Race Results

WRC Results: 
Sprint; H2H; Slalom: U19/U23/Masters; Open;  Downriver; Overall

EC 2016 Final Results:
R4 WomenR4 MenR6 Men; R6 Women

EC Italy
Results; Photos: SlalomH2H/SP, DR
WC Yushu, China
Results; Photos: -1-; Videos: -1-; NED OW
EC Struma, Bulgaria
Results

 

more archived Race Results

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Weirs – nice to play in? Or deadly – can you tell the difference?

Neil Newton Taylor | Swiftwater Rescue – Although many weirs are perfectly safe to slide over or play in the stopper formed at the bottom, many are not. Telling the difference can be very difficult.

“Weirs are either straightforward or they kill you” – Franco Ferrero: Author Whitewater Safety & Rescue

This statement is born out by the facts – 41 fatalities from only the five largest weir accidents in Europe! Almost all multiple fatalities in rafting, kayaking and canoeing are due to weirs.

Accidents involving Weirs in Europe

  • 2008 – 5 soldiers drown rafting on the Kander river in Switzerland
  • 2008 – 13 people drown in a weir while canoeing on the Sava river in Slovenia
  • 1999 – 4 UK tourists drown commercially rafting on the Salzach river in Austria
  • 1993 – 9 German tourists die rafting on the Inn river in Engadine, Switzerland
  • 1975 – 10 soldiers drown at Cromwell Weir on the river Trent in England

So how can we avoid becoming a statistic?

Weirs are so dangerous because even with correct swiftwater rescue training and equipment, if the weir has sufficient towback, it will be almost impossible to self rescue from. Looking at these accidents we can class them into different accident types:

1. Ignorance of the danger

The accidents that occurred on the Kander, Sava and Inn rivers where all, to a large extent, caused by a ignorance of the danger posed by the weirs. Most weirs look very tame compared to sections of whitewater, and the amount of aerated water bears no relation to the amount of towback that will be present. Changes in water level can also account for changes in the amount of towback at a weir. This was the case on the Inn, where the group had successfully run the weir the day before, when less water was flowing.

Ignorance can also mean not knowing that there is a weir (or other deadly feature) on the section of river that you are paddling. In 2010 a party of 4 Russian rafters died in Norway when they put in on the wrong section of the Sjoa river, one where the whole river flows through a siphon.

If there is any doubt that a weir (or rapid) is dangerous, then it should always be portaged.

2. Missing the take out

The other two accidents were caused by the rafts missing the take out. On the Trent this was during a military night exercise, on the Salzach when a guest fell out of the raft during landing. This can also be a problem when unrunnable gorges or hard rapids are downstream. Always have everyone look at the take out when there is such a deadly hazard downstream, and get out a good distance above it.

It is far better to walk an extra 200m than miss the last eddy! During night exercises lights positioned to show the end of the exercise area are needed to prevent people continuing downstream and into other hazards.

How to assess a weir

People often find it difficult to assess the danger posed by a man made weir, unless they are very experienced in understanding swiftwater. The Environmental agency in Great Britain needed to assess the danger that weirs on rivers posed to the public. Take a look at this comprehensive weir assessment system that Rescue 3 UK developed to help them with this difficult task.

The system is divided up into 4 sections:

  1. Weir hazard rating
  2. Likelihood of weir to cause harm rating
  3. Weir risk rating (1 x 2)
  4. Weir rescue rating

The Weir Hazard rating looks at 10 structural factors of the weir such as – the amount of towback, depth of hydraulic, height of the drop, etc. Each factor is then rated with points from 0 to 5, and all the points added up for a total score.

Likelihood to cause harm tries to work out if anyone will be able to get stuck in the weir and looks at all the different ways that could happen. Again each factor gets a point score, which are added up for the overall rating.

The risk rating is produced by multiplying the hazard by the likelihood.

Lastly is the Rescue rating, it looks at 10 points that influence the ease of rescue such as – width of river, access on the banks, available anchors etc.

All in all it is a very good system especially for users who have very little experience of swiftwater rescue. Some people may find it’s mathematical nature a bit overly complex, as it takes a while to add all the points up. Others may ask why is there a need for likelihood and risk ratings. Don’t forget this system was developed mainly to prevent people from drowning in weirs and not just for rescue requirements.

Also available in German.

Neil Newton Taylor | Swiftwater Rescue

All our Articles on River Safety

How to work out what age division you are in for competitions

Having trouble working out what age group you are in for our divisions? Here are a list of ways you can work it out to see if you are eligible for the 2017 year:

You are OLD ENOUGH to compete in the Open division in 2017 if you:

  • are 14 years or older on the 1st of January 2017
  • were born in 2002 or earlier

YOUTH – you are eligible to compete in the U19 division in 2017 if you:

  • are under 19 years old on the first of January 2017
  • were born in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 or 2002

JUNIOR – you are eligible to compete in the U23 division in 2017 if you: 

  • are under 23 years old on the 1st of January 2017
  • were born in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 or 2002

MASTERS – you are eligible to compete in the Masters (40+) division in 2017 if you:

  • are 39 years or older on the 1st of January 2017
  • were born in 1977 or earlier

IRF GTE Conference 2017

The first ever IRF Guide Training & Education Conference was held last year in Austria and all who attended agreed it was a great success and should be an annual event. Gaspar Goncz, Head of IRF GTE, has therefore scheduled another one for this year and the details are:

Dates: 8 – 12 of April 2017. (NB: Changed from 16 – 20)

Location: Greece, Aoos River

Arrival airport: Thessaloniki

Participating at the IRF GTE Conference 2017 gives Instructors a chance to:

  • Keep currency of their instructor certificate
  • Receive all the GTE program updates at first hand
  • Participate at the dynamic development of the IRF GTE
  • Network with other Instructors from around the world
  • Discover the hidden secret of North-Greece, the famous Aoos Gorge
  • Enjoy Greek culture and hospitality

Cost: +- Euro 300 – all inclusive

Bring your Ideas and your river gear.

Planned program:

  • 1st day – arrival, transfer from Thessaloniki Airport to Vovousa village, o/n Vovousa in the refuge, www.katafigiovaliacalda.com
    – Arrival Party
  • 2nd day – Rafting/kayak upper Aoos, 7-8 hours, 27km (Class 2-4) accommodation Konitsa (for 3 days) in event hostel
    – Evening: Discussions about actual GTE Challenges.
  • 3rd day – Full Conference day in hostel
    – Actual GTE Administration Challenges – Presentations and discussions
  • 4th day – rafting/kayak canyon of Aoos, 5hours, 18km (Class 2-5)
    – Demo Assessments on the river
    – Closing Party w. traditional Greek music and food
  • 5th day, departure

For more details contact Gaspar

ERC 2017 Information letter!

Here is the first team information letter you have been waiting for so as to plan your trip to the 2017 Euro Rafting Champs on the Mtkvari River near the city of Borjomi in Georgia.

We look forward to a great event in a new location!

Argentina announced as hosts for the IRF 2018 World Rafting Champs

The IRF is excited to announce that the 2018 WRC will be held on the Aluminé and Ruca Choroy Rivers in the Province of Neuquén, Argentina.

The event will be based out of the towns of Aluminé and Villa Pehuenia which are located in Argentina Patagonia and in the “Corridor of lakes” which is . . . → continue reading . . . Argentina announced as hosts for the IRF 2018 World Rafting Champs

Race Rules updates

The IRF Sport & Competition Committee will shortly be assessing and updating the IRF Race Rules.

The process is as follows:

Rule proposals may be submitted only as one of the three possible options.  1) Eliminate a rule, 2) change a rule, or 3) add a rule. 1) When suggesting that a rule be . . . → continue reading . . . Race Rules updates

A new breeze blows through the WRC

Yes, we didn’t feel that breeze at plus forty in the desert of UAE, but that freshness and the change of generations is visible on the podium of the 2016 World Rafting Championship.

Our wonderful WRC gathering is behind us, and we are full of impressions, as always. There . . . → continue reading . . . A new breeze blows through the WRC

WRC 2016 draws to a close with the Downriver races

The morning started with a pleasant temperature which the U23 men were rather pleased about. They had 5 laps of the course to do and lower temperatures would make it more manageable.

Russia U23 Men – slogging up the hot climb

Russia took the lead from the start and kept stretching it. Brazil . . . → continue reading . . . WRC 2016 draws to a close with the Downriver races

Open Slalom and Downriver U19 and U23 Women

What a day of racing!

The Open teams had a challenging Slalom course, which, once again, some loved and some hated. Gate 13 proved unlucky for many. The course was designed to be a challenge even for the top teams, not just a speed test, but . . . → continue reading . . . Open Slalom and Downriver U19 and U23 Women

Organizers & spectators alike laud high level of competition

 

Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Brazil, and New Zealand dominated the slalom races held today as part of the ongoing 2016 World Rafting Championship running until November 5, 2015 at Wadi Adventure in Al Ain.

The races ran from 8am until 1:30pm and pitted all 85 participating teams from 28 countries in the . . . → continue reading . . . Organizers & spectators alike laud high level of competition