For more from the official website, check out:† Costa Rica World Rafting Championship website


There are also some cool photos on: http://www.aldia.cr/galerias/raftercero/slides/MEY_3881.html



Highlights and results from Costa Rica 2011

Training Days: Some teams got more training days in than others, arriving days or even weeks before the event. Others, like us, arrived a few short days before the competition and managed to get in only the required minimum of training runs on the river before the competition started. There was action already during the training, with several flips on the Downriver, and a couple of wraps on the slalom course. The river was fairly low, but changed dramatically as it came up just before and during the competition.

The Norwegian ladies going hard

One of many banners along the river bank

The muddy 4km, 500 vertical meter descent† walk in didnít deter the crowd of several thousand people

A desperate attempt at catching a difficult eddy resulted in some swimming action from the Netherland menís team during the slalom

Day 1 of the competition saw the Sprint race, a short but extremely intense 1.5 to 2 minute run down a class 3 rapid. The competition was tough, with all teams putting up a top performance. Our team came 15th out of 19 women's teams, with Netherlands, Great Britain† and New Zealand coming in first second and third in the Womenís, while with the men it was Brazil, Great Britain and Italy.

Day 2 was the Head to Head, with 2 rafts racing at one time, with a number of knock out rounds. We were in 2 races, the first against Bosnia, which we won. That put us in the next round and we were up against Japan, who ended up winning the Head to Head. The race was close but unfortunately we got knocked out in that round. Still, the girls were very happy with their efforts and finished 13th to climb the ladder from number 15 to number 13 overall. The race was through a quite technical section of grade 3 water, and a lot was decided at the start, with very few places to pass during the rapid. First, second and third place went to Japan, Canada and the Netherlands in the womenís, and Chile, Slovakia and Japan in the menís.

A flat wrap on a rock at the bottom of the slalom course

River safety and the raft transporting system

International flags on the bridge at the finish line of the Slalom course

Norway leading Bosnia in the Head to Head

Chaos at put in

A team wrapping their raft on a rock during the Slalom

A team flipping their raft during the Slalom

From Norway: rubber and flesh in perfect harmony

Another wrapped boat during the Slalom

Day 3 was the Slalom event and for the spectators, not to mention some of the teams, the most exciting race day. There was plenty of action and carnage with 2 flips numerous swimmers and several wraps during the event. The course was hard with some extreme eddy catching and ferry gliding moves to be made. There was a total of 14 gates both upstream and downstream, and the event saw some fantastic rafting and some frantic, desperate and creative moves by some teams. Missing a gate meant a 50 second penalty, whilst† a touch was worth 5 seconds. Our team was second to go and had a great run, the girls being very happy to come in about 4th place in the Womenís. Each team had 2 runs with the best one counting. Things evened out a bit in the second round, and we came in 10th place. This brought our† overall ranking from 13th to 12th place overall. First, second and third places went to Czech Republic, Costa Rica and New Zealand in the womenís and in the menís Czech Republic, Japan and Slovenia.

Results:† The final results of the competition in the Women's were: first: Czech Republic,† second: Japan, third: Netherlands

In the Menís: First place: Japan, second: Czech Republic, third: Slovenia.

We came 13th overall.

Day 4 saw the final event, the Down River endurance run. The river had come up to a high level overnight, the run took over an hour to complete with several reasonably serious class 4 rapids to negotiate. At the top of† one of the first rapids the team got stuck surfing in a powerful hole and needed assistance from the on shore safety to pull them out with the aid of a throw line. Unfortunately that cost them several minutes, but everyone stayed in the boat and they went on to achieve a time of 1hr 7minutes. The field was close with 4 teams coming in around 1 hr 3 minutes and 3 more at 1 hr 5minutes. We came 15th place in the Downriver, which put our final score to 13th place overall. First, second and third places went to Japan, Czech Republic and the Netherlands in the womenís and in the menís Japan, Brazil and Slovenia.

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