aversa and Fabio Ramos Lourencao the Over All men Champions with 240 points in total. With 6 points less than Brazil, Kazakhstan 1 conquered the Over All silver and Russia 2 took the Bronze.

The 3 golds in the Downriver, RX and Slalom guaranteed the title of undisputed Over All Women Champions to Russia 1, ahead of Italy 1 (270 points conquered with 3 silvers) and Chile 1.



Brazil and Russia take the downriver

Brazil and Russia are officially the first winners of the World Rafting Championship 2019!

The Tunceli downriver took place this morning in the upper section of the river where 3 teams every 6 minutes started the race from the natural upper section and paddled for half an hour in the rocky bends of Munzur until the finishline under the bridge near the Tunceli centre, where the Brazilian team composed by Thiago Saldanha Serra, Thiago Diniz Barne Ganeo, Willian Ferraz, Pedro Henrique Avansi Aversa and Fabio Ramos Louren stopped the chronometer after 23:02 minutes from the start. The downriver took 23:17 minutes to the second team, the Chileans Matias de Ferrari, Lorenzo Gomez, Diego Venegas and Christian Huenchuleo and the bronze medal goes to Italy, the last year U19 World Champions: Pietro Fratton, Zeno Martini, Fabio Martini and Lorenzo Mastella.

The gold medal of Woman has been conquered by Ekaterina Kozhanova, Valentina Kozhanova, Tamara Chugunova and Vera Malahova from Russia with 23:53 minutes, more than one minute less than Italy: Francesca Leonardi, Alessandra Massimino, Dorothea Oberhofer and Marianna Tedeschi took the second place paddling for exactly 25:00 minutes, with a final gap of 15 seconds to Tabata Araya, Nicole Plagemann, Camila Ortega, Yarela Munoz and Costanza Molina from Chile, 25:15, third place.

The last group of rafts was composed by Presidents of the National Federations and Head of Delegations: Danilo Barmaz, Fikret Yardimci, Christian Huenchuleo from Chile, Massimo Desiati from Brazil, Hadi Ghaziasgar from Iran, Rasto Zboril from Slovenia, David Katsarava from Georgia, the Indian delegation, Massimiliano Manfredi from Italy, Didier Lafay and Bruno Carlier from France who paddled with Tuncay Sonel, the Tunceli Governor, introducing him to our beautiful sport and showing him Tunceli city and Munzur valley from the natural point of view of the World of Rafting.

World Rafting Championships are open!


"500 days ago representatives from 15 countries founded the WRF in Belgrade, rafting lovers with a dream who came together from all over the world in order to create a new movement and make this amazing sport grow. I can't believe that in less than 2 years we organized such a big event, so I have to thank Fikret Yardimci, the President of the Turkish Rafting Federation, and the Tunceli Governor for the big help that gave to the WRF board in the last months. We are working hard and the hundreds smiles of athletes, coaches, technicians, volunteers, organizers, judges and all of the local people here confirm me that it is worth it. Teşekkürler to everyone, teşekkürler Tunceli. Enjoy the World Rafting Championship".

With these words the WRF President Danilo Barmaz declared opened the World Rafting Championship Senior - Turkey 2019. During the Opening Ceremony every Nation has been officially welcomed and presented to the other 16 countries, surrounded by the excitement of the local people who saw the preparation of this event evolving in the last months in parallel with the building of the semi artificial Venue.

Tomorrow morning the Munzur river will be inaugurated by Danilo Barmaz, who invited the Governor to paddle with him, the heads of delegations and the athletes in the downriver section, including Fikret Yardimci: "A warm thank to the Governor of Tunceli City Tuncay Sonel for the help that the city of Tunceli is giving to our Sport, your support has been fundamental and this event is an important step that will guarantee the progressive developement of rafting in our country and an increasing visibility to this lovely city".


Turkey 2019: rafters on your marks!


Günaydın World Rafting Champs!

23 men, 12 women and 13 mix teams from the whole World of Rafting woke up in Tunceli, surrounded by the limestone massif of Middle-East Anatolia, where the 3rd level river Munzur runs through green valleys under a clear sky, blue as the 10 degrees water.

Rafters from 3 continents arrived yesterdaty at Elazig Airport, flying thanks to the Official Event Partner Turkish Airlines that provided a discount to every National team participating: Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, France, Georgia, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.

This morning rafters first paddled in the Venue, built last winter by the Turkish Rafting Federation, where Munzur river in flood flows through 2 semi artificial parallel sections, for Training and Race. The downriver has been tested in the afternoon by the teams, divided in 2 groups, and it is 4 kms long through grassy hills, 950 meters above the sea level.

Now athletes are waiting for the Parade and the Opening Ceremony that will be live at 20.30 on WRF YouTube Channel. Follow us!

L'Argentiere crowns the first national teams of France #roadtoTurkey

The first National Rafting Championship in French history is over: the union between the estabilished and competitive Canoe "d'eau vive" and the passion of Rafting guides laid the foundation of the agonistic Rafting in France.

On 19th May 2019 44 teams celebrated the beginning of a new river era that will exponentially grow in the next years starting from L'Arentière-la-Bessée.

On 15th February 2019 FFCK and WRF board designated the "Stade d'eau vive - Michel Baudry" as the WRF Centre of Excellence and less than 3 months later athletes from the whole France, but also rafters from Chile, Great Britain and Italy, joined an amazing event: canoeists, rafting guides, sport lovers, children and families discovered the new World of Rafting and "it seemed it wasn't the first time, thanks to the precise and punctual organisation" as the WRF President Danilo Barmaz said.

Rafters paddled on Time Trial rafts and had 2 manches of sprint in the morning to do their best in the Durance river: 32 rafts moved to the RX knock-out stage that, at the end of a full adrenaline afternoon, crowned the first National Rafting team of France: Yann Morais, Pierre Certain, Edouard Blanc, Driss Dighouth will debut next month at the World Championships 2019 in Tunceli, Turkey, accompanied by Didier Lafay (Directeur du Centre de Formation Canoë Kayak region PACA) and Bruno Carlier (Presidént du Comité Régional Canoe Kayak).

The best result (for a few seconds) was conquered by the Italians Pietro Fratton, Fabio Martini, Zeno Martini and Lorenzo Mastella, that is the National team of Italy and considered the race as an opportunity to test the competitive condition of the team.

Sébastien Assailly, Kévin Mouillade, Olivier Ernst and Vincent Hartmann took the second place and the bronze medal went to Cyril Audoit, Coralie Yebenes, Kévin Gix and Samuel Pereira who, with many other paddle lovers, were waiting for the birth of the agonistic Rafting in their country and are now optimistic about the new movement.

Local and federation's authorities, including Marie Patrick Vigne (mayor of L'Arentière-la-Bessée), Jean Zoungrana (FFCK President) and Député Joel Giraud, collaborated in the organization of the event and declared themself fully satisfied and ready to organize and host the World Rafting Championships 2021.

Eyes on Tunceli: the Worlds are getting closer

The countdown started months ago and now it marks 12 days to the WRF Senior World Championship, Turkey 2019.

Albania, Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Georgia, India, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine: athletes from 18 countries are training during the last rafting sessions in their well known rivers while the whitewater of Munzur, in eastern Anatolia, is waiting for them to be discovered and explored. 

On 8th June more than 50 Senior women, men and mix teams will arrive in Turkey and local authorities with the WRF board will welcome them to Tunceli, where the accomodation is offered by the Turkish Rafting Federation.

During the following day teams will train and study the 3rd level downriver (race on 10th June) and the new artificial venue for the new format RX, that is taking place all around the Rafting World (11th), and the slalom (12th). At the end of every competition day the World Champions 2019 will be crowned by the WRF, who thanks every National Federation for the support and the participation, the Turkish Minister of Sports, IOC members and local authorities in the presence of Fikret Yardimci, Turkish Rafting Federation President.

In these days the delegation of every Nation will have the opportunity to share Rafting knowledge and experience in order to grow personally with the worldwide movement, from the athletes, to the Federations members and to judges who will attend the international workshop from 6th June.

The organization is ready, the Munzur river is in flood and rafters who are now paddling in different continents and never met each other will be paddling togethver in 2 weeks in the same water, sharing the same passion surrounded by grassy valleys and forested hills in a natural breathtaking scenario.

Võhandu Maraton: paddle an entire river in one day


100 Km/24 hours: this challenge was born on 22nd June 2006 when 23 boats started from Voru and 18 of those arrived to the Lake Pihkva/Pskovskoe.

13 years later, on 19th April 2019, 1074 boats participated to the 14th edition of Võhandu Maraton and 968 earned the medal: a WRF representative team paddled for 19 hours on a R4 Time Trial raft.

The marathon's venue is beautiful: totally sorrounded by nature. After leaving Lake Tamula in Võru, the riverbanks are low, but they rise gradually until after some hours of canoeing the river enters a primeval valley. The steep and forested riverbanks of the primeval valley are interspersed with adjoining valleys and numerous sandstone outcrops. There are many springs and caves in the sandstone cliffs and adjoining valleys. In the last part of the marathon the riverbanks are low again. 

There are great views from the river of wild forests, meadows and sandstone outcrops that our ancestors used to call walls. 

Seven water mills have been built on the river, only ruins are left of some of them - passing the dams of these water mills should get your adrenaline going. 

The President of the Estonian Canoe Federation and member of the Estonian Olympic Committee, Mr. Martin Ilumets, received the WRF team with the event manager Hillar Irves (member of the Estonian Canoe Federation): the President Ilumets declared that Estonian Canoe Federation, as new WRF Member, is ready to cooperate with World Rafting Federation in order to develop rafting in Estonia and Europe.


Welcome on board Slovenia, Spain, Venezuela, Pakistan and Andorra

Welcome on board to 5 countries who signed as new members of WRF: the Real Federación Española de Piragüismo, the Slovenian Rafting Federation, the Federación Venezolana de Canotaje, the Pakistan Canoe & Kayak Federation and the Federació Andorrana de Canoe-caiac i Esports d'Aigües Braves are now planning and looking forward to the debut of their athletes in the international movement of World Rafting and to collaborate with the WRF organisation in order to improve it, hand in hand with the opportunities of every river lover from their nation.


Romania: another successfull WRF workshop

Straight after the excellent new that the Federatia Romana de Kaiac Canoe (FRKC) joined the World Rafting Federation, the Romanian Rafting started working for the WRF Training Programme for River Guide and Coach.

Last month Xavier Postiaux (a Belgian experienced Rafting and Canoe Trainer, Responsable of the WRF Training Programme Commission) organised a WRF workshop on Bazau and Busca rivers, near Nehoiu city.
WRF board he has been impressed by the motivation of the instructors: two members of the "Federatia Romana de Kaiac Canoe" are now ready to give all the support required by the Rafting activity in their country.
Step by step growing and performing!

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