15 Countries from 3 Continents have arrived at the canoe slalom course in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic in readiness for Friday’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Youth & Masters World Rafting Championships.
The event will consist of four disciplines; Sprint, Head to Head, Slalom and Down River with each discipline providing a different challenge for the four man boats at this year’s Championships. Click here for an explanation of the four disciplines in competitive rafting.
Venue Director Andrej Pinkava is looking forward to racing commencing on Saturday and spoke of the importance of getting off to a good start in the sprint discipline, which like in tennis provides a ranking where the fastest boat takes on the slowest in the second discipline, Head to head.
If you win the time trial you a have better position than the second boat, and if you have a better time you can also choose the left or right place at the start.
Following the head to head, rafters will then compete in Slalom, which is the most technically challenging event and counts for 30% percent of the total points, before contesting the star event, the Downriver where paddlers race for close to an hour down the continuous and powerful rapids of the Vltava river.
There will be four championships divisions contested, the men’s and women’s R4 Masters and Youths competitions and Pinkava, a former C1 National paddler for the Czech Republic believes that the local rafters will be the ones to beat in the Masters competition, while he has been impressed by the Brazilians in the Youth competitions.
“I hope that our nation (Czech Republic) will be strong in the Masters class, firstly I know the people, a they are really good, and I also think that the Czech youth team can be very good too.”
“They performed well and won some races in Costa Rica, and hope they will win some races here also.”
“But the Brazilian team here is really strong, and from what I have seen here they are paddling really well.”
Pinkava believes the course at Ceske Budejovice will provide plenty of spills and frills for onlookers and the paddlers alike, “I think it will be most interesting in the middle, there is the big wave which is falling back and I think for the young rafters it will be hard.”
The Sprint and Head to Head disciplines will be raced on Saturday, with the Slalom to follow on Sunday before a rest day on Monday and the finale, the Downriver on Tuesday.
- The four disciplines of competitive rafting explained: www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/rafting/news/the-four-disciplines-of-competitive-rafting-explained
- More information about Ceske Budejovice and the region: www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/rafting/news/ceske-budejovice-and-the-whitewater-stadium
- News overview rafting: www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/rafting/news
- Video news flashes: www.youtube.com/SportsceneTV
- Event website World Championships: www.ymwrc2012.com
- Website International Rafting Federation: www.internationalrafting.com